SUNY’s Center for Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) will be holding its 4th annual conference June 7-8, 2012 at the SUNY Global Center in New York City. This year’s theme is Moving from Me to We: Breaking Boundaries and Building Bridges with Globally Networked Learning Partnerships.
Throughout the next two days, pool of 50 experts from all over the globe will present to a sold-out attendance of more than 130. The guest list is seeded from 25 SUNY schools and 50 other institutions around the world. The diverse body is appropriate for the theme; one that showcases the Center’s overall mission to develop an online network for international collaboration. This will allow students and institutions at home and abroad to easily communicate with each other. It will also include international online courses that encourage students to become culturally diverse without necessarily costing them the time, money and commitment of a study abroad program.
This year’s workshops at COIL directly address SUNY’s need for a greater international focus as recently highlighted in SUNY’s strategic plan, The Power of SUNY. “COIL leverages what makes SUNY a great system of higher education: world-class faculty, extensive experience and success with international programs, distance education and online learning to provide global and cross cultural experiences for SUNY students who would otherwise be denied access,” hails SUNY Empire State College Provost Meg Benke, who attended the conference last year.
SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher regards COIL as a game-changer in higher education. “Allowing students to virtually experience higher education abroad without leaving campus is a deeply innovative concept that is taking shape and putting down roots across the U.S. and internationally,” says Chancellor Zimpher. “As a truly global community that serves more than 18,000 students from more than 160 nations, SUNY is proud to be at the forefront with COIL.
Sessions are held in multiple formats such as single-speaker, panel discussions and workshops. The more than two-dozen topics are diverse yet maintain this year’s central theme. In What do new cloud-based Learning Management Systems mean for the future of Globally Networked Learning?, a team of industry pioneers discuss future mobile access to learning management systems such as CourseSites and Canvas (systems used by SUNY schools). In The Expanding Globally Networked Landscape: Soliya, iEARN and INTENT, a panel of experts discuss the real-world challenges and possible resolutions to applying a global network for SUNY. The session addresses the challenge of legitimizing the innovative concept amidst skepticism from some heads of traditional education.
This 4th annual conference is a prominent step toward deeper understanding and universal access for SUNY students, staff and affiliates. Internet video streaming of each presentation will be made available for guests who cannot attend and all session recordings will be made available on COIL’s website, www.COILcenter.Purchase.edu.
Maxwell was a Coordinator of Digital Engagement for The State University of New York.