Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Site for Collaboration Born of Collaboration

Beginning with my first round of visits to the 14 campuses that comprise the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, I have been constantly impressed by the level of innovation occurring on the campuses.  As you know, I tend to focus on technology.  However, the absolute commitment to teaching and learning, regardless of modality, is inspiring.  Add to this the determination of taking the small liberal arts college environment into the technological realm and one can see the potential for magical and wonderful things to happen.

Ok, that may sound idealistic and be seen by many as an oversimplification, but I truly believe that seeing technology as a partner to enhance faculty and student engagement is the way forward.  The larger question is how do we enable communication?  How do we share the ideas and experiences that already exist on ACM member campuses?  Part of this has been accomplished through the creation Liaison for Technology in Teaching and Learning to ride the circuit looking for commonalities and potential partnerships throughout the consortium.  However, a more robust approach is needed to expand communication and collaboration.

During that initial round of visits, it was suggested that the ACM create a virtual collaboration space to supplement in-person visits.  This would be a space where ACM faculty, librarians, IT staff, and technologists could engage in open dialogue about the impact of technology on teaching and learning.  Included in this space would be pages that allow the sharing of current initiatives, posing questions for colleagues about future initiatives, recent articles concerning pedagogy and technology, and a list of tools being used by other members of the consortium.  While a good portion of the site would be public, posting to groups, viewing ACM contacts, and adding to the pages is restricted to member institutions.

The Technology in Teaching and Learning site has been created in consultation with the stakeholder groups mentioned earlier.  The design, construction, and now implementation have been highly collaborative and content has been generated at both the ACM office and campus levels.  I am hopeful that the site, in combination with this blog and social media, will further add to the ways in which ACM members can share information and collaborate.  So, check out the site and let us know what you think.  Comments, suggestions, and hopefully additions to the lists and discussions are always welcome.

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