I've been attending the EDUCAUSE 2008 Conference in Orlando this week. Beyond learning that Orlando is a much nicer climate in October than June (the month ALA met here a few years ago), I'm reminded that our colleagues in educational technology are involved in some of the very interesting work in innovative pedagogies. As at every conference, discussions with colleagues known for years and just met were a highlight.
I'm a bit anxious though about the state of collaboration among librarians and academic technologists. A weakness I see in many projects is over-reliance on free web resources and lack of integration with the high quality library subscription resources or even library open digital collections. The library-focused presentations I saw were also seemingly disconnected from other campus initiatives. I re-resolve to foster the relationships among librarians working in information literacy and educational technology specialists - we have a lot to offer each other.
Here are a few things that have caught my attention/been topics of reflection over the days of the conference:
The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative is doing some very impressive and very important work. I'd like to see librarians, especially information literacy librarians, more involved with their projects, especially The EDUCAUSE Top Teaching and Learning Challenges 2009. I wonder if there is a conversation ACRL or the Instruction Section could sponsor to feed into this broader conversation?
I need to re-read Fostering Learning in the Networked World: The Cyberlearning Opportunity and Challenge (http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2008/nsf08204/index.jsp) from the National Science Foundation. How can librarians help meet these challenges and take advantage of the opportunities?
Going to a conference one doesn't usually attend means seeing vendors in the exhibit hall I've not seen before. Some very interesting tools and services that don't show up in the ALA exhibits. Wish I lived closer to a major conference city (though admittedly Chicago is do-able as a one-day trip ... its just exhausting) - a one-day exhibits pass for conferences outside my usual sphere could be a really valuable approach to discovering new approaches.