So, it seems we haven’t yet reached critical mass.
It wasn’t my intention to sit (mostly) on the sidelines for the last month. It just sorta happened. Too much flux in my life and not enough of the right kinds of stimulation, I guess, but it has provided an interesting opportunity for me to observe what else is happening around the AECT.
And the answer is, frankly, not much.
With my partner-in-crime visiting Prague, and even with PIDT going on and Scott Adams selling blogs to the group of people there, there hasn’t been a whole lot happening.
Three weeks ago, Jim Ellsworth and I had a great exchange about Educational standards (and two NEW comments just showed up today). Some of us have been chatting about pK-16 technology integration but nothing with much bite. They really are methods courses, whatever the syllabus says. And that’s about it.
The question is, “Why?”
The AECT is dying around us. Nobody seems to care — or even notice. Don Little and I have proposed some things. Scott Adams has been twisting arms. Rick Xaver has turned aect-member.org into a dynamic, user-content driven machine that NOBODY is using and looks so much like the content on the aect.org site that it’s not a place even I really want to go. Even the DDL — arguably one of the more contentious and active divisions in the past — had a conference call and nobody attended. Patty and I gave up after 20 minutes.
There is a push on to make the officers more effective leaders. In July there will be a retreat for division officers to get together to start working on building a concensus on what we all believe divisions can/should be and how they should work. I’m part of the planning on that and will be helping to facilitate those discussions. But what if the issue isn’t the officers? What if it’s not the divisions? Or if the problems are based in the divisions themselves? Can a fish critique water?
I gotta tell ya, I’m beginning to feel like the helmsman on the Titanic. I’m thinking we need to turn this boat and I keep getting “I think we can steer a bit further north without any problem” which IS a change of direction, but not one that’s going to do much.
Here are some Problem Points.
a. The majority of people who have communicated with the Strategic Task Force about what they value about AECT is the potential for communicating with others in the field. Yet there is no open membership list where any member can contact any other member. If I want to send a message to the members, I cannot do it. There are no channels to reach those members who are not in any division.
b. A lot of officers are out of the loop. I can’t get anybody in MIM to return my emails. I’m not even sure where/who to write to contact Media Production. I wanted a list of divisional officers and emails but I can’t seem to find anybody who has it.
c. The conference is a great place to meet up with people but the content on the presentations is … not top notch despite the amount of it. People are in a serious bind over presenting and attending — that is, if they don’t have a paper to present, they don’t get to attend. And more and more people are not willing to sit thru YAIDP (Yet Another ID Paper) talk. I’ve got a time slot set for Orlando, and I’m going to talk, but my challenge is to make it “something different.” Don and I have been trying to wrassle up a Presidential Strand on new technology that includes USING that technology, but those presentations are hard to get accepted because they don’t fit in the box. Ward? You’re up after Orlando. Can we start a conversation about what that next conference might be before we get shoe-horned into the next time slot and have proposals due before we even know what we want that conference to be?
Part of the problem is we’re not reaching the audience we need. There have to be hundreds of people out there in AECT-land that have to be interested, engaged, and ready to participate. They’re just not in the conversation. Even with all the outreach and armtwisting we’ve been doing over the last 6 months. My aggregator show’s about 30 AECT bloggers — which is up from 10 six months ago. The AECT tag on technorati has 123 posts from 11 blogs. I DID find a new summer course using blogger.com — Hi, Vanessa — and I know there are others below the radar.
But we have 2300 members. Even allowing that 300 of them are in the loop, that leaves 2000 who are not.
So, what do we do?
How can we shake it up enough to get them engaged?