Using Web 2.0 Tools and an Open Philosophy to Design Projects and Events

Uploaded by psutlt on 06.10.2009

Well, welcome to our portion of the show, which is titled Using
Web 2.0 Tools and an Open Philosophy to Design Projects
and Events or as we like to say, how to get people to play together.
And that's what we're gonna talk about. I'm Jeff Swain. My partner
in crime is Allan Gyorke and we're from Penn State.
And one of the things that struck us this morning was what Lou Anna Simon had said about
having the big equipment, but not changing the culture.
Well actually that's what we're here to talk about so we were kind of, when she said that this morning
you know, our eyebrows immediately went up. I think I posted on Twitter.
I was feverishly changing the slides just to accommodate that.
So we're actually gonna end up talking about three stories of culture change that
we've experienced at Penn State. One involving our Hot Team process. Another
involving our Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium. And a third
involving our Learning Design Summer Camp. And actually Allan's gonna kick it off
and talk a little bit about the Hot teams. And if anybody has any questions as we go along,
please stop us and ask because I think we do want this to be conversational.
Was anybody at the Hot Team presentation that I did at the
CICCIO Tech Form two years ago? Ok, so
you might know what that is. If you don't then it's basically
rapid investigation of an educational technology. So this is something like
we say to each other, hey, have you heard of Twitter?
Yeah, I know what Twitter is, but how do we use it in the classroom? And then everybody looks around at each other
and they shrug their shoulders and say, I don't know. So what we do is we put together a team
of like five people and we give them a distinct time limit
like five weeks, four weeks, and say at the end of that you're going
to answer the seven questions that Educause simply answers about it's
social media. So they might look at the blogs, but we'll look at a specific platform.
So maybe we'll say, here are the seven things you need to know about Google Docs and
we'll produce a white paper that's two-sided and just answer those seven questions.
The idea is really that somebody could look at that and then in a couple of minutes really
get a sense and walk in and talk to faculty or talk to another member of the staff or
administration about how this tool could basically rock their world.
Our universities are large. That's one of the things I really like about
presenting at this particular venue. I don't have to talk to you about
you know you're dealing with a thousand students. All of us are dealing with tens of thousands
of students. The problem with large universities though, is that pockets of people
learn stuff, which isn't often shared. And in Penn State's
particular situation we have twenty-four campuses depending on how you count.
Maybe twenty-six. Maybe twenty-seven. And that's a lot of pockets.
But we'll be fine. Just that the pockets break down whenever things are open.
And specifically here is my Twitter simulation. So we have people on Twitter
and they start talking about maybe some results that they're finding. They survey our students
and say, hey, a lot of our students are producing and uploading videos.
Did you know that? No, I didn't know that. And by the way about one third our faculty are using
YouTube in the classroom. Now wait a minute that means that there's
a lot of people are using a YouTube. YouTube is now an educational tool that has more of an impact
on Penn State than these open educational resources do. I mean
I don't hear our faculty saying that they're going to
online repositories and downloading material. Maybe a few are, but a lot of people
are using YouTube. So then some of our other group
like the people in my position say, hey, we just did a white paper about grassroots video.
Why don't you check that out. Maybe we can spread this around a little bit further. So we post that
online and in the open. And by the way, not to just to Penn State, but anybody can access these white papers.
And then we start getting responses like, hey, what are you guys talking about?
It's kind of like that hallway conversation. So that's what Twitter is for us. I mean you might
have looked at Twitter before and you said, well why would I want to update people about what I'm doing?
It's not about you're doing, it's about what we're doing.
And whenever people start talking about that you casually get a faculty member who's following
this blue person because they're in the same college. They'll suddenly pick up on this conversation
and say, wait a minute, there's a lot of activity going on here. Maybe I should pay attention.
Next Jeff is gonna talk about our TLT Symposium. At our TLT
Symposium it's kind of our annual faculty formal. We have it in the
spring and it's an event where we bring faculty together to kind of
showcase what they're doing with teaching and learning and
research with using these new educational technologies. And what's really cool,
if we look at our attendance growth over the last several years,
you'll notice it's really taken off in the last three years.
And it's not just because Allan and I have been chairing it and we're just fun loving guys.
We know you're awesome. It's actually because of some of the stuff
that we've been seeing. But to go back to that previous slide for a second,
one of the things that's really cool is that in these early years,
the people that were coming and the people that we were showcasing are actually
the faculty that we were kind of directly working with and it kind of flatlined.
And what we've found through the use of social media
in particular is that we've been able to reach a whole new
level, range of faculty and now we're
getting proposal submissions from faculty that we haven't necessarily worked
with, but the faculty that we've worked with kind of took back to their campuses
and disbursed. And so that's been really cool.
Prior to 2006 it was really difficult to get people to give up a Saturday.
Especially I'm assuming Michigan's weather can't be
much worse than State College's where, you know, you have nine months of winter.
So anything in March or April where you have a chance of a good Saturday
asking people to give up. I think some times it interferes with fishing season too.
Yeah, yeah, that's always a nightmare. Allan shared it
two prior years. I had it last year and this year.
Again that's something that's probably not uncommon for you folks here is that
anything that falls on date that has to do with hunting season or fishing season
I mean it's anarchy. So you have to deal with all that.
But what we have had actually is people giving that up. We actually had a waiting list every
year since 2006. And it's because of several factors.
Two of them being the social media and marketing use.
One of the things that we really use social media for
is not just pushing out information to the community
and kind of leveraging you know multiple channels of access, but actually inviting
the community in to participate with us. We actually
develop as much as we can in the open. And for example, we're
planning the 2010 Symposium and we were in a session this morning and
I'm gonna brutalize this word, but it's
Pecha Kucha, ok, close enough. Thank you!
Which is for those of you who weren't in
the session, it's kind of this lightning talk
presentation format where you do twenty slides in
twenty seconds so you last for six minutes and forty seconds and then there's different spin offs
off of that. We actually have a poster session
at the end of the day and I just put up on Twitter, hey, would this be
kind of an interesting idea to kind of shake up the poster session a little bit. I put a link
to the site and I just tagged it TLT Sym.
And if you go to that tag you'll see the communities already started to kind weigh in
on those ideas. As far as what they think about it. So that's some of the powers
that we have. [ Question ] When you say social media
can you be more specific? Oh, sure, everything.
We use Twitter. We use Facebook. We actually have a Facebook
site for our Symposium. We use our blogging platform.
We use Flickr. We use iTunes U, Youtube.
We use them all. And what's really cool about it and that's a great question is
you know three years ago we were asking people to come to our site
and use it. And now we're saying, no, do it in your space and just tag it
with this tag and we can aggregate it. And that's again that spurred another
wave of growth because it's ownership of the content. I'm not giving up the photos I
took, I'm just sharing them, but they're still on my site. The other thing that we've done is
our marketing. Our marketing over the last couple years has really
focused on the end user, our community. So it's
really faculty and student focused. So our marketing
our formal marketing initiatives which go along with our informal social media,
marketing really again targets the audience
and showcases faculty doing really interesting and creative things.
And you all know that peer to peer that's gold and so
that's another big driver for us with the Symposium is being able to showcase
these great things that people are doing. And then be able to say to folks, well,
this is actually very attainable and here's how we can help you do it. So it's a really
powerful combination. Just a side thing about this, these
were like blog stories that we had one of our marketing people
got and they interviewed, this is Greg Pierce, he does
in our College of Business, he does our finance coach podcast. And that's one of his students.
This was actually a YouTube video and we have a bunch of these online now.
And so the things kind of pass by and then you click on that
and you see Stuart Selber talking with some of his students about how technology impacts his
teaching and learning process. The real point here is that we're not saying
come here to listen to us tell you about you should be using technology. We're saying,
come and listen to how your peers have been successful. And then I think
Greg Pierce wanted his picture taken next to his poster
whenever he was there. It was like life size and he wanted to show his parents and stuff. It was pretty cool.
Yes, sir! [ inaudible question ]
Yeah, yeah we generally
we have a keynote in the morning. And then we usually have something over lunch. And we'll look
at more of that in a sec, but those are kind of the two formal.
And then at the end of the day. We've been anchoring it with a poster session, which may morph into something
actually a lot more dynamic, that word I can't say, at the end of the day. But then we have
faculty break out sessions to intersperse throughout
the day in the morning and afternoon. But we also have a lot of things going on
during that time as well. You know there's hands on demonstration rooms.
Our Educational Gaming Commons last year
actually had a room devoted to gaming to showcase what was being built there.
[ inaudible ]
Digital Commons people set up a studio and started interviewing people. Yeah, yeah and I actually have them create
a product cold by the end of the day. So we try and keep it
the day to be very active. But also leading up to
the event being very active. As a matter of fact, we've kind of created
that community expectation that over the years
we invited not just through social media, but our community to actually
participate in the building of the event. So we have members of the community
sitting on our program team that planned the day that sit on the marketing team.
And the demand for this type of
interaction has grown so much that we actually created a new team this year
that Allan's chairing. It's called the rogue team. That's actually just geared up
to kind of their main focus to get these kind of sub events
and get them running. And get traction on them. That's rogue. R O G U E.
In other words, I can do whatever I want. As long as it meets the budget.
See that's my role this year. When you're the chairperson everything always comes down to the budget.
The budget and do we have enough time. They love to do everything.
But what we've been doing though, is kind of preparing our attendees.
You know for an example, we have this eight steps towards the Symposium.
Prep email that gets sent out to everyone.
But we also post that off of our Symposium site. And we let them know to bring a
laptop, bring a camera, bring their ideas. We want them, like we said,
blogging about their experiences leading up to and during the day.
You know posting their photos and tweeting their activity and like
we were talking about earlier, now we want them doing it in their spaces and just tagging it.
And we can aggregate it. And it's really taking off. And this is also very
important one of the things that we always try and do is to make sure that
folks that want to play and aren't sure how to, can get help with these technologies along the way.
We'll do things like post little Jing videos about how to set up
a Twitter account. And then how to tag it. We'll actually have
Digital Commons workshops leading up to the event that get people familiar
with working with media and then during the day we'll actually have hands on demonstration
rooms and our technology learning assistants have a table set up
where folks can just come up and say, hey, I was just in session about
blogs and I heard I gotta activate my blog space. How do I do that? And within five minutes
we can have them up and publishing and contributing to the day. So those are the things
that we really try and do to generate and maintain interest
and momentum in these new educational technologies.
The last thing that we do or not the last thing, but the last on the
highlight [ inaudible ]. We also try we've kind of upped the level of speakers that we're trying to bring in.
This year for 2010 we have Michael Wesch coming in and talking
to our folks. Last year we had Dana Boyd and David Wiley. The year
before we had Lawrence Lessig. And we really liked the idea of
instead of our folks out and have the message be scattered of bringing these
folks in and exposing as much of our community as possible
to the leading thinkers in this digital scholarship. This age of digital scholarship.
Which happens to be our theme this year. We want our folks well
versed in these new literacies. Because that's the way the worlds going and so
we feel that our students, our faculty, and our staff need to
be conversed in order to be productive participants in this world. And I encourage you to go
to our new website and check it out.
The results of this is we've been able to build
excitement around the event by involving people throughout
you know ahead of time and even after the event. There's also multiple opportunities for interaction
before the event and during the day. I mean Allan might be in a session
about podcasting and I might be in a session about blogs and he might
put something on Twitter and tag it and I'll look at it and say, well this kind of cross pollinates with
what I'm doing there. And then throw up a counter or match up
of the thoughts. And then he might then raise that question to the
session that he's in. And we've actually seen our community actually take that and run with it.
And actually use Twitter in that way for cross pollinating the different break
out sessions throughout the day. The other thing is people take their ideas
and we're at that cool stage where they're like, ok, great you gave us the platform
now get out of the way as much as you can. You know for example,
a couple years ago we had these little moo stickers for that people were
collecting that we put out covering the different topics and
processes that we were showcasing. Well the community loved them, but then they
also said, well I can go to and upload and do it.
And that's what we ended up having. Was people by the time of the event of the Symposium we're bringing their
own stickers that they had created and were sharing with each other.
So it really got wild. In fact, we even had a person,
I don't know is there a cupcake craze in Michigan by chance? There's like a resurgence
in the art of making cupcakes for some reason in Happy Valley. I don't know if it's
the long winters or what. But we actually had one person actually the day
of the event at the end of the day. She brought in these cupcakes that she made
and they're actually all the different tags that her friends had made for the Symposium.
The moo sticker tags. She'd actually made cupcakes to match and brought them in
and just put them out at the end of the day.
And said, you know, here. Have at it. It was really cool.
So I'm gonna let that be a segway into Allan talking about our
Learning Design Summer Camp. And by the way
if I would've listened to this about three years ago, I would've been like you guys are crazy.
Like our people wouldn't do that. But this has been kind of like
rounds and iterations to build up to this point. Which is one of the reasons we want to emphasize
that the importance letting people know what to expect. Because if
this had been an event like a Learning Design Summer Camp, a lot of you would've been
felt a little off. Like I'm not really prepared. This isn't what I thought it
would be. So what we used to do for this Learning Design Summer Camp.
We have our twenty-four campuses and we used to have a day in the summer
where we'd bring the instructional designers. Like typically most of the smaller campuses would have
one instructional designer, but they didn't really have a group of peers. So we'd bring them together to
the central campus, main campus, for one day and they would get
a preview of what's coming up. What they should know about. That sort of thing.
And then we started saying, that what else could we do
with this event. So this is what our attendance looked like. This should look like
a familiar story. In 2006, 2007 we had about thirty-five,
forty people. And then in 2008 we made some changes
and a hundred and ten. And then in 2009 we had a hundred ninety-one people.
Here's some of the main differences. We decided that
the people who do, who work on courses, are not
just instructional designers. So why are we having a separate event?
It's almost like we're segregating that instructional design community where
they're not fully able to discuss the complexities
and some of the issues that they're talking about. So we invited technologists, media
developers, libraries, faculty members, and also included some students,
some graduate students, and some under graduates. We decided to do open planning using a wiki.
So we just threw up a wiki document, not a website or anything, and said, hey
we're gonna have this event. What do you want to have happen? We have about a month and a half to plan it.
We integrated social media and then we created a
party atmosphere by really telling people it's gonna be really informal.
Dress down. Wear shorts if you want to. And then doing lightning talks, which
is like the Pecha Kucha thing that, I'm gonna get that down
at some point. So we start off with the wiki page
looking like this. It just says goal, attendance, vision, process
outcomes, and registration fees. So these were kind of discussions that I
wanted to have. I filled in like a paragraph for each of these. And then by the time a the event
about a month and a half later this is what it looked. And this is actually scaled down version
of the table of contents. So you have things in there like graphics, ideas,
a meet up ahead of time, evening dinners that sort of thing.
Basically the entire scheduled was planned out.
Should we do a group project or not? All these discussions happened in the wiki in a month and a half.
People uploaded their sticker id's. If they wanted to register they just added their name
to the registration list. No fancy system. We didn't get paid for anything.
Just add your name to the wiki. If you want people to contact you through Twitter, just add your Twitter id.
And that's what they did. And the cool thing, Allan, about that
if you go back was
that middle bar, that was actually the community that added that.
I'm actually doing my dissertation in this area too.
What I found my role being as the person like the main organizer, is
more like a gardner. So the garden is growing.
And here's some things that should be transplanted over there. So I kind of re-organize
things. I end conversations whenever it seems like we've reached consensus and remove
the old conversation to keep it focused. So we
came up with this design. That's Happy Valley,
Mount Nittany there, and a graphic version of our library. If you
look up in this picture it's just some of the attendees almost everybody had their laptop.
Because they listened to my note about bring your laptop. The reason for that
is because we wanted to use Twitter and something called the Harvard Live Question Tool.
Have you guys heard about that live question tool?
If you haven't, it's kind of like Clickers in reverse.
So instead of you saying, ok, pick a, b, c, or d, which one is more likely
It's you guys saying, hey, what about this issue? What about budget?
And then five other people would vote that up and then look at the look at the live question tool
and be like, ok, well, there's a lot of discussion going on here about budget, why don't we talk about that.
Ok, thanks! The second year
that we did it, because we've only done this two years so far. Oh, that's a picture from
the evening dinners. My lovely co-host Jeff Swain in the front there. But in 2009
we decided to really go a little crazy.
So somebody in 2008 at the end said, you know, I'm surprised, you guys are
runners why didn't you have like a race or something at the end of the day? We're like,
ok, we're gonna have a race next year. So we had a 5K and
Jeff you have the button. You got a little button if you completed the event.
We had about twenty-five people participate in that. Which was very cool.
We ordered some swag through Cafe Press
with no mark up fee or anything. So we have like little Learning Design Summer Camp mugs.
I have my shirt. My bag there. And then
what else did we do? Live music, yeah, we didn't pay this guy.
He's a multi-media developer that we have. Dean he's awesome.
And he just decided, hey, you know, I'll bring my speakers and stuff in and I'll play for free. And everybody
loved it. So we did that at the very beginning. It kind of set a party atmosphere
for the rest of the day. There was also, the nice thing
is if you watch the blogs at Penn State presentations so far
we actually had a lot of blog posts that were related to the Learning Design Summer Camp
and people just posted to their own blog. There are other open projects
that we're working on. So those are just three case studies really.
Our Faculty Fellows program that we had one of the Faculty Fellows start a podcast
about greek philosophy. Our Digital Commons
Tailgate, which is a similar event. The blogs at Penn State project. Jeff has
ePortfolio 2.0 lead and he's doing all the project planning
and everything in the open so anybody can contribute. The website points to our Teaching and Learning
with Technology group and you can go there for lots of information.
We have like a daily, what does he call that? The Daily Buzz. Yeah, the Daily Buzz
which is kind of like your Coffee Read for the day.
And Jeff do you want to just take us home. Sure, just to sum up.
We try and mix and match two things.
One of them being technology. We try and keep some of the familiar
that works and people are comfortable with. Such as email
and even posters and cupcakes. But then we also
try and push the envelope a little bit getting folks used to using Twitter
and how they can use Twitter. This year we're looking more and more at things like
Wiki's for development and Google Forms to move things along.
So we try and keep a nice balance of both for folks to keep that comfort level.
We also do that philosophically. We kind of
go with the approach that the community, the collective is a lot smarter
than any one of us are. So we kind of
like to leverage that and say, you know, play with us. And so we design as much as we can
in the open and really ask for participation.
And we do give up control. And that's
part of wisdom of crowds. That's part of the question I asked at that last session.
Because, wow, like the stuff that comes out of those. Like this takes a lot of work.
to put this stuff together. For that 5K, I just said, could somebody take care of this?
Somebody volunteered and I didn't have to worry about it. If I had to rely on just
the people in our office, I mean everybody would be so stressed out.
That's exactly right. And so we give ourselves permission
to have fun. To put it out there. And it's ok to be a little bit informal
even in our formal events. And recognizing that this is a culture change
and so we put a lot of effort into getting folks comfortable
with the shift in operating this way.
Thank you very much. Does anyone have anyone have any additional questions?
What thing
didn't you expect that bit you on the backside the hardest?
I have one. It's not bad.
I had name badges made up, but there were alternate name badges.
They didn't say, what's your name, they said
either my favorite thing is or when I grow up
I'd like to dot, dot, dot, and you just fill in your thing.
I thought this would be a great ice breaker activity, but what I forgot to include
are normal name badges and so the people who showed up and got one of those stickers
and put them on. Would say I'm excited about hiking, but then you'd be like oh, yeah, you're the hiking guy,
but you'd never really know their name. And I'm terrible about names anyway. I mean like
everybody who introduces themselves to me in this room, aside for maybe
Jeff, I will forget your name. You'll walk up to me next time and
I won't remember. But if I haven't seen it. I mean it's not terrible though.
The Learning Design Summer Camp was an event the last year we did it
for a hundred and ninety-one people. The total cost was five thousand dollars. And most of that
was just some printing costs, food,
we gave people meal cards so they can go in
and we're on campus and just use one of the residence halls or on campus
dining for lunch. That was it really. Kind of the
biggest learning experience for me has been that
you try and not make like what I call state mandated fun.
Like if you try and formalize something like a birds of feather get together for post day events.
Like generally there's a real lag in the drop out rate. But if you kind of
like float ideas or you ask people for ideas and they take it
and run with it. The participation rate skyrockets. So that's one of the things
that you kind of have to let go of.
It's like it's not mine or it's not my idea, but it's like hey, does
anyone have any ideas and letting them run with it. I have something else
that kind of related to that. This is actually really big deal. You never want to make
somebody feel stupid. So you never want to say, ok,
everybody just post to their blog what they're gonna be doing in the next two days or whatever
a profile or anything. If somebody doesn't know what their blog is. If they've just walked onto campus
or they've been in industry for awhile and blogging wasn't allowed. You never want them
to be like I didn't know where to go so I felt, cause then they'll detach
and they won't want to work with you anymore. So that's one of the reasons these emails are important.
We send them links. We send then these things like RSS in plain English.
So people could really understand what this stuff is and they can participate in as much
as they want. So there's this slide scale, right. So we say,
you know you don't know how to do any of this social media stuff, but can you make a poster?
Most people can do that. Can you bring some ideas?
I mean lots of people have ideas. So you give them all sorts of options
and you could have been alive a hundred years ago and still be in cupcakes.
It's not that hard. But then the people who are really into
this, they also aren't bored. They always have something more to do.
Something more to try out and contribute back to event.