Usually a conference has a keynote speech. The UMaine System Faculty Institute (May 20) had two extraordinary keynotes.
The first speaker, Dr. Lodge McCammon, showed his one-take video technique in action. As the name implies, he records short lecture videos in a single take. Then he shows the videos in class, as he makes the rounds. He interacts with students and observes reactions to the video content. Shorter than live lectures, the videos free up more time for active engagement.
The second speaker, Erin Knight, discussed digital badges as a way of recognizing and verifying skills. Badges can help learners see connections among their achievements. Badges can even foster connections among an area’s learning opportunities, as in the Cities of Learning movement or the Maine State of Learning project.
In his keynote, Dr. Lodge McCammon also pointed out the difference between a suggestion and unsolicited advice: the former leads to more buy-in than does the latter. These ideas are suggestions. One-shot videos may not work in every situation (when the technology fails, for ex.). Badges are but one way to document learning. Still, both ideas merit consideration. Each is a way to communicate information–about course content or about one’s achievements respectively.