1. Birmingham Hybrid MA
Know anyone who might be interested in pursuing an MA in the Detroit area?
For the 2010/2011, the K-12 EAD program will begin an exciting effort to move the core of the MA program to a hybrid course format that combines face-to-face meetings with on-line learning activities.
In the Fall of 2010, both EAD 806 and 854 will be meet on the same night, once per month, at our Birmingham location. Three weeks per month, all learning activities will be conducted on-line using a combination of on-line video conferencing software, hypermedia learning tools, and conventional course tools. In the Winter of 2011, EAD 807 and 855 will be taught in this same format.
We have several goals in moving the core of the MA program to the on-line environment, including learning to exploit exciting new learning technologies, making graduate studies more convenient for more students, and reaching a broader cross-section of graduate students in the Metropolitan Detroit area.
See the web page for more information:
For questions about our move to a hybrid course format, please contact the Office of K-12 Educational Administration at k12adm@msu.edu. You can also call Cecelia Highstreet, Admissions Secretary, directly at 517-884-1392.

2. IRB Issues Related to Research in Education
1:30-3:00, Tuesday, April 13
252 Erickson Hall

Gail Dummer, SIRB Chairperson, will be in Erickson next Tuesday to discuss current IRB thinking on human subjects issues related to research in Education. She will touch on a few "hot" topics from an IRB perspective: (a) audio/video recordings of students in classroom when not all students/parents have given assent/consent; (b) waivers and alterations of consent procedures; and (c) research in which one person acts in multiple roles as teacher, administrator of the consent process, researcher, etc., as well as answer questions.

If you wish to meet with an IRB administrator individually regarding protocols, please send us your name and the the issue you wish to discuss to Lynne Frechen (lfrechen@msu.edu) by Friday, 4/9 at 3:00pm. We will try to have the appropriate administrators available after the meeting.

3. Midwest Research-to-Practice Conference in Adult, Continuing, Community, and Extension Education proposal deadline EXTENDED to APRIL 15, 2010.
Check the web for full details: https://www.msu.edu/~mwr2p/call.htm

The conference provides a forum for practitioners and researchers to discuss practices, concepts, evaluation, and research studies to improve practice in the education of adults. Through discussion and collaboration, participants contribute toward the realization of a more humane and just society through lifelong learning.

The 2010 conference, which will be held on the Michigan State University campus in the Union Building, offers opportunities for dialogue and reflection on the dynamic relationship between learning and life, on both current and future opportunities for educators who work with adult learners in a variety of educational settings.

You are invited to submit proposals to present a 45-minute concurrent session or 10-minute tabletop session to the program committee of the 29th Annual Midwest Research-to-Practice Conference in Adult, Continuing, & Community Education.

4. EAD 882
Education in the Digital Age
Fall 2010 Wednesday, 7:00-10:00 p.m.

Instructor: Steven Weiland, Professor, Educational Administration

It is a commonplace of educational discourse today that technology must be accounted for in all domains of teaching, learning, administration, and leadership. As the recent PBS Frontline documentary Digital Nation demonstrated, the subject is vast and urgent. What must educators at all levels and in all sectors know of the emerging digital world? Key questions of technology are not particular to one place or another in the educational system. Thus, we want to know how we came to this point, what can be learned from the history of technological innovation for education, how the generations interact in times of change, what gains new technologies offer in new capacities and opportunities (and what losses), how change is influencing essential matters of teaching and learning like reading and writing, and what steady increases in online enrollments mean for the curriculum, access, student and faculty work, and assessment. EAD 882 will address four primary themes (texts and other resources are named in this course description for purposes of illustration of what may be in the syllabus, which will include books, articles, video, and websites of many kinds).

History and Demography According to classicist James O’Donnell, the new digital technologies actually represents a series of innovations that began in the ancient world and can be seen in the history of reading, particularly what came of the invention of the printing press, or the Gutenberg revolution (Avatars of the Word: From Papyrus to Cyberspace [1998]). But attitudes toward print in relation to “new media” are now seen by some as a sign of generational difference and a reason to have demography guide educational change. John Palphrey and Urs Gasser say we have quickly come to a “crossroads” in the uses of technology in and out of school, needing to protect and fortify its best uses while minimizing its risks and dangers (Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives [2008]). Thus, the digital age already has a history, and our attitudes toward innovation and claims made for historical transformations (as in the advent of “digital literacy” and the “wisdom of crowds”) shape how we think, act, and plan for the future. Thus, we will explore how those living in the digital age interact with history and the rapid evolution of technologies. As always, questions of education must be seen in the context broader individual and social purposes (as in William Powers’ Hamlet’s Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age [2010]).

The Digital Infrastructure “Infrastructure” refers to the underlying framework of a system or network of institutions and organizations. It is what is needed in facilities and services for effective functioning. In this category we will look at how broadband, wireless connectivity, and portable devices—like smart phones and eBook readers--are remaking our information and communications technologies with plain implications for education. But the emerging infrastructure relies too on the reconceptualization of the Internet for more user participation known as Web 2.0 (as in blogs and wikis, and sites like Wikipedia and Facebook) and on new patterns in the organization of knowledge and the provision of educational resources like the open source movement (e.g., MIT’s OpenCourseWare). We will also ask how educative institutions other than schools--like museums, libraries, and scholarly publishing--are adapting to the digital age. And so too are questions of Web search--particularly the role of Google--and large scale software applications like Google Docs and the phenomenon known as “cloud computing,” prompting attention to the centralization of digital resources (as explored in Nicholas Carr, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World from Edison to Google [2008]).

The New Abilities Recent books and institutional studies claim that educational success in the future will reflect students’ abilities to make the most of the digital world in ways they determine, as in Don Tapscott’s Grown Up Digital (2009). Indeed, schools and post secondary institutions are advised to adapt their curricula and pedagogies to match the skills and habits of those who represent “digital age” abilities, including ubiquitous social networking and electronic game playing. Still, questions remain about the actual impact of having “grown up digital” and the best way to organize education (and prepare K-12 teachers and college faculty) for digital learning. There is reason too for consideration of how education might resist as well as support new cognitive, learning, and work “styles” and expectations—or at least await inquiry that supports the claims of a cognitive transformation. There are the consequences of being “tethered” to digital devices, “multi-tasking,” and “continuous partial attention,” signifying that the digital age invites us to consider what the new technologies mean most directly for the lives of students and professionals. Useful counterpoint to popular writers like Tapscott can be found in Mark Bauerlein’s provocative The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (2008).

Online Teaching and Learning K-12 systems and postsecondary institutions continue to increase online offerings, prompting questions of curriculum planning, student preferences, faculty participation, and course design and assessment. How are purposes, practices, and standards represented as they appear in the initiatives of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, centralized higher education efforts like UMass Online, and the programs of for-profit institutions like the University of Phoenix? There is already a vast literature on the rationale, practices, and consequences of online or distance education. In EAD 882 we will investigate what issues dominate and what needs fresh attention, including the context of generational change (with the controversies associated with interpreting the habits and prospects of the “Net Generation”), “best practices” of online teaching, and the role of course management systems. The activities of major organizations in providing research, resources, and services for online teaching and learning deserve attention (e.g., Sloan-C and EDUCAUSE). The course will recognize what it takes to teach effectively in online formats, and the impact of online work on professional development at all levels. Schooling is the subject of visionary statements of technology’s role in learning (e.g., Allan Collins and Richard Halverson, Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology [2010]). Are similar forecasts suitable for postsecondary education?

Course Format EAD 882 will adopt the stance of Howard Gardner writing in 2009 in the new International Journal of Learning and Media where educational institutions are urged to “absorb the new digital media and make acute use of their potentials while guarding against their abuses.” But as the broad and diverse scholarly and popular discourses on technology illustrate, just what constitutes the most appealing “potentials” and the most likely “abuses” is hardly a settled matter. Accordingly, EAD 882 will be designed as exploratory, critical, and participatory, with priority going to student presentations reflecting the many traditions, practices, theories, trends, and problems named in the four themes above. Naturally, a course about “education in the digital age” should reflect as much in its operations. Thus, class sessions will include explorations of successful and promising applications. And guests will be invited from College of Education departments and programs, and from other MSU units, to bring perspectives of practice in several domains (digital design for teaching and learning, infrastructure planning and management, cognitive adaptations to the digital world, the operation of course management systems, and more). The overall goal will be integration, as far as possible, of the four primary course topics across the lifespan of learning, K-12 to postsecondary education and beyond. “The challenge for us today,” O’Donnell says, “is to balance old models with new modes of behavior that exploit the possibilities of the new environment effectively without disorienting us so completely that we forget who we are.”
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