Speaking

Presentations on many topics related to Educational Technology and e-Learning are available. Below is a sampling of recent keynote presentations, forum sessions, and hands-on lab sessions that I have given.


e-Learning Alphabet: From Atheists to Zealots

The e-Learning Atheist says “You can’t teach that class online – it won’t work!” The e-Learning Zealot says “Maybe YOU can’t teach it online, but I can!” The Atheist says “You’re just trying to replace classroom faculty with computers!” The Zealot says “If you CAN be replaced by a computer, you should be!” And so on, and so on, and so on. We’ll dissect some of the differing points of view from both the e-Learning Atheist and the e-Learning Zealot. To do so, we’ll take a stroll through the e-Learning alphabet; where E is for Entertainment, G is for Generations, M is for Myth, P is for Postman, and Q is for … well, for the lack of a better word, Q is for Quality.


Quality in Online Education

You keep using that phrase. I do not think it means what you think it means.

What does the word “quality” mean in the context of online education? How do you recognize quality when you see it? What steps can we take to improve our quality of online teaching and learning? It’s time to question the conventional wisdom about e-Learning quality and bring some new ideas to the conversation.  Slide deck Princess Bride meme - decorative


Are We Amusing Ourselves to Death?

Based largely on the 1985 book “Amusing Ourselves to Death,” by Neil Postman, this is a journey looking at some of the questions related to edutainment and the current paths that higher education appears to be heading down. Network television forever changed the seriousness of public discourse related to politics, religion, and many other areas. Has the Internet and information technology had a similar affect on education? During this presentation we will consider how technology is impacting the teaching and learning experience. Are the fears of 1984 finally coming true, or are we entering a Brave New World? Some of the flavor of this presentation can be found in a couple of blog posts: Neil Postman and the iPad and Reading List from MnSCU Keynote.


Top Five (or Ten) Online Learning Myths

We’ve have been traveling down the road to e-learning for more than a decade. We can now look back and see whether some of our previous hopes and fears have come to fruition. We can also examine some of the newer thoughts about e-learning in an effort to determine just how much truth there is to some of the rhetoric. This presentation will examine many of the myths and realities surrounding e-learning. Do online faculty really work harder? Do online students really cheat more? Is it true that there aren’t any good practices for teaching developmental courses online? Is online learning really “anywhere, anyone, anytime?” Together we’ll explore some of the online learning myths and realities and make a case for the examination of some unconventional wisdom when it comes to e-learning in higher education. Format: Best delivered lecture/forum style. No computer lab needed. I typically use response cards (clickers) with this session. Time: One-hour minimum to two-hour maximum. This has been presented as a keynote address.

Links to Videos: Part 1 – Intro Part 2 – Students Part 3 – Faculty Part 4 – Conclusion


Tweet This – Social Networking in Higher Education

Are you connecting with your peers in meaningful and useful ways? Are you learning from others and are they learning from you? Do you believe in the premise that “none of us are as smart as all of us?” If so, what are you doing to take advantage of that? These are some of the questions we’ll take a look at in this session to see how social networking is changing the way the world works, and especially how education works. Twitter, Facebook, Ning, and LinkedIn are some of the tools we’ll examine, plus others that probably weren’t even in vogue when this description was written. Particular emphasis will be placed on who in higher education is effectively using these tools and how. Uses both inside and outside of the classroom will be discussed. (New: added 9/09)


It’s NOT my Job to Entertain Students!!

Some faculty say it is not their job to entertain students. Yet, to be entertained is to be engaged. Would they also say it is not their job to engage students? Probably not. The presenters will look at ways you can engage students with technology, in the virtual and face-to-face classroom. Every idea will be something your students can do for free, and many can be used to facilitate student collaborations. One example is a creative writing project where students create an electronic comic strip rather than the same old word processing paper. The presenters will demonstrate several additional ideas using new social technologies. Participants will walk away with resources that provide access to a large number of free, Web-based tools that they can use in their teaching to engage students in new ways.


Completion Rates for Online Courses

Subtitle: What are the expectations, and why? Few things in the online learning world get more exposure or generate more interest than the topic of course completion/success rates. Almost weekly you can find a news article or prominent blog post that accuses online learning of being “lesser than” because of lower completion rates. Let’s examine some of these claims and look for the silver lining in these dark clouds. We’ll look at some actual data about completion rates and see whether the hype is matched by reality. After this session you should be prepared to push back a bit the next time you caught up in this discussion.


Four Tools for Holding Online Office Hours

Faculty who teach online typically need to make themselves available to their students via online office hours. How office hours are held for students at a distance is sometimes a matter of choice, and other times a matter of college policy. In this session, we’ll look at four different web-based tools that enable faculty to connect electronically with students in a one-to-one or a one-to-many real-time environment. All of these tools are free to use and do not require students to create accounts in order to connect.


Who Are These People and What Do They Expect From Me?

Generation Y has hit higher education like a ton of bricks. How is this generation different (or not) and how do they relate to faculty who come from three previous generations: the Matures, Baby Boomers, and Generation X? Do they relate to us, and do they want to? As a faculty member, what do you need to know about these people and how can you leverage their (supposed) love for technology to engage them in the learning process.


Text Messaging with Your Students While Maintaining Privacy

Short Message Service (SMS), commonly referred to as text messaging, is the preferred means of communication for a majority of traditional-age college students, and rapidly becoming more popular with older students as well. Many educators don’t want to send and receive text messages with students, primarily due to privacy concerns or technology concerns. In this session you’ll learn how you can do it safely, easily, and for free. You’ll also learn WHY you should be doing this.


Adding Value to Education with Web 2.0 Tools

Participants will get hands-on exposure to many useful web-based tools that they can use to make their work easier and their assignments more engaging for students.

  • Audience members can try to follow along on their computers, or they can sit back and enjoy the ride.
  • All of my presentation handouts are available on the college website where participants can get updated information at any time.
  • There are many new web applications that are free and easy to use. Many of these services have specific applications in higher education.
  • I will demonstrate these free applications currently being used by students, faculty, and staff.
  • Applications related to digital photos and video, digital music tools, one-to-one and one-to-many communications, mapping, and other services are demonstrated.
  • A presentation Wiki (or other web resource) containing all resources is shared for use after the workshop.

Format: This can be either 1) Forum style (not hands-on), or 2) Hands-on in a computer lab Time: This presentation can be done in one hour. More time allows for deeper examination of the tools and/or more tools to be covered. The amount of material available in this area can effectively be used in either a half-day or full-day workshop.

Presentation materials: alternative 1: Free Web Tools blog site , alternative 2: Massive links page


Using Web 2.0 Tools Inside your VLE

Target Audience: 1) e-Learning Faculty and Administrators looking for free or low-cost communications and collaboration tools for use inside your Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) or Learning Management System (LMS). Description: Barry Dahl will demonstrate the use of several new, free, web-based communications applications that can be used inside the VLE. Many new free Web applications are useful in education with a special emphasis on collaboration and social networking. Barry will demonstrate the use of these applications inside Desire2Learn, but the same principles would apply to any other VLE (Blackboard, Angel, Moodle, etc.) .The growth in the number of new web tools continues to boggle the mind. Trying to make sense of these tools and find those that can be used effectively in the higher education environment can be challenging. Many of these tools can add value for students, faculty, staff, and administrators; and the presenter will endeavor to separate the useful from the useless. The following tools can be demonstrated during the session:

  • audio discussion boards
  • audio email tools
  • blogging
  • digital music tools
  • digital photos
  • digital video
  • instant messaging
  • mapping tools (such as geotagging photos or interactive mapping)
  • podcasts
  • social bookmarking
  • social networking threaded discussions
  • web conferencing
  • web office tools
  • webcam messaging
  • wikis

Format: This can be either 1) Forum style (not hands-on), or 2) Hands-on in a computer lab Time: One-hour minimum to four-hour maximum. A modified version of this presentation can be used as a keynote address.


Myths and Realities of Teaching with Technology

Description: Emerging technologies are being implemented in higher education at an increasing rate. There is a great deal of hope for a bright and shiny future with technology, but also a great deal of hype and maybe the occasional baloney sandwich. Will MOOCs replace our small class-sizes and cozy face-to-face classrooms? Do clickers really engage students, or is that still up to the instructor? Are lectures things that we need to capture, or things that should be allowed to escape? We’ll take a look at these and many other questions as we attempt to separate reality from myth.

Format: Best delivered lecture/forum style. No computer lab needed. I typically use response cards (clickers) with this session. Time: One-hour minimum to two-hour maximum. This has been presented as a keynote address.


Users and Uses of Web 2.0 in Higher Ed

Description: We’ll examine some of the ways free web-based tools are being used in higher education for teaching and learning, marketing, and student support. In addition to Web 2.0, other emerging technologies are also being used in new and innovative ways. What kinds of user-generated content are being created by college students and is this merely a trickle or a tsunami heading our way? Format: This presentation is best given forum style (not hands-on). This has been used as a keynote (special session, actually) presentation. Time: One-hour minimum to two-hour maximum.


Podcasting Without Fruit

Description: This presentation will demonstrate how students and faculty can easily create and share podcasts for academic pursuits. Any class can benefit from the inclusion of an oral communication student requirement or instructor presence. Also, this podcasting session will be different than most – there won’t be an Apple in sight! If you are a Windows user, you can learn how to do this with free and user-friendly software. In this session you will learn

  • the basics of podcasting – what, why, who, where, and how
  • about the equipment (minimal) required to successfully create podcasts
  • to use a free and open-source software available to create and edit your podcasts
  • about free web-based services for delivering your podcasts
  • about how to attract listeners to your podcasts

Format: This can be either 1) Forum style (not hands-on), or 2) Hands-on in a computer lab Time: One-hour minimum to two-hour maximum. Half-day hands-on workshop also works well with plenty of time for experimentation.

Presentation materials – Google Notebook


Creative Commons – an Alternative to Traditional Copyright

Description: This session will explain the Creative Commons licensing option, which is an alternative to traditional copyright that encourages openness and sharing of intellectual property. Topics covered: 1) history of CC development, 2) overview of CC licenses, 3) who is doing it and how to find their content that you can use, 4) why we need the CC licensing options in the U.S., and 5) implications for teaching and learning. Participants will be asked to offer items for discussion of when CC licensing would be appropriate and when it might not. Additional discussion questions will be structured in a way to encourage audience participation. Format: Best delivered lecture/forum style. No computer lab needed. Time: One-hour minimum to two-hour maximum.


Wikis and Blogs and Pods! Oh My!

Description: What do administrators need to know about the Read/Write Web where anyone can publish on the Internet? How can you use some of these tools in your work? How can faculty, staff, and students use these tools effectively and how can you encourage their use in a scholarly manner? If you’ve been hearing about Web 2.0 and want to learn more, then this is the session for you. Topics covered include the What? Why? Who? Where? and How? for the following:

  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Podcasts
  • Communications Tools
  • Social Bookmarking
  • RSS Feeds
  • Web Office Tools
  • Online Video
  • Portal Pages
  • Web Polls

Format: Best delivered lecture/forum style. No computer lab needed. Time: One-hour minimum to two-hour maximum.

Zoho Notebook of Presentation Materials

Zoho Writer Document of Presentation Materials


Online Learner Satisfaction – 4 Years of Data

Description: Lake Superior College has gathered four years of baseline data on student satisfaction with online learning using the nationally-benchmarked Priorities Survey for Online Learners (PSOL). Information related to the structure of the PSOL and the results that have been achieved at LSC, within Minnesota, and nationally will be shared with the audience. Attendees who are looking to effectively survey their online learners will benefit from the information provided in this session. This session will inlcude the following:

  • Survey information about student satisfaction with online learning and e-services
  • Data-based decisions made at the college based on the results
  • Lessons learned from disaggregating the results into various demographic groups
  • Determining a peer group and obtaining a comparison report against that peer group
  • Questions and answers with the audience and discussing other ways of measuring student satisfaction with online learning.

Format: Best delivered lecture/forum style. No computer lab needed. Time: One-hour minimum to two-hour maximum.

Presentation SlideShare (abbreviated)


Blogs & Wikis for Beginners

Description: The varied uses of blogs and wikis are changing how many faculty and students are approaching higher education. The use of these tools in instructional settings is limited only by your imagination. They are very easy to create, use, and manage and require no special technological skills. This workshop starts at the ground floor, it is for newbies. This workshop will illustrate:

  • the fundamental properties of these tools
  • why you might choose to use one or the other of them
  • how quick and easy they are to get
  • how they are currently being used in instruction
  • why you might want to start using them.

Format: This can be either 1) Forum style (not hands-on), or 2) Hands-on in a computer lab Time: One-hour minimum to two-hour maximum.


Reading RSS Feeds – Blog Aggregators

Description: This session will be for employees, and especially targeted at those employees who are looking for an easy way to read entries from multiple blogs … such as faculty who have a whole class of bloggers. It is easy to keep up on new blog posts from a large number of blogs if you use the right tools. In this session you will learn

  • about the different types of feed readers
  • how to use Google Reader
  • how to setup a Bloglines account
  • how to add feeds to the account so that you can easily see when a new blog entry has been posted
  • how to organize the account for maximum efficiency.

Format: This can be either 1) Forum style (not hands-on), or 2) Hands-on in a computer lab Time: One-hour minimum to two-hour maximum.

RSS Presentation Materials


10 Specific Suggestions to Improve your E-Learning Programs and Services

Description: This session will focus on 10 specific suggestions that will help improve the quality of your e-learning programs and help grow your enrollment. Participants should come away with ideas that can be implemented on their campuses to enhance their online learning courses and programs. The session will be organized as a top ten list of suggested improvements with the audience being engaged in discussion and questions centered around each item on the list. The content of this session changes each year as new ideas, opportunities, and techniques are developed and explored. Format: Best delivered lecture/forum style. No computer lab needed. Time: Approximately one-hour.


Online Student Mentors: Employment Opportunities for Distance Students

Description: Lake Superior College offers a very successful employment opportunity for online students. Students who thrive in the online learning environment are hired to serve as online student mentors. Information related to the structure of this mentor program and the results that have been achieved will be shared during this session. Attendees who are looking to create exciting opportunities for students while improving the quality of instruction will benefit from our experience in this area. In this session we will address:

  • Definition of a Student Mentor
  • Basic Qualifications
  • Student Mentor Duties
  • How to Choose a Student Mentor
  • Benefits to Student Mentors, to students in the Course, and to instructors
  • Tips for Creating Successful Mentoring

Format: Best delivered lecture/forum style. No computer lab needed. Time: Approximately one-hour.


Faculty Peer Review for Online Course Design

Description: Using the MarylandOnline Quality Matters rubric as a foundation, Lake Superior College has developed a faculty-driven continuous quality improvement program. Participants should gain an understanding of quality assurance issues, a course quality scoring rubric that can be adapted and used for your own purposes, and one suggested set of processes and procedures that can be followed or adapted. The discussion will center on a faculty-driven project at Lake Superior College to address questions about the quality of online courses and to focus upon continuous quality improvement. Participants should gain an understanding of the issues surrounding quality assurance in online courses, a course quality scoring rubric that can be adapted and used for your own purposes, and a suggested set of processes and procedures that can be followed or adapted. This workshop will:

  • highlight the features of a high-quality online course
  • demonstrate tools for measuring quality
  • illustrate a process for implementing peer course review
  • present a detailed plan for strengthening instructional design for online courses

Format: Best delivered lecture/forum style. No computer lab needed. Time: One-hour minimum to two-hour maximum. Optional: Our faculty leaders have developed a 1.5 day comprehensive workshop for training new faculty peer reviewers.


Presentations can be customized to fit your needs.

2 Responses

  1. Hi Barry, met you briefly at CIT in Salt Lake. I am so impressed! I will be meeting with my other campus CTL reps to discuss possible visit from you this Spring. Do you have any info re: your daily rate; availability, etc?

  2. Hi Marcus,
    I’ll send you an email with more information. I always going to another school in Greater Minnesota. Thanks for the kind words. BD

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