I suspect that we are all very busy at this time of the year? September is both an exciting and challenging time!
A key component of the OPDF is “development of educational technology pro-d content or items in a bi-weekly electronic (.pdf printable) professional development newsletter about educational technology and online learning across BC’s public post-secondary system ( p6)".
This is a wonderful idea but I think that we all know that one person or one institution producing a province-wide newsletter is a “black hole” for energy with the editor continuously trying to ferret out or cajole articles from harried professionals.
Malaspina proposes a different concept, based on the already very strong collaborative network that we have developed through the University, College, and Institute Professsional Developers network and through the Educational Technology Users Group. The concept is that- for those institutions interested - we create a collaborative editorial board and each participating institution will be responsible for editing and producing the newsletter once or twice per year, dependent on the number of participating institutions. We would devise a schedule so that you would know well in advance the dates your institution will be publishing the newsletter. In this way, we hope to build capacity for editing, sharing, producing and communicating effective technology usage across our province, and potentially beyond.
During the time that your institution produces the newsletter, you will have the right to use about 70% of the newsletter content to highlight the very best technology or teaching, learning with technology innovations evident in your institution. This will enable you to use your Media services or IT to ensure that your articles demonstrate the best possible uses of technology—these will be showcase articles. We would also recommend that some of the articles take a case study approach; describing in detail the development process, implications and analysis of specific technology directions. The remainder of the newsletter (about 30%) would be comprised of cross-institutional initiatives, current provincial news, perhaps international technology initiatives of interest and more. It will be important to include a section that highlights the literature debates about emerging technology uses; we envisage the possibility of an on-line reading circle environment.
Malaspina is able to build the template newsletter (draft). We have already undertaken an analysis of 10 of the top online newsletters and are considering them for design, impact , and feasibility elements. We have a very capable on-line development team and propose that we create two alternatives formats and then have the advisory committee consider them so that we select the most effective on-line newsletter format.
It is intended that the newsletter would incorporate strong ‘pull & push’ factors that encourage a high level of readership. We envisage that the newsletter will incorporate effective communication technologies such as rrs feeds, likely a variation of a WIKI, discussion boards, video streaming or Video feeds. It would be possible, for example, to incorporate interview clips or video clips that demonstrate highly effective new media approaches.
We are interested in possible partners; planning for at least 6 institutional partners and able to incorporate up to 12, or possibly more. We would prefer that the institutional partners represent a range of institutional types and geographic locations. We are working on the funding formala now but intend that each participating institution would receive a percentage of the funding equal to the number of newsletters prepared. Malaspina would retain a percentage equivalent to the costs of finalizing the newsletter template, managing the schedule of the newsletter, and providing support to the institution currently hosting the newsletter.
We are in the midst of preparing the BCCampus proposal form. We welcome expressions of interest and will communicate in more detail with those interested to define partner responsibilities. To indicate interest, please e-mail Nancy Randall firstname.lastname@example.org
Head, Malaspina Teaching & Learning Centre