Hitting the Road: Clickers Conference (Houston) & Higher Ed Conference (Ireland)

I’ve giving a keynote at two conferences in early June. The first is the Clickers Conference 2011 in Houston, Texas, June 3-4, hosted by i>clicker. My talk is titled “The Wisdom of Crowds: Clickers, Crowdsourcing, and Educational Technology.” Here’s the abstract:

Social media are used by ordinary citizens across the Mideast to tell the world about protests, crackdowns, and revolutions.  Free and open source software like Linux is developed, debugged, and enhanced by computer programmers around the world donating their time.  Wikipedia’s English version contains over 3.6 million articles that are edited and expanded by over 150,000 active contributors.  What makes these kinds of technology-powered “crowdsourcing” work so well?  In this talk, we’ll explore the principles behind successful crowdsourcing activities, see how those principles can help us use clickers more effectively in our classrooms, and discuss other educational technologies, such as backchannels and prediction markets, that complement clickers and leverage some of these same principles.

This looks to be a great conference. Jim Julius of San Diego State University is giving the other keynote, “Clickers Are an Interim Technology. T or F? Discuss.” Also presenting are Roger Freedman (UC-Santa Barbara) on the inverted classroom; Perry Samson (University of Michigan), inventor of Lecture Tools; Doug Duncan (University of Colorado-Boulder), author of the first book on clickers; and Sidneyeve Matrix (Queens University), speaking on social and mobile technology. The full conference agenda is available, and registration and more info is available on the conference website.

After one night back in Nashville, I’m heading to Ireland for the NAIRTL Annual Conference and Galway Symposium on Higher Education.NAIRTL is the National Academy for Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning, and it’s hosting its annual conference in conjunction with the annual Galway Symposium this year. The theme of the conference is “Engaging Minds: Active Learning, Participation, and Collaboration in Higher Education”–right up my alley! I’ll give a version of my “Wisdom of Crowds” keynote. As for other speakers at the conference, frankly, I don’t know them! But I’m looking forward to getting to know the Ireland higher education community.

Look for some livetweeting from both conferences, assuming I can figure out how to get my Droid to work in Ireland…

Image: “Suitcase,” Sarah Macmillan, Flickr (CC)

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