C2C Digital Magazine (Fall 2023 / Winter 2024)

Greetings C2C members and community!

By Greg Rose, Chair, C2C SIDLIT 2024

I would like to take this opportunity to talk to you about the theme of our July 2024 SIDLIT Silver Anniversary Conference: Lensing the Past, Zooming In on the Present, Developing Future Passions for Learning. With this theme in mind, we will explore together how we can use the lessons learned from the past, the challenges, opportunities and innovations of the present, and the emerging trends of the future to enhance our online learning and instructional design practices. We will also collaborate on how we can foster and activate a passion for lifelong learning among ourselves and our students. 

1. Lensing The Past

Developing the future is an exciting endeavor, but it can be hard to know where to begin. By looking back at the past and understanding the potential of our predecessors, we can gain the knowledge and perspective required to move towards a better future. Lens the past to zoom in on the present and develop an innovative, sustainable, and exciting future.

Lensing the Past from an academic educational perspective means to examine the historical development and evolution of educational institutions and their technology practices, and how their warp-speed evolution has both enhanced and bewildered pedagogical practices for us in the instructional designer, faculty, and administrative support roles. And I am not forgetting to also mention how the ed tech evolution has impacted, and sometimes distracted our learners who can range from digital natives to the young (the youth in our lens below) to the highly proficient tech-savvy students in our midst. Where were you on this spectrum in 1999 as the relatively slow (by 2024 standards) internet and hardware/software was revving up? It is important as educational practitioners to adopt such a lens because it can help us understand the complexities and continuities of educational practices, provide background to our own personal stories, as well as helps us bring into view the challenges and opportunities technology presents in the present and future.

For my own personal past lens, while the first SIDLIT was held in JCCC in Overland Park, Kansas, I was still writing the story of my professional ed tech experiences in 1999 six hours away in Davenport, Iowa at Xerox Connect, Inc. as an “Education Computer specialist/teacher providing software & hardware training to local businesses.” I was on the path to being a corporate trainer of Windows server and software technologies. But during a training demo, something happened I will never forget: one of my trainer colleagues showed our class an amazing Macromedia “Flash” (multimedia) demonstration of a full color, rotating, interactive menu downloaded and playing through the internet. I was instantly both blown-away and hooked on the multimedia possibilities and thought to myself, “being a networking and server techie is interesting, but building interactive Flash-based learning is where I want to go!” So I jumped ship to a small independent company in Rock Island, Illinois where I got to design graphics & animations for interactive marketing demos & client presentations – in Macromedia Flash – and I loved it! Myself, and many like me, were sojourners on a digital chase of the ‘pioneer gold-like-rush’ with no end in sight for growth and expansion in the WWW (Wild Wild West) of the Boom or Bust Internet landscape of 1999!

However, for those of you who were around building or using the Internet in the early 2000’s (or who were there AND remembered) there was a DOT.COM bubble burst. The Internet Boom indeed turned into the Bust – everyone everywhere flooded the market doing webpages, and the ‘gold rush’ to building internet websites was mostly over, along with the allure of making easy millions in the .COM world which went crashing down for all but a fortunate few. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for you dear reader, I don’t have the time, or space to chronicle the next 25 years leading up to the very interesting days we live in now in 2024, which I will discuss next.

So I will leave this section on Lensing The Past with these thoughts: whether we use a lens into the educational technology past through the political, cultural, economic, or social perspective, we can gain insights into how the educational landscape has been shaped by various historical forces and contexts ¹ ². By lensing the past of higher education through a global perspective, we can compare and contrast the similarities and differences of educational systems and institutions across regions and countries ¹. By lensing the past of education through a critical perspective, we can question the dominant narratives and assumptions of educational systems and challenge the inequalities and injustices it may reproduce or resist ³.

Therefore, lensing the past of educational practices from an academic perspective is thus a valuable and meaningful endeavor that can enrich our knowledge and inform our actions we take now in 2024, and into the future.

2. Zooming In on the Present

In the spring semester of the 2019-2020 school year, the corona virus created a mass crisis in the entire educational system. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the traditional modes of teaching and learning in education, forcing many, if not most, institutions to shift from face-to-face to remote instruction. This sudden and unprecedented change has posed many challenges and opportunities for both faculty, students, and the technology support staff who had to adapt to new technologies, pedagogies, and expectations. One of the key skills that can help both instructors and learners cope with this new reality is the ability to zoom in on the present, or to focus on the immediate tasks and goals while still being informed by the past and focused on the future.

Zooming in on the present’s vast technology landscape can enhance the quality and effectiveness of teaching and learning in several ways. First, having knowledge of and using our current 2024 technologies can increase the level of engagement and interaction in the virtual and face-to-face classroom, as both faculty and students pay more attention to the content, activities, and feedback that are happening in real time. Second, it can reduce the stress and anxiety that may arise from the uncertainty and unpredictability of another potential pandemic situation, as today we appreciate and rely on the reality of our “always on” stability of cloud-based digital storage and ubiquitous high-speed wireless internet and mobile technologies. In 1999, my mobile technology was a pager I carried for work. When it started buzzing, that meant I had to call into the training office on a POTS land line (Google that one!). Compare my 1998 pager to the wireless computer/phone/browser/camera/video/GPS device most of us carry in our pocket or purse with high-definition pictures and sound that gives us fast and reliable connections worldwide – and you can see how far we’ve come in 25 years!

Forming partnerships, making new connections, networking and skill building are all extremely important aspects of our SIDLIT conference. To help us build our creative and innovative skills at the SIDLIT 2024 25th Anniversary Conference, not only will we be zooming in on present tech, but we will also be BRAINZOOMING as well! The Brainzooming process catalyzes collaboration and innovation everywhere it’s applied. Mike Brown, our Keynote speaker for SIDLIT 2024 is the brain behind The Brainzooming Method, and he is ready to zoom our passion for learning and innovation up to the next level! This year’s conference will feature several integrated workshops by Mike who is an author and strategic planning expert who specializes in operationalizing design thinking. He will be with us all three days to empower us to BRAINZOOMING to cultivate extreme creativity and innovative success.

Lastly, our present technology can help us foster a sense of community and belonging among educational participants and their stakeholders, as they share their experiences, challenges, and achievements in the present moment across dispersed geographic locations. Zooming in on our present AI enhanced and connected technologies can help both faculty and students overcome the barriers and embrace the benefits of teaching and learning in the current digital landscape of 2024.

3. Developing Future Passions for Learning

Besides expanding our interpersonal connections, building creative and innovative skills and BRAINZOOMING at the SIDLIT 2024 25th Anniversary Conference, we will also collaborate on how we can foster and activate a passion for lifelong learning among ourselves and our students.

What is a passionate learner? – SIDLIT 2024 25th Anniversary Conference

A passionate learner is someone who loves learning, who is curious, who seeks new information, who solves problems, who creates, who communicates, and who grows. A passionate learner is not afraid to challenge themselves, to explore new perspectives, and to make a positive impact on the world. A passionate learner can also say, I was wrong, but I learned! It is someone who can be vulnerable and who embodies a GROWTH MINDSET (Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. Random House).

Why is it important to develop future passionate learners?

Because we live in a dynamic and complex world that requires constant adaptation, innovation, and collaboration. Because in the next 25 years we will face global challenges that demand creative and critical thinking. Because we have access to unlimited information and opportunities that can enrich our lives and careers. Because we want to be happy and fulfilled and ‘pay it forward.’

How can we develop passionate learners?  – SIDLIT 2024 25th Anniversary Conference

As educators, we can create an environment that fosters passion for learning by trying the strategies on this short list:

Journey’s Conclusion & Beginning- SIDLIT 2024 25th Anniversary Conference

I have shared a bit of my experiences and journey through the educational technology landscape, and I honestly can’t wait to hear your thoughts and stories of your journey too and passion for teaching and learning, and I can’t think of a better place to do so than at the SIDLIT 2024 25th Anniversary Conference in July! Visit our C2C website for more information and registration links.

This ends my thoughts on our SIDLIT 2024 themes, but it is just the beginning of what we can do to build greater connectivity between centers of knowledge and learners! 

I would also like you to consider joining in our new year-round networking and communications portal through our Mighty Network’s Online C2C Community here.

Dr. Greg Rose, IT Training Specialist, The University of Kansas Medical Center
SIDLIT 2024 Steering Committee Chair


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