Northeast Connect Conference

I put in my registration for the Northeast Connect Fourth Annual Conference: Leading and Inspiring Change for Successful Learning Friday, on November 14, 2008, at Montclair State University.

I see by the schedule that I have a before-lunch slot for a presentation I titled "Tear Down The Walls." That edupunk title probably sounds more revolutionary than the presentation deserves, but as learning spaces continue to evolve and web tools further erase the physical walls of classrooms, libraries and other educational settings, it seemed appropriate.

I'll be looking specifically at our use of LibGuides, a web 2.0 content management and information sharing system. It was designed with libraries in mind, but is being used by us at Passaic County Community College (and other schools) as a collaborative web tool. This hosted service offers opportunities to create and share reusable content, tagging, widgets, embedded video, polling, commenting, RSS, and easy integration with other tools like Delicious, Digg and Facebook with a very gentle learning curve for users. The LibGuides community allows PCCC to collaborate with more than 300 institutions using it worldwide.

The conference keynote is Curt Garbett who will base his talk on the book Who Moved My Cheese? Why have a business speaker at an education conference? Actually, I'm not a big fan of business creeping into teaching. When we view students as customers and talk about the return on investment in creating an online course, it usually makes me angry. Nevertheless, I will sometimes write here about the long tail and other business concepts that have applications to learning. It makes more sense to have Garbett if you know that the 1998 book has sold 5 million copies - many of those copies handed out by managers to their employees - and that Who Moved My Cheese? is subtitled "An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life." Inspiring change is the conference theme, so I hope his presentation will address the educational take on this.

Conference attendees are all invited to a special post-conference party 5-8 PM with music, food, and drinks - all in the name of "networking," of course.

For more information and registration visit northeastconnect.org.


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