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    Innovation in the Classroom

    This week I have the opportunity to participate and present at two sessions at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Faculty Institute on Teaching and Learning (FITL).

    FITL is an annual two-day conference, where faculty members at RIT present to other RIT faculty (and this year to selected faculty from Nazareth College, SUNY Geneseo, Syracuse and other local colleges) on new research and the application of technology in the teaching process, while recognizing, sharing and celebrating teaching excellence at RIT.

    On Wednesday, May 27 I will be participating in a panel discussion, ‘Using a Wiki in Your Online, Blended or Campus Course: RIT Faculty Explain Why, When and How’.

    Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a huge proponent of wikis for use as a teaching and learning tool, and have made extensive use of the technology in my recent classes. In this panel, I along with three other RIT faculty members will discuss how wikis were used in our classes, offer some advice and recommendations for introducing wikis into a class, and finally do a brief demonstration of the wikis that were used in our recent classes.

    As my last class did so many fantastic things in the wiki, I am really looking forward to the chance to ‘show-off’ their work a bit to a larger audience.

    Then on Thursday, May 28 I will be co-presenting and facilitating a session titled, ‘Fostering Innovation at RIT: Best Practice Tools and Techniques’ with RIT Professor Donna Dickson.

    This session reviews some leading theories on innovation, introduces some strategies and approaches that faculty may introduce to encourage increased student innovation, and finally discusses some specific tactics and methods that I personally have used in my classes to try and encourage more innovative practices.

    My part of the session is mostly about the various ‘community outreach’ efforts that I have employed, facilitated certainly by use of social media (this blog, Twitter, SlideShare, etc.), to expand the depth and breadth of the course content. Some of the specific aspects I will discuss are my partnerships with the HR Technology vendor community, (SpectrumHR, Halogen, Tomoye), my use of this blog, and finally a bit on the vibrant community of HR and HR Technology professionals on Twitter that I have been able to ‘tap' for advice, support, and expertise that have all directly improved my knowledge, and the quality of the HR Technology course.

    It should be a fun two days, and I am interested in seeing how the audience of faculty takes to some of the more unorthodox approaches that I have used in class. Hopefully, I can win some more ‘converts’ to the cause of technology, community participation, and transparency.

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    Reader Comments (4)

    We have all lamented the lack of effective use of HR technology, to include social technology, by those charged with HRM delivery system strategy as well as technology selection/implementation/administration/etc. Thank you for preparing the next generation of HR leaders to make progress in these areas. If only you could extend your "franchise" beyond one University. I'm imagining a sponsored course or two (would SHRM pay for this) that covers the basics, with you teaching, and perhaps a master course or two, with me teaching. A wild and crazy thought.

    May 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi Bloom

    Thanks very much for the kind words and for the suggestions. I will certainly consider ways to try and expand what I am trying to do at RIT to other audiences and constituencies. The world of HR Technology is so deep, wide, and fast-moving, that I do believe there should be more of an emphasis on Tech in the classic HR curriculum as well as by the national professional organizations. I truly appreciate you sharing your thoughts here, and look forward to the launch or your new blog later this summer.

    May 28, 2009 | Registered CommenterSteve

    Our T & L staff routinely present to faculty at our college. They have HUGE fans and support from the community. I can't wait to hear how it goes. I am certain you will be a homerun.

    May 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDeirdre

    Thanks for the kind words, Maven. We also have a fantastic staff at RIT in what we call the Online Learning group, and they consistently provide fantastic advice and support. The sessions went really well, and I think we did open some eyes and hopefully got some more faculty thinking about ways to introduce new tools and approaches in their classes. As always, I appreciate your reading and sharing your thoughts here.

    May 30, 2009 | Registered CommenterSteve

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