Higher Education

thoughts on EduComm

I've been contacted a couple times about the EduComm 2009 conference coming up in June. A quick random perusal of the schedule would indicate that the presenters are university admins, IT specialists, and EdTech industry people, though there are a few faculty as well. I wonder if faculty attend the conference, and if so, in what numbers? Of course it is entirely reasonable for industry folks to get together for conferences, just as faculty do, with little or no participation from beyond faculty ranks. But wouldn't it be interesting to put these people in the same room now and then? Some of the panels sound intriguing to me such as on on the "science of social networking" and another on developing an interactive media major.

I wonder if r/c or computers/writing people go to this conference. Panels such as one about ePortfolios would probably be of general interest for first-year writing. And I think one of the things that can be most frustrating in the area of computers and writing is the real disconnect between what faculty are doing and thinking and what EdTech industry people are doing and thinking. I mean I am not being deliberately obtuse when I say that I don't get what Blackboard is thinking when they design their products. Sure I could attribute some cynical or negative explanations, but I'm willing to imagine they have reasons beyond market domination for their designs, that some theory of pedagogy and best practices is informing what they do. But what it is I couldn't tell you. Maybe a conference like this would give some insight into such thinking.