Workshop Track Descriptions

Since the ConnectEd Summit will focus on discussion-based workshops, participants will follow a single program track across all of the schedule Summit workshop sessions. If you have questions about any of the tracks, you may click on the organizer's name to send an email.


Teaching: Pedagogy & Praxis

Track Facilitators: Dr. Eric Mazur, Harvard University; Dr. Derek Bruff, Vanderbilt University; Berlin Fang, Oklahoma Christian University; Mark Scott, Freed-Hardeman University; and Dr. William Rankin, Abilene Christian University.
Questions? Contact Dr. William Rankin

The 2008 Horizon Report stated, “As new devices ... are released that make content almost as easy to access and view on a mobile as on a computer, the demand for mobile content will continue to grow. This is more than merely an expectation to provide content: this is an opportunity for higher education to reach its constituents wherever they may be.” Mobile learning that leverages the new generation of devices represented by the iPhone and iPod touch presents a number of new teaching and learning opportunities. Yet though mobility is receiving increased attention on many campuses, the pedagogical theories and instructional practices that undergird it are still being developed. Participants in this track will consider some of the opportunities provided by mobility with a view toward designing innovative teaching and learning approaches and activities. Participants will also explore some of the challenges created by mobility and by students who are always “connected.” Those participating in this workshop track will:

  • explore converged and social learning strategies that break down barriers to create a more collaborative learning environment and will explore some of the ways this may alter traditional relationships between teachers and students;
  • discover new opportunities for assessment, interaction, content delivery, and communication as well as some of the teaching and learning models and activities that mobile learning obsolesces;
  • assess some of the core learning challenges created by mobility and develop approaches for counteracting these challenges;
  • discuss emerging trends in mobility for in- and out-of-class learning and share a vision for the future of mobile learning in higher education.


Teaching: Podcasting & Mobile Media

Track Facilitators: Dr. Steve Molyneux, Telford UK; Juan Garcia, Austin TX; Luke Hartman, Oklahoma Christian University; Dr. Frank Lowney, Georgia College & State University; and Dr. Kyle Dickson, Abilene Christian University
Questions? Contact Dr. Kyle Dickson

Two 2006 studies demonstrated that 70 to 80% of students listen to podcasts sitting at their computers, calling into question the reality of learning on the go. Yet since 2006, much has changed, including the introduction of powerful converged mobile media devices. This track will assess changes in the media landscape since the introduction of the iPhone and consider their implications for truly mobile media. Track participants will explore iPhone and iPod touch programs that leverage podcasting and mobile media objects to extend learning beyond the classroom and the desktop. Those participating in this workshop track will:

  • explore applications for producing podcasts, media, and learning objects, including Podcast Producer;
  • discuss emerging trends in the uses of podcasting and new media for in- and out-of-class learning and explore strategies for making these learning tools more effective;
  • learn about organizations dedicated to the creation and deployment of podcasts and new media within the academy;
  • identify best practices for producing and deploying podcasts and other media objects on campus, considering both coordinated campus-wide and program-specific initiatives


Research, Assessments & Methodology

Track Facilitators: Dr. Brad Crisp, Abilene Christian University; Bob Longo, Etech Group; Cynthia Powell, Abilene Christian University; Dr. Scott Perkins, Abilene Christian University; and Brent Reeves, Abilene Christian University.
Questions? Contact Dr. Scott Perkins

Significant attention has been given to the rollout of mobile-learning programs in education, yet the actual impact of these programs on student learning and university life has not been fully demonstrated. To begin remedying this gap, this track will explore how institutions can measure and assess the effectiveness of mobile-learning programs. Individuals selecting this track will participate in a discussion of the various methods, strategies, and pitfalls one encounters when attempting empirically to evaluate these programs. With a focus on topics such as student engagement, academic performance, and increased communication (among others), this session aims to foster a mutual sharing and learning environment in which potential and current researchers can collectively evaluate how best to assist their institutions with the research that will support policy, implementation, and impact decisions. Those participating in this workshop track will:

  • share strategies, successes, and difficulties being encountered by researchers currently assessing mobile learning;
  • determine appropriate “minimal research design standards” for this emerging field--including articulation of assessment strategies for learning concepts under discussion--and delineate directions for research targeting the development and evaluation of new educational theories and models of student learning;
  • discuss the specific contexts for which measures should be designed, including consideration of the potential academic values present in measured non-academic uses and the precautions that should be taken in "automatic-use" data (like number of web hits) in research;
  • brainstorm about how instructors might be challenged to turn existing classroom activities into opportunities for gathering qualitative and quantitative data relevant to these questions.


Web & SDK Programming

Track Facilitators: Pete Akins, University of Cincinnati; Brent Reeves, Abilene Christian University; Dennis Reiman, Florida Community College; and Dr. James Langford, Abilene Christian University
Questions? Contact Dr. James Langford

Several schools have rolled out content and applications specifically geared toward mobile devices. Some schools have focused primarily on the iPhone and iPod touch while others have focused more broadly on serving a number of mobile devices. Some schools have focused on web programming and solutions while others have taken advantage of Apple’s SDK to deploy native applications for the iPhone and iPod touch. This track will take a very pragmatic approach in exploring these various implementations, including discussions of development tools used, code created, and lessons learned. This will be a roll-up-your-sleeves session, so come with code to share and be ready both to learn and to contribute. Those participating in this workshop track will:

  • hear both the successes of and lessons learned by early adopters, helping participants determine which solutions and approaches best fit their situations;
  • explore web development versus SDK development with an eye toward the pros and cons of each approach;
  • decide which development tools to use based on school- and deployment-specific requirements and needs;
  • leave with code in hand for several useful tools.



Institutional Leadership

Track Facilitators: John Bentley, Freed-Hardeman University; Mireille Gotsis, AT&T; John Hermes, Oklahoma Christian University; and Kevin Roberts, Abilene Christian University
Questions? Contact Kevin Roberts

Leadership in any arena is always a challenge, and this is certainly the case in higher education. Participants in this track we will explore how various leadership models can facilitate the launch of coordinated mobility initiatives within colleges and universities. A group of facilitators from universities with broadly differing mobile-learning initiatives will discuss what worked and what didn’t at their universities, with an emphasis on equipping participants to tailor approaches to the specific challenges and situations they face at their institutions. Participants will also collectively brainstorm practical, next-step solutions as mobile learning becomes established in the academy. The goal of this track is to ensure that participants leave with a clearer understanding of which path to take to ensure success in establishing their own mobility initiatives. Those participating in this workshop track will:

  • explore strategies for obtaining executive support and assess the most effective measures for determining ongoing success and maintaining executive support;
  • explore strategies for obtaining and maintaining faculty support and determine strategies to keep faculty engaged;
  • learn how to establish a successful leadership team for mobility initiatives, with an emphasis on pitfalls to avoid and characteristics to embrace in making your team;
  • establish procedures and models for effective planning that ensures the long-term sustainability of mobility programs in higher education.



Logistics & Deployment

Track Facilitators: John Hanlon, Oklahoma Christian University; Ben Kruse, AT&T; Joshua Tooley, Abilene Christian University; and Kay Reeves, Abilene Christian University
Questions? Contact Kay Reeves

This past fall, ACU issued almost 1,000 standalone iPhones and iPod touches to all incoming freshmen, and these devices were activated during a single move-in weekend. Other schools have issued iPhones and iPod touches as part of 1-to-1 laptop initiatives. What both sorts of rollouts share is the need for careful planning and organization. Participants in this track will discuss working with AT&T and Apple to organize and plan for the complex process of providing mobile learning devices to students. Presenters from institutions that have already deployed mobile-learning initiatives will share written, web, and video documentation and will discuss problems, road blocks, and lessons learned--including what they’d do differently next time. Those participating in this workshop track will:

  • discuss key factors in deployment, including location, employee involvement, contracts, documentation and training materials, accessories, and device and network support;
  • explore how existing institutional structures and organizations can support mobile-learning deployment and how deployment will affect these institutional structures and organizations;
  • determine best practices for providing support, maintenance, and training during and after deployment;
  • share training materials, procedures, contracts, and other useful materials.



Infrastructure & Networking

Track Facilitators: John Matthews, Alcatel-Lucent; Tom Zeller, Indiana University; and Arthur Brant, Abilene Christian University
Questions? Contact Arthur Brant

The infrastructure track will focus on connectivity support for mobile learning initiatives. The three main themes covered in this track include: wireless local area networks, cellular data networks, and mobile device characteristics. Specifically, participants will explore how the use of handheld devices differs from the use of laptops and what the implications of this difference are for planning, building, and maintaining wireless networking and other technology infrastructures. This track will focus on real-world, practical answers for how a large-scale deployment of handheld learning alters the landscape, requiring new saturation and scalability models, new architectural considerations, and new networking policies. Those participating in this workshop track will:

  • address concerns about capacity versus coverage designs for wireless local area network capacity;
  • explore constraints associated with physical spaces and co-channel interference, planning metrics and considerations for bandwidth, cellular coverage limitations, and how handheld devices differ from laptops in their interaction with wireless connectivity;
  • determine best practices for the design, deployment, and assessment of wireless local area network connectivity;
  • receive tool set recommendations for planning and measuring wireless connectivity, options for addressing cellular data coverage concerns, and talking points for setting student expectations.



Handheld Learning in the K-12 Classroom

Track Facilitators: Dennis Marquardt, Abilene Christian University
Questions? Contact Dennis Marquardt

While K-12 institutions are increasingly discovering the benefits of technologies like podcasting, online research and discussion forums, and virtual learning environments, few institutions in the US have successfully leveraged mobility as a tool for teaching and learning. With the advent of powerful and relatively inexpensive devices like the iPhone and iPod touch, however, and with the increasing popularity of portable media players and mobile phones (and particularly smart phones), the time has come for serious consideration of handheld learning to meet K-12 needs. Participants in this track will explore the benefits and challenges of mobile learning in the K-12 environment while focusing on the pragmatics of rolling out a successful handheld program for primary and secondary learners. Those participating in this workshop track will:

  • examine key challenges in establishing a K-12 handheld learning program, including navigation of state and local educational policy;
  • assess various K-12 handheld learning programs to discover what characteristics successful programs share and how handheld learning can benefit students at various levels;
  • explore innovative uses of handheld devices to provide audio comments on writing assignments; perform class polling; facilitate self-guided learning, drilling and assessment; enable and support informal discussion; and provide teacher/student and student/student feedback, among other uses;
  • determine funding, support, maintenance, and training models specific to the K-12 environment.



Corporate Spotlight Presentations                                                     

Abilene Christian University

ACU Connected: An Open Roundtable with Teachers & Students

An unscripted conversation with a panel of ACU faculty and students regarding ACU's mobile-learning initiative. We will discuss the first semester's results and hopes for the future. Bring your questions and this group will respond in a collaborative environment meant to nurture discussion and open exploration.

Bradford Networks

Managing and Securing Mobile Learning Networks with Network Access Control

You’re excited about adding mobile learning to your campus.  But how will your limited staff register, secure and manage thousands of additional smart devices?   Learn about network access control from Bradford Networks and how Campus Manager helps Abilene Christian University make their networks more secure and efficient.



Enterprise and Web 2.0.1

This presentation will provide a brief overview of Alcatel-Lucent, and will describe and demonstrate some innovative concepts, products and systems relating toEnterpriseand Web 2.0.1.                                            


Podcast Producer

Podcasting offers an ideal tool for the creative expression of knowledge preferred by today's students, and provides an exciting way for students and educators to explore and discover educational content. From video-recorded lectures to student-created podcasts, new forms of content are enhancing teaching and learning. Podcast Producer, a part of Mac OS X Leopard Server, is a fully automated approach to encoding, augmenting, publishing, and distributing high-quality podcasts for playback in iTunes U and on iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV.


AT&T: End-to-End Solutions for Your Mobile Learning

Is your network ready for a state-of-the-art mobile learning solution?  Learn from the company that brings you the world’s most secure, reliable and intelligent network.  From the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 to the launch of the iPhone and beyond, AT&T has been dedicated to supporting the needs of education.  We're recognized as the leading worldwide provider to businesses of IP-based communications services. We're also the top 
region>U.S. provider of wireless, high speed Internet access, Wi-Fi, local and long distance voice. Our dedicated professionals can help you tailor the right solution for your needs.

This presentation will review how your institution can leverage the strength of AT&T’s remote connection options, networked applications, integration specialists and consultants to design and deploy an end-to-end solution.  Your mobile users have unique needs; we’ll explore options to ensure that their communication needs are met in the most secure, efficient and cost-effective manner.   We’ll also review how AT&T is driving innovative solutions for education such as telepresence.  Finally, the discussion will feature case studies that highlight how AT&T has put technology to work to serve the needs of higher education and K-12 institutions.

Studywiz Spark

Web 2.0 learning on the iPhone and iPod Touch 

Join us to see how award winning Studywiz Spark Mobile extends student access to a broader range of curriculum resources, communication and collaboration tools to optimize learning opportunities outside of the classroom and on the go. Students can access Studywiz Spark Mobile to take tests, access real time information, check their calendars and even join in class discussion groups. Mobile eLockers enable storage of all file types and the ability to record audio, with access both on and off line, anywhere and anytime. 

Studywiz Spark is the first learning environment with a dedicated mobile learning interface designed specifically for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch, Asus EeePC and other handheld devices. Studywiz products are used in 26 countries around the world including the region>USA, region>UK, region>China, region>Germanyand region>Australia.

Turning Technologies

Turning Technologies Student Response Solutions

Explore the benefits of Student Response Systems.  Learn how the latest advances in student response technology can help engage students in interactive learning  and gather valuable data and feedback.  Transform presentations into powerful data collection tools with the use of Turning Technologies award winning software.


Visual Design for Mobility

While programmers were hammering out code, Chad Q. Martin created the visual look of ACU Mobile.  In this presentation, Chadwill outline his design process from concept to finished product and the lessons learned along the way. Expect to walk away with a graphic artist's perspective on developing mobile user interfaces and an insider's view at the visual prototypes of ACU Mobile.

The State of Mobile Learning
Students using iPhones in classroom discussion
So much about the way we teach, learn and communicate is up for grabs. Educators are using new tools and technologies to reach their students - but what does the future hold?
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