CC-BY-NC Jim Bumgardner

The Center: Increasing Innovation in California’s Community Colleges   

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Google+ Community:  gplus.to/TheCenter
Twitter:  @Center_Ed

As Community Coordinator for The Center, I have the awesome job of harnessing the power of Google+ and Twitter to increase collaboration, sharing, and innovation throughout California’s 112 community colleges (the CCC system). How cool is that?

Two community interests are showcased each month as a combined dialogue that starts with a Google+ Hangouts on Air, extends into a Center Challenge, and wraps up with a Twitter chat.  The Hangouts on Air are live video conversations in which I engage in casual conversations with CCC educators about innovative practices pertaining to the topic. The Hangouts stream live to the web and viewers may submit questions via Twitter using the hashtag #CCCLEARN.

The week after a Hangout (every other Thursday at 3pm PT), a Twitter chat is held, giving community members an opportunity to engage in an interactive exchange of sharing (in addition to the broader public who is welcome to join in), discussion and Q&A. The two events are bridged with a Center Challenge which is like a call to action to encourage individuals to share deeper reflections, ideas, or strategies related to each topic through blogging, Tweeting, and the Google+ community.  The Center leverages the hashtag #CCCLEARN.

Supersize the Online Learning Sweetspot: Hangout on Air

Here is the 30-minute video archive of the Hangout on Air, 
“Supersize the Online Learning Sweetspot.”

Last week, I was joined in a Hangout by +Katie Palacios (@katiepala) an instructional designer from the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD), and +Samantha Hurst (@sammhurst), an anthropology instructor also from SDCCD.  Katie shared a conceptual framework of her own, which she describes is an effort to encourage online instructors to, “Supersize the Sweetspot of Online Learning.”  In her model, she explains the importance of embracing the full potential of active learning when designing and facilitating an online class and stresses that most new online instructors gloss over the need to consciously build in active learning, because these types of learner engagement opportunities often occur spontaneously in face-to-face teaching (think “socratic teaching” style).  Therefore, Katie proposes a model to “supersize this sweetspot” which involves “mushing” content, interaction, and assessment together into a fabulously, messy learning experience (picture making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich). 

After Katie’s brief, engaging, and information presentation, Samm joins in to share a teaching innovation of her own that was inspired by Katie’s supportive instructional design efforts.  She shares with us how she is using Video Everywhere, a building block for Blackboard that enables students and instructors to post communications using a webcam (videos are recorded to YouTube, posted as Unlisted, and then they appear in Blackboard where students and the instructor may view them).  Samm has her anthropology students share video blog posts to describe an experience using non-verbal communication (body gestures, for example). Fascinating! In the Hangout archive, you have the opportunity to see two examples of fantastic videos shared by Samm’s students (who provided permission to allow us all to view them — thank you!). 

Supersize the Online Learning Sweetspot: Twitter Chat

After you view the video, if you’d like to continue the conversation about Supersizing the Sweetspot of Online Learning, join me and other CCC educators for a #CCCLEARN Twitter chat this Thursday, October 31st at 3pm PDT!

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