Rewiring the Classroom - University of Iowa, February 23 2013
This weekend, the University of Iowa was host to Rewiring the Classroom, a symposium which focused on critical applications of digital technologies in undergraduate classrooms. My fellow University of Iowa HASTAC scholars (Audrey Altman and Craig Carey) and I were so excited about the enthusiastic response we received (and a little scared, it's true: nothing like having to close registration early because we had no room to put more people!) from both people who wished to attend and from departments and centres across campus. We owe particular thanks to the Obermann Center and to the Digital Studio for Public Humanities, who provided some invaluable logistical support and advice.
Our presenters (who all braved the bitter Iowan February weather—troopers all) offered practical, hands-on workshops about new technologies, paired with critical discussions about the pedagogical values of these technologies. As you can see from the programme, they covered an astonishingly wide array of topics in just one day: WordPress, Wikipedia, badge systems, Omeka, recorded sound, public engagement, OS Grid, geographical information systems, and bringing research and archives into the classroom.
The one real downside of being a conference organiser is, of course, that you don't have the time to experience all the wonderful discussions that people are having because you're too busy making sure that there's still enough coffee and everything is running on time. I can't sit down to write and reflect about the sessions because I experienced them only in bits and pieces, refracted through the conversation of our participants in the hallways and at lunchtime.
Luckily, our conference attendees have stepped in to bridge the gap, and to both provide commentary about Rewiring the Classroom as it happened, and to discuss it afterwards! Several people live tweeted throughout the day, and you can follow along with them at #uirewire. One of our speakers, Prof. Bridget Draxler of Monmouth College (and a former University of Iowa HASTAC fellow), has written a fantastic post about Rewiring the Classroom. Check it out for her discussion of the sessions in which she participated: on Omeka and Google Sites, on engaging a diverse public through the digital classroom, and on public writing and social media. Sadly, one of our microphones decided that Saturday was a good day to give up the ghost, but we did manage to get recordings of two of our roundtable discusssions, which you can check out embedded below.
And of course, if you were an attendee and have links to other reactions/reflections about the day, please drop me a comment or an email! We'd love to hear from you.