There’s nothing fake about the ETUG Fall Workshop 2017

On October 27, over 70 educational technologists, librarians, and faculty from across the B.C. post-secondary sector gathered at Vancouver Community College for the annual ETUG Fall Workshop.

This fall, the organizing committee tackled the topic of digital and media literacy through a combination of talks, activities and tabletop discussions.

Post by Clint Lalonde, Manager, Educational Technology and Development

The morning kicked off with special thanks to long-time ETUG coordinator Leva Lee from ETUG co-chair (and bigly commander in chief) Jason Toal. After being the designated ETUG steward from BCcampus for many years, Leva is stepping away from the role to work on a special project with the BCcampus Professional Learning team (more on that in the coming weeks).

Jason then introduced the Keynote speaker, Mike Caulfield. Mike is the Director of Blended and Networked Learning at Washington State University as well as serving as the inaugural Civic Fellow for the AASCU’s American Democracy Project (ADP)  Digital Polarization Initiative.

Mike’s keynote was centered around what civic engagement looks like in a networked world. He spoke about three different levels of citizen engagement with their digitally mediated world using an analogy to an environmental project he once worked on involving students cleaning up a stream that involved pulling a lot of discarded tires up from the stream. He equated the tires in the stream to misinformation being thrown into our virtual information streams, and suggested that there were three different levels of citizen engagement involved; those who throw tires into the stream (being those who create and share fake news), those who pull the tires out of the stream (those who stop the spread of misinformation), and those who try to figure out why tires are being thrown into the stream in the first place (many digitally and media literacy initiatives). From this framework, Mike then dove into the world of fake news and how to combat the spread of fake information throughout our information streams, suggesting that we need to adopt a mindset of thinking like the web and using the tools available to use within the network to help validate information.

Following the Keynote, Mike then led the group through a series of activities that had the attendees working in small groups to develop some of those “think like the Web” skills he spoke about in his Keynote, asking us to validate various claims made in a number of posts published on the Web using the web as a tool for validation. See an image that looks suspicious? Do a Google Reverse Image Search to find the original source. Wondering who owns a domain and when it was registered? Use a tool like WhoIs to find out who has registered a website and when it was first registered.

After a lunch break, various members of the ETUG community presented a lightning round of short Pecha Kucha presentations that all connected to the theme of digital literacy. A Pecha Kucha presentation is 20 slides with no more than 20 seconds spent on each slide. There were seven Pecha Kucha presentations that set up the final tabletop discussions for the day. Each Pecha Kucha presenter facilitated short discussions at their tables that allowed ETUG participants to ask questions and dig deeper into the topic of their Pecha Kucha. Our thanks to Stephen Bishop (Douglas), Lucas Wright (UBC/BCcampus), Rajiv Jhangiani (KPU/BCcampus), Sylvia Riessner (EduComm), Leva Lee (BCcampus), Troy Welch (TRU), Brian Lamb (TRU), Dr. Jessica Motherwell (UBC), and Tanya Dorey-Elias (TRU) who stepped forward to take on the challenge of not only presenting their topics within the confines of the Pecha Kucha format, but also facilitating some lively tabletop discussions.

The day ended with participants writing down one actionable item that they took away from the day that they could start doing right now. Here are the actionable items that participants came up with.

ETUG co-chair Jason Toal then wrapped things up by reminding the group that there will be no spring 2018 ETUG gathering, but rather, members of the ETUG community are invited to attend the Festival of Learning 2018.

Artifacts from the event are being gathered and will be posted on the ETUG site, but here’s an ETUG Fall Workshop 2017 Storify story, created from the online conversation via the #etug17 hashtag on Twitter. Also, we’ve compiled an ETUG Fall Workshop 2017 Flickr album, filled with images captured throughout the workshop. 

Notable quotes:

The Pecha Kuchas were all well done, and the keynote was great – I liked the combo of a talk + workshop for both morning and afternoon.” – Event participant 

“I thought the keynote was excellent and topic highly relevant. The hands-on activity was also engaging and useful. Great choice.” – Event participant 

“Always a great opportunity to connect with B.C. staff practicing with Educational Technology and Teaching.” – Event participant

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