In recent weeks there has been a lot of discussion about how to create cross pollination among the faculty fellows. This week's big accomplishment for our groups has been to arrange a joint summit with Chris Long's group. The Fellows are also scheduled to be on a panel for the Summer Camp, but I hope there are more opportunities.
When we compared notes on projects, it definitely seemed like there was a lot of overlap. Allan asked what we thought the common theme was, and on further reflection, I think it's that we all are working towards a common vision of the Internet being a place where anyone, anywhere can contribute to the knowledge of the community (and I count brisk discussion as an important part of that).
Ellysa Cahoy has been focusing on new information literacy - which not only allow students to filter the enourmous amount of content out there but hopefully will allow them to make intelligent contributions. Carla Zembal-Saul has been focusing on student portfolios, which is an important skill to allow us to organize and share what we are learning with the world. Chris Long has been focusing on how the Internet can enable discussions of the type practiced by Socrates...but with a potentially much larger stage. And Stuart Selber has been focusing on how technical writers need to prepare for a world where users may be providing "official instruction" on a product.
I think there's been lots of interesting discussion going on and it's giving a lot of us a rare opportunity to think about how our jobs really can impact Penn State and the larger world. As I said, I hope there are more opportunities for cross pollination out there for us and the Learning Design community. These instructors have a lot to teach us.
If you want to sample what we are thinking, I would recommend Mary Janzen's last blog entry on technical writing. As always, I find it very interesting reading.