MERLOT Conference 2009 – San Jose

MIC 09 Final Day

Posted in Conference Info by janepmoore on August 16, 2009

MIC09_200wWe’ve had such a great group in San Jose.  Thanks to all our Tweeters and to the conference committee for a wonderful, diverse set of presentations.  Check out some examples of presentations on!

Be sure that you’re a member of MERLOT ( and watch the site for conference updates.

Jane Moore, Conference Chair

Gaming in a Standards-based World

Posted in Conference Info by Dorothy Fuller on August 11, 2009


I’m almost packed and ready to fly to San Jose for the MERLOT International Conference, 2009. I can’t wait! Looking over the program I recognize the lady in a shoe boutique feeling: So many wonderful things to try! So many choices to make! But Midwestern practicality is strong, and I find that my choices run to searching out items that will support both my teaching needs and my techno desires.

In my teaching world I, along with many of my colleagues, feel squeezed between the requirements of standards-based teaching and the growing demand to retool courses with more technology and greater levels of learner interactivity. In that environment, I found myself scanning the program for games and simulations that merge leadership theory with personal practice. It didn’t take me long to find an exquisite pair.

Juliette Bourdier is offering “Teaching/Learning with Gamelets” on Friday afternoon, 5:30 – 6:00 in the Monterey Room. This presentation focuses on the development of simulations that help learners generalize their knowledge, skills and concepts from the classroom to their positions and responsibilities in the world of work.

On Sunday morning, 11:30 – 12:00,  In “Got Game? Serious Games for Education,” Jeff Borden will be inviting all who come to the Carmel Room to participate in a game of educational clue so that we can gain first hand experience in how a game can be designed and integrated into the curriculum to meet learning outcomes and content objectives.

Wow, what a deal! Classy and practical all at the same time! I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

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MERLOT & Second Life Adventures

Posted in Conference Info by cguenter on August 10, 2009
New teaching adventures in Second Life!

New teaching adventures in Second Life!

The MIC ’09 Conference in San Jose, CA is almost upon us. This coming Thursday, August 13, the preconference sessions and leadership meetings get under way. And then Friday the wide range of educational technology, MERLOT-using and MERLOT-musing sessions go into high gear. I am actually looking forward to many sessions at the MIC, but the ones that make me think a bit harder, consider new approaches and test my comfortable efforts are the ones that I will seek and attend. In reviewing the MERLOT program, there are three that have me thinking already. All of them deal with Second Life, two of them are offered on Friday, and one of them I am presenting with my CSU, Chico colleague and friend, Ann Steckel, on Saturday.

On Friday from 10-10:30 in the San Jose room (easy to remember), Angelyn Flowers is presenting Moving from the Classroom to the Virtual World: A Case Study of a Program’s Journey. She offers us a case study of the challenges faced by an undergraduate criminal justice program in transitioning some of its classes to the virtual world – Second Life. Case studies provide us with wisdom hard-won. I’m not in criminal justice, but I know I will learn some key points about what worked and didn’t from someone who “has been there.”

Later, on Friday afternoon as the featured session from 4-4:30 PM in the Donner Room, Jonathan Richter is showcasing the efforts of MERLOT in Second Life. Come and see what MERLOT is doing in Second Life now at The Center for Learning in Virtual Enviroments (CLIVE): a new island, a new set of MERLOT tools for virtual worlds, and new opportunities! I want and need to know what CLIVE is and how MERLOT is now engaged in this aspect.

MERLOT T-shirts available for your SL avatar!

MERLOT T-shirts available for your SL avatar!

And, last but not least, on Saturday from 1:30-3:30 PM in the San Martin Room, Ann Steckel and I offer you a hands-on option (or not) to delve into Second Life yourself with lots of peer support. Our session, You Have Your Second Life Avatar. What’s Next? was originally scheduled during the pre-conference sessions on Thursday, but was moved to Saturday afternoon so anyone could participate. Ann will be presenting via Second Life from Chico, CA. I will jump into SL as my avatar, Friday Karu, and those of you who have avatars and attend this session will join us inworld for some engaging activities that could be applied to your own teaching and learning sessions. If you do not have an avatar, you can still attend and watch the interaction inworld on the screen. (The session assumes you already have an avatar with some basic skills.)  We have made a SL MERLOT Overview book and a variety of colorful MERLOT T-shirts for your avatars. We also offer some different paths for getting started in SL along with some SL educational resources to keep you going long after MIC ’09 is over. Even though I will be presenting information, I am expecting to gain some new insights during the session. I always learn from my MERLOT peers. It is always an adventure with MERLOT and Second Life! See you soon in San Jose and inworld!

Cris Guenter (AKA Friday Karu)

If you can’t be at MIC 2009 in person….

Posted in Conference Info by janepmoore on August 5, 2009

Are you out of professional development money? Do you have a conflict and are unable to attend MIC09?

MERLOT is pleased to announce that you can attend the 2009 MERLOT International Conference remotely! We feature a variety of live sessions for those who cannot travel to San Jose.  If you register as a Remote Participant, you will have access to the following:

· Live Keynote speakers and Presentations by Award winners on Elluminate

· Several live regular sessions that are offered remotely through Elluminate

· Four special sessions that showcase using Second Life in Education

· Asynchronous sessions that are enabled through TechSmith technology

Even though you can’t physically attend the MIC09, you can be with us in spirit by registering at our remote rate of $95.  You don’t need any special equipment to access these sessions; just click on the URLs that we send to you.

You can register now:

“See you” at the MIC09!

Jane Moore, Conference Chair

How to Twitter about the MERLOT International Conference

Posted in Conference Info by cathyswift on July 30, 2009

twitter_logo_headerDo you Twitter?  Even if you don’t, you can easily learn how at an online webinar on Tuesday, August 4th at 2 PM Eastern/ 1 PM Central/ Noon Mountain/ 11 AM Pacific.  David Wicks from Seattle Pacific University and Associate Editor of the MERLOT Teacher Education Editorial Board will be sharing information on Twittering at conferences, before, during and after.  

david_without_glasses_small1Join us as David provides instructions for how to use Twitter, and then talks about Twitter etiquette and how to interact with presenters and other attendees at the MIC09.  You can attend the webinar by clicking on the following URL on Tuesday at the times listed above:  Sign in as a guest with your first and last name and let’s learn to Twitter or improve your techniques.

If you already have a Twitter account, we hope you will follow the MERLOT conference at

MERLOT International Conference participant tweets can be seen with this search.

For questions or additional information, contact

Cathy Swift

Teacher Ed Favorites

Posted in Conference Info by janepmoore on July 29, 2009
Teacher Ed Board MIC08

Teacher Ed Board MIC08

As Editor of the Teacher Education Board, I’m always learning from my colleagues on the Board.  One of the favorite activities in our conference calls (held every two weeks) is to share new websites and more importantly, how we use them in our teaching.  Though we come from institutions all across the country, we have so many common interests—and collectively, amazing expertise in integrating technology.  I often think that my MERLOT colleagues are the best professional development resource I have!

This year, as we have done at previous MICs, we each plan to showcase a favorite learning object that we have actually used in our practice.   A new twist this year (pun intended) is that we’ve created a Twine site which highlights each of our favorites with annotation.

We hope you’ll join us on Friday, August 14 at 1:30 in the San Carlos Room.

We’ll be taking a look at the Teacher Education Award winner, Jing, and eight other fabulous sites.  Join Dorothy Fuller, Black Hills State; Cris Guenter, CSU Chico; Diane Judd, Valdosta State; Judy McEnany, Montana State-Billings; Gabe Mydland, Dakota State; David Wicks, Seattle Pacific, and me to see some real MERLOT winners.  You’ll have a chance to add some of your favorites to our Twine, too!

Jane Moore

National-Louis University, Chicago

Intriguing MIC Sessions…

Posted in Conference Info by janepmoore on July 27, 2009

LauraFranklinOne of the more exciting features of working on the MERLOT International Conference committee is definitely the opportunity to select such a diverse range of concurrent presentations from the many creative proposals we receive each year.

In 2009, Track one is full of sessions that are just long enough to fully present a concept , yet  brief enough to allow participants to see two different presenters in an hour., bringing home twice the amount of inspiration than is usually possible at a conference. Living in a Twitter-length world, many MERLOT attendees will appreciate the sheer variety of ideas to be presented.

As a community college educator, I am routinely amazed at the diverse learners that I encounter every fall semester. The primary question that I face is how I will effectively reach all of these students. Looking at Track one, I was struck by the session “How a Virtual Learning Environment Can (and should) Help Learners” that offers 500 web resources to engage different learners, with references to generational learning theory. I saw another that will illustrate ways to be more sensitive to cultural stereotypes and hidden biases among teachers and learners, entitled “How do you know what you don’t know?”

I saw a much larger number of presentations in Second Life than in recent years- some with an emphasis on populations that are less-frequently mentioned at conferences I have attended, such as the Virtual Ability session that helps people with disabilities become active in Second Life and another session “From the Classroom to Second Life” that seeks to reach out to the older adult learner.

Still another highlight of this track, is a  “Part Deux session”, by the MERLOT Teacher Education Editorial Board. Teacher Education Favorites: Tried and Proved, Part Deux, offers attendee a chance to hear about some of the best online resources for use in teaching from colleagues who write peer reviews for MERLOT  year-round.  Attendees are encouraged to bookmark their finds and to share their own in what promises to be an incredibly collaborative and practical session. I’m really hoping someone will be tweeting in there. See you at the MIC!

Laura FranklinLauraFranklin

Tags: diversity, Second Life, culture, Twitter

I’m looking forward to getting Energized by MERLOT’s Creative and Collaborative Community

Posted in Conference Info by janepmoore on July 24, 2009
John Whitmer

John Whitmer

For California Community Colleges and other institutions of higher education in our state and across the country, we’re being asked to do more with less, more than ever.  We’re facing increasing student demand to help people improve their position in this economic climate, or recover from a layoff, but are receiving less resources.  Everyone is still striving to do their best, and I’m confident that we’re going to succeed through this period.

I’m looking forward to a breath of fresh air at MERLOT, where leading-edge educators are willing to share their creation, help one another, and demonstrate effective and efficient practices using online teaching and learning resources.  I first attended MERLOT in 2003, and I’ve always been struck by how much peer-to-peer collaboration takes place.  I think it’s reflective of the spirit of the MERLOT applications, which enable us to share our knowledge and resources to support one another’s work.

The conference is always energizing for me personally, and I leave with lots of great ideas and new resources (usually too many!).  I hope you’ll be able to join us this year at the conference!

John Whitmer, Director, California Virtual Campus

Favorite MERLOT Memories

Posted in Conference Info by janepmoore on July 24, 2009

Judy Johnson

Judy Johnson

One of my favorite things about attending the MIC is seeing and sharing information with all the attendees.  I truly love seeing the returning participants and meeting new people.  This is almost like a family reunion.  Sharing stories and ideas of things others have done that have been successful is very inspiring.  For me, the MIC is a total learning experience that makes a huge difference for me and my students. Each year, I leave the MIC feeling inspired and empowered to be a better educator.

Judy Johnson

Join the Pre-conference Workshop on Google Docs, Wikis, Blogs and Other Cool Tools

Posted in Conference Info by cathyswift on July 14, 2009

Jeff Bell, CSU-Chico is presenting a pre-conference workshop that should be of interest to a lot of people who don’t know how to use “cool tools” in their classes. I asked Jeff to share some information about his workshop.

“Web 2.0 is the general term for a set of technologies now common on the web that allow individuals to easily add and edit information on the web. While most of these technologies were not designed with education, or educators, in mind, some of them have the potential to improve instruction. This workshop will introduce the users to a variety of these online services and provide some examples of how they can be used for instruction.

Depending on the interests of the workshop participants, some of the services could include Google Docs, free online word processing, spreadsheet and presentation programs that can be easily edited by groups of students and shared with a class; wikis, online encyclopedias that can be edited and extended by students; blogs, easy online newsletters and discussions; Jing, a free online application for capturing video and snapshots of computer screens for the creation of tutorials; SurveyMonkey, for easy surveys of students or other groups; Ning, for the creation of online discussion groups; and SlideShare, for the easy sharing of PowerPoint presentations.

Workgroup participants will get hands-on experience using as many of these technologies as time and interest permits.”

You can easily register for this pre-conference session, offered on August 13th at 9 AM to Noon, even if you have already registered for the MIC09.

Cathy Swift – Director of Academic Partner Services – MERLOT