In addition to the SocialLearning.ca workshop at the ETUG event last week, I also was on the closing panel. I presented a a short riff on some of my biggest
screw-ups learning experiences trying to foster and support social software the past few years. In the ensuing discussion, many said with IT departments strapped for resources that the costs of supporting innovation were prohibitive. I think I got people’s attention by citing Jon Udell’s recent column and blog post about how much the University of Mary Washington team gets for 6.95 a month. A couple people came up to me afterward to clarify the reference, which is partly the motivation for this post.
I also mentioned how much bang the UMW crew got by effectively using a blog, a wiki, Flickr and other simple tools to enhance and document the experience. Now here come the podcasts. Conveniently for my purposes, the first podcast is A Fantastico Expedition: Massive Web Innovation on 6.95 a Month, a joint presentation by UMW wizards Martha Burtis, Patrick Gosetti-Murrayjohn, Jim Groom, Andy Rush, and Jerry Slezak. Check out Gardner’s intro, and do download the podcast he links to. Tons of wonderful stuff — adherence to Levine’s Law, work as play, iterative planning, and an abundance of energy and openness that is contagious. I can see why Udell would want to write about it. And the quality of the recording is outstanding — I hope Gardner will post on the mic set-up they used (he did share some bits here).
Disclosure: Last year I was a guest participant at UMW’s 2005 Faculty Academy, along with Bryan Alexander. To this day, I count being one of “The Br*ans” as one of the greatest honours ever conferred on me. I was simply blown away by the vibe of the place. Not just with the instructional tech staff, but with the inventive faculty as well.
I never did blog my thoughts of that event properly. In part because it’s taken some time to process what an important few days it was for me. But one year on, I’d like to share some media with you. At the closing dinner, a few of us were asked to give our thoughts with an impromptu speech. I could not for the life of me remember what I said, but fortunately audio exists. I edited it down from the original 45 minutes, check it out: Brian Loves Richmond (3:35, 3.2 MB MP3). Imagine my embarrassment when I was informed afterward I was in Fredericksburg, not Richmond.