There’s Something in the Air

No, not that, or at least, not only that. It’s the 2006 Faculty Academy, UMW’s 11th annual instructional technology conference. I’ve been to all of them and last night I found myself reflecting on how this one stacked up.

There’s an energy level here that I didn’t see consistently in earlier conferences. First, there are more participants than ever before, well over a hundred. Second, we have more sessions, twice the number from last year. The audience in the sessions seemed more engaged. Few people seem inattentive. I also noticed more buzz in the hallways between sessions and during breaks.

Every one of the presentations I’ve heard was excellent. I don’t say that lightly. It hasn’t always been that way at Faculty Academies in the past.

I am curious about the concurrent sessions I wasn’t able to attend. Were they as good? There’s a way to find out–in addition to the really cool faculty academy wiki and blog, all the sessions are being recorded to be podcast. If you didn’t make the Faculty Academy, you can still hear it with the podcasts.

Could we be nearing the proverbial tipping-point?

P.S. Let me be a two-armed economist for a moment: I wonder about the rest of our university’s faculty. They missed this. Why? Don’t they understand that this is a world class opportunity for faculty development? Or is there something about the term “instructional technology” which allows them to opt out? If so, that’s a shame.

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