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Major VCU initative: blogs for connected learning

September 14, 2015

Ed tech wonk Garnder Campbell is leading an effort to make connected learning part of the fabric of Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2014 VCU launched an internal blog system called Ram Pages (the university’s mascot is a ram). It’s a scalable environment designed to foster connected learning and digital engagement, where students are encouraged to

  • build an ePortfolio,
  • reflect on their work,
  • make connections,
  • collaborate, and
  • share work with the public.

What intrigues me most. as the initiative moves out of its pilot phase this semester, is that it is being promoted at a very high level. Cambell was hired two years ago as “vice provost for learning innovation and student success.” His other initiatives include re-envisioning the VCU teaching center as a hub for Academic Learning Transformation: the ALT Lab. The new name deliberately suggests that there are viable alternatives to the current paradigms for teaching and learning. One of the ALT Lab’s strategies is a three-day summer event that introduces new faculty to the connected learning paradigm as they begin teaching at VCU.

What do you think, reader? Will faculty and students embrace the new paradigm? How does this differ from an ePortfolio initiative? Is connected learning more than a buzzword?

More about the initiative

Blog strategies

[Image credit: “Connected” by Marie-Chantale Turgeon on Flickr]

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