Making it down the I-35 for an 8:30 start with the keynote rather than rushing for a 7:30 SIG meeting allowed for some extra sleep and a less frantic start to the day. The keynote was provided by a panel of 4 Deans – 2 from the USA, 1 from NZ and 1 from Israel. Each gave a brief presentation, followed by a period of questions directed to the panel. Many of the challenges faced by education faculties were similar across contexts. For example, the Deans from both New Mexico and NZ spoke about the ways in which they are engaging with indigenous populations and all faced challenges with rapidly changing technologies and the drive, for varying reasons, to take their offerings online.
In the hour following the keynote I met with Matt Koehler to discuss the visit that he and Punya Mishra will be making to Australia for the TTF National Support Network meeting on 15 and 16 March. We talked about the project and its background, what had been achieved so far, the evaluation framework, and what might be expected of Matt and Punya during the Sydney meeting. Fortunately I had received recent updates on the planned program for the 2 day meeting and a summary of the research outcomes that I was able to share as background for their thinking about the content of presentations.
In the session before lunch I participated in a panel of editors of journals in the field. In addition to JTATE, the panel represented the other SITE journal, Contemporary Issues in Teacher Education, the ISTE journals, Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education and Journal of Research on Technology in Education, and Computers in the Schools. The panel briefly outlined the focus of each journal and then engaged in a Q&A session with the audience who were mostly interested in how to get published.
Over lunch I met with Debbie Sprague, outgoing Editor of JTATE, to catch up on the status of various papers in the journal system. We looked at the various parts of the system I will need to use to manage allocation of reviews, posting of decisions, and preparation for publication. An issue has recently gone to press and there are enough papers accepted for the next issue. Beyond that we are looking for content and, depending on what comes in post-conference, may need to encourage some authors to submit.
During the afternoon I attended a session about transitioning from traditional face-to-face to online for teacher education with a focus on preparing teachers to work online in K12 settings. Most of the afternoon was in a 2 hour symposium, What would John Dewey do?, in which Punya Mishra, Matt Koehler and their team from Michigan State presented on how they designed and implemented their Master of Arts in Educational Technology program.
The poster and demonstration session ran from 5:15 – 6:45 pm after which I had been invited to a reception arranged by the Iowa State group at Iron Cactus. Majella joined me for Tex Mex cuisine and an evening of interesting conversations with some USA friends from SITE, graduate students from Iowa State, and Niki Davis and her Dean, Lyndsey Connors, from Canterbury University in Christchurch, NZ.