2012 Presidential Award for Excellence

Jason Rhode receiving Presidential Award for Excellence from NIU President John Peters

I was honored to have been nominated for, and having received, the 2012 NIU Supportive Professional Staff Presidential Award for Excellence in recognition of “excellent performance and significant contributions to Northern Illinois University.” Only four such awards are given each year to NIU staff and the award can only be received once…so it was quite a humbling experience to have been honored in this way.

The best part of receiving the award was that my family was able to be a part of the awards ceremony, even though I think my two little girls had the most fun climbing up and down the stage before the ceremony πŸ™‚

Rhode Family with NIU President John Peters, April 17, 2012

I look forward to many more years of serving the faculty and staff of NIU…forward, together forward!

2011 SLATE Star Award

My colleagues and I with the NIU Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center received the 2011 SLATE Star Award in recognition of outstanding contributions and dedicated service to SLATE – Supporting Learning And Technology in Education. We were recognized and presented with the award at the 2011 SLATE Conference at the University of Chicago.
Stephanie Richter, Caroline Conlon, Ken Sakowski presenting award, Jason Rhode, Olga Urban
SLATE – Supporting Learning And Technology in Education, the Midwest Blackboard Users Group, was created from the concept that all institutions that are deploying and/or currently using Web-based components to enhance their teaching and learning activities, have the same questions, the same challenges, and the need for the same solutions. By drawing together the expertise of the people involved in the entire academic experience and those designing, supporting, and using these applications; faculty, support staff, systems administrators, instructional designers, librarians, and students – a broader and more accessible and dynamic support system could be established. The current membership of SLATE encompasses over 80 institutions including K-12, Higher Education, and the Corporate sector.

The SLATE mission is: To support learning and technology in education through communication, collaboration, and innovation while developing a community of practice.

The SLATE Star Award was established in 2004 as a way to recognize an individual who has shown leadership, demonstrated initiatives, presented new ideas, improved procedures, established effective relationships or provided substantial resources that have effected the success and promotion of SLATE, the educational experience, and/or the general Blackboard Community of Practice. For more information about SLATE, visit slategroup.uchicago.edu

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Online Learning

In case you’ve missed the official announcement, the University of Illinois Springfield‘s Center for Online Learning, Research and Service is organizing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Online Learning Today…and Tomorrow!

It is free. It is non-commercial. It is an open opportunity to collaborate. Here are a few more of the details:

When: Registration is Free and Open now! The course runs 6/27 – 8/20, 2011

Resource site is now open…you can see where we are going, the course will evolve
Live Webinar panel discussions every Thursday 2p EDT, 1p CDT, Noon MDT, 11a PDT beginning with the first session on June 30

Where: http://sites.google.com/site/edumooc is the home/resource site. Discussions for those who register will be hosted by Google Group eduMOOC

Twitter hashtag is #edumooc

Diigo tag is edumooc to share additional resources

Why: To learn, collaborate and network with interesting and knowledgeable colleagues

Join us in building resources; discussing today and the future of online learning. Sign up today. It’s totally free – do as much or as little as you choose – no advertising – just collaboration, communication and networking with colleagues in online learning. Simply register with an email address at the site below and join in this worldwide collaborative event!


Instructional Technology Coordinator Position Opening

We have an opening at the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center at NIU for an Instructional Technology Coordinator. Below I’ve included the ad and link to download the complete position description. Come join our team or spread the word to others who might be qualified and interested!

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1,000+ miles across Colorado

I spent June 13-20th with my brother-in-law Justin and father-in-law Terry riding across Colorado on our motorcycles. We loaded the motorcycles on my trailer and left Friday evening, June 13th after work and towed them 18 hours to Colorado Springs where we spent the night at Justin’s cousin, Travis & Britta’s house. From there, we drove on the bikes to Pagosa Springs to spend a couple of days with Justin’s family and in-laws before hitting the road and spending 3 more days on the road en route back to Colorado Springs and then finally home. In total, we put on 1,027 miles on the motorcycles and another nearly 2,000 miles in the Explorer towing the motorcycles to Colorado and back. All in all, we had a great trip and many fond memories that will no double be talking about for years to come.

All the photos from our trip are available here. For the slideshow, click here.

Anyone interested in the route we took, here are the maps for our routes that Justin planned out using Google Maps: