Technology Day 2011 was recently held in Richard Harris Terrace at BMCC’s main campus, and featured keynote speaker Michael Graham Moore, Ph.D.
Moore is an internationally renown distance learning expert whose career spans from using listserv technology in the eighties—connecting students in Pennsylvania with students in Mexico—to helping create E-Learning opportunities through alliances of African nations, promoting economic development, research and training projects with the World Bank, UNESCO and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Founder of The American Journal of Distance Education, Moore was awarded the title of Senior Fellow by the European Distance Education and E-Learning Network, teaches at Penn State University and predicted in his address, “online courses will be the change agent for campuses.”
Among other points, he focused on the equality of access E-Learning provides, and gave an overview of successful E-Learning pedagogy, stressing the value of “distributing teaching to where learners are,” and “structuring the emergent learning process that occurs in technology-based student projects,” with learning objectives and assignments to monitor progress.
According to Moore, "we are moving from an information age to an interactive age,” with student learning become more self-organized, collaborative, and distributed by the learners, themselves.
Distance learning, he said, is part of technology’s unprecedented growth. “Ten percent of all humans are on Facebook,” he said, adding that Amazon’s sale of eBooks now outpaces that of hard copies—and one-fourth of all college students take online courses.
In future, Moore predicts, “distance learning will move away from IT [information technology] operations, to the academic side of institutions,” and he emphasized the need for funding to accommodate “front-end” planning, for effective online courses.
Looking into the future
Throughout Tech Day, participants got a glimpse into E-Learning’s future—through opportunities today.
In a busy demofest area, they learned computer security tips, tried out assessment and gaming software, explored iPad Apps and Smartboard technology, and viewed assessment podcasts. They also learned of tech supports for BMCC faculty, staff and students, including the E-Learning Technical Support Center.
In breakout sessions, participants discussed social media in instructional settings, math and science research options, and how to motivate online discussions. They explored Wikis to enhance science literacy, e-portfolios and Blackboard’s online exams—advantages and disadvantages.
They also shared ideas on creating online communities, using E-Learning to streamline multi-course instruction, and “going green”—teaching face-to-face with paperless technology.
“BMCC faculty are CUNY leaders in the research on technological and gaming approaches to the delivery of rigorous content,” BMCC President Antonio Pérez said in his recent State of the College address, and the college’s E-Learning leadership was evident throughout the day—even celebrated in a drawing including “techy” prizes such as a Nook E-book reader.
The BMCC Office of Academic Affairs, E-Learning Center, Teaching Learning Center, College Computing Center, Instructional Technology department, and Media Center organized the event.