MERLOT Conference 2009 – San Jose

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


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