The other week I had the opportunity to give a keynote address and workshop at the opening faculty meeting at Manchester College in Indiana. I particularly appreciated this invitation because it gave me a chance to do something I’d never done before, namely, to sit down and think through what I believe higher education has the potential to be.
I am happy with the product of my thinking, the notes of which I attach here for anyone interested. Be forewarned, that the segue between keynote and workshop isn’t very clear in the notes.
The trip was enjoyable and the hosts were very gracious. I’ve heard back from several with follow-up questions and comments.
One of the things I tried to do in the presentation was model some of the pedagogies I argue for. I think my intent was sound, but the presentation itself didn’t go as well as I had wished. I forgot to mention to my hosts that I needed internet access for the presentation which was on my laptop. The presentation included about a dozen links out to the internet, which I ended up having to jury rig in real time.
In retrospect, I realize that the world in which I live and work (home and school) is one with ubiquitous wireless access. I simply didn’t think about that. I teach my students that they should always have a backup plan when dealing with technology, and that if at all possible, they should practice on the actual equipment they will be using for their presentation. I wasn’t able to do that, and the presentation suffered as a result.