We've all done it. We attend a really great conference, meet super smart people, have engaging conversations and leave with a plan to implement a bunch of ground-breaking projects. We get back to our office with renewed enthusiasm and maybe even round up a team to begin planning. Then what happens? We start running into obstacles: "We don't have the financial resources for this," or "We don't have the staff to manage that." Obstacles turn into delays and soon the project is on the back-burner. The daily grind sets in and we completely forget about our cool, new ideas ... until the next year when we're sitting at another conference, having another great conversation.
If this cycle sounds familiar, you might be excited to know that the folks at eLiterate are trying to do something about it! The Empirical Educator Project (EEP) is an attempt to create a framework that connects great minds across industries. The project joins educators with researchers and vendors who can help transform ideas into action. EEP's first summit was held February 28th at Stanford University with 50 participants. Michael Feldstein (co-author of eLiterate) states his two big takeaways in a recent blog post:
Participants supported the idea that we need to be connected with the right people and resources for true progress to be made. When that happens, the ideas start flying!
Participants agreed with the work of Lauren Herckis, an anthropologist from Carnegie Mellon University, who suggests we need to address the "cultural blockers" that prevent faculty from adopting new practices.
To stay up to date with the most recent happenings, visit the Empirical Educator Project page. That page also contains contact information if you're interested in participating in a future summit.