The month of March has been full of final lab preparations for our grand opening on April 4. As part of preparations, we have had the chance to invite in a number of student groups representing both K-12 and college ages to try out the equipment and test the space. Dr. Brant Miller and Dr. Aleksandra Hollingshead, both faculty members in Curriculum and Instruction, have held their normally scheduled classes in the new space, and other groups that have come into the lab have include homeschool and youth groups. In these test sessions, students have been amazed at the technology available and the possibilities they can afford for education. Some of the technologies that students have been most excited about have included wearable technologies (e.g., Google Glass), interactive displays, and mobile technologies (e.g., tablets, pocket cameras).
Throughout this testing phase, we've been bug testing and fine-tuning the lab to be as functional and streamlined as possible, and we have made some major adjustments during the process (including improving wireless connectivity and ethernet capabilities in the classroom). Through this process, our technology provider Compview and University of Idaho Information Technology and Facilities Services have provided excellent support and helped us to get the lab to a state where we are excited to finally go online! Our grand opening on April 4th will include a ribbon cutting ceremony with a number of dignitaries and an open house for all interested parties from 12pm to 4pm.
As part of our ribbon cutting ceremony, we will be highlighting the impact that the Doceo Center has had in the short ten months of its existence and directing participants and media to our improved Impact Dashboard, which highlights our numerous professional development, outreach, and research outcomes. This month we also released two new publications as follows:
- Kimmons, R. (2014). Social networking sites, literacy, and the authentic identity problem. TechTrends, 58(2), 93-98.
- Kimmons, R. (2014). K-12 web systems: A descriptive web-crawling report on Idaho schools. Moscow, ID: Doceo Center for Innovation + Learning, University of Idaho.
The first was published in a widely-read, peer-reviewed educational technology journal and explored issues related to social media use in education and teacher preparation. The second is a report of a web-crawling project we conducted on K-12 school websites in the state of Idaho, which sought to understand the types of web systems used by schools and to identify patterns of adoption (e.g., open vs. proprietary systems). This month we also submitted several additional joint grant proposals and manuscripts for publication, and our research and resources footprint continues to grow, as we have recently added several Faculty Fellows to our ranks who are now contributing to our Research and Sharing Portal and have branched out into adding resources on new subject areas including Physical Education and Music.
This month we've also announced two new exciting professional development opportunities to K-12 teachers in the state: our Technology and Open Education Summer Institute and a joint Northwest Inland Writing Project (NIWP) Summer Institute. Our Technology and Open Education Institute will be the first of its kind in Idaho and will bring together K-12 teachers to create open educational resources (e.g., open textbooks) that may be used in their classrooms and throughout the state. The Technology and Open Education institutes will be held in Moscow, ID, in the months of June and July, and details may be found on the Doceo Center website.
The NIWP Summer Institute is a collaboration between the Northwest Inland Writing Project (NIWP), the Idaho State Department of Education’s Core Coach Network, and the Doceo Center for Innovation + Learning, and at this institute, participants will integrate technology to support Common Core writing standards and to increase student engagement throughout the writing process. The Region I Institute will be held at University of Idaho Research Park in Post Falls June 16-27, while the Region II Institute will held at the University of Idaho’s Doceo Center Lab in Moscow August 4-15. Registration information is available on the Doceo Center website.