SUNY’s Exploring Emerging Technologies for Lifelong Learning and Success (#EmTechMOOC)

Concurrent Session 11
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Everyone needs 21st-century skills: communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. These skills are demonstrated by using emerging technologies effectively and finding factual information on the Internet. SUNY’s Emerging Technologies for Lifelong Learning & Success (#EmTechMOOC) offers discovery exercises that allow participants to gain skills and experience necessary for today's digital society.


Roberta (Robin) Sullivan is an Emerging Technologies Librarian and Head of Media Services with the University at Buffalo Libraries. She encourages students and faculty to explore and reflect on the effective use of emerging technology tools to expand tech-infused pedagogy. She has been deeply involved in the development and implementation of online learning initiatives. Sullivan leads SUNY's Exploring Emerging Technologies for Lifelong Learning and Success (#EmTechMOOC), a global learning opportunity to create 21st-century citizens equipped for today's technology-driven society ( ) and the Tools of Engagement Project (TOEP): On-demand Discovery Learning Professional Development. Sullivan was honored as the University at Buffalo, Center for Educational Innovation - Innovator of the Year. She has been recognized through a SUNY Faculty Advisory Council on Teaching and Technology (FACT2) Excellence in Instructional Support Award, three Open SUNY Effective Practice Awards, and the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service. TOEP has received national and international recognition and was ranked as a finalist for the Professional & Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD) Innovation Award. TOEP was also cited as an example that addresses the challenge of faculty digital literacy in the NMC Horizon Report - Higher Education Edition. Sullivan served as a member of the 2019 EDUCAUSE Higher Ed Expert Panel to guide the discovery and selection process of the 2019 Horizon Project > Higher Ed Edition, a global initiative that explores trends, challenges, and technology developments likely to have an impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry. Prior to becoming the Head of Media Services, Sullivan served as an Online Learning Specialist and an Instructional Designer for the Center for Educational Innovation at UB.

Extended Abstract

Employers are looking for more than a college degree when hiring today's workforce. They expect their potential employees to be conversant in 21st-century skills including communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking.

The State University of New York's “Exploring Emerging Technologies for Lifelong Learning and Success” (#EmTechMOOC) is a Massive Open Online Course aimed at the needs of college students, faculty, professionals, and anyone with an interest to learn how to use emerging technologies to keep pace with technology change. Participants gain an understanding of the value and implications of using established and emerging technologies for personal and professional growth. An underlying principle promotes lifelong learning and a growth mindset, both are necessities to keep pace with technology change.

Learn how faculty, students, and your entire campus community can benefit from #EmTechMOOC. Faculty can explore freely-available tools to build learning activities into their courses. Students explore technology resources to support their learning to complete course assignments. Everyone from across the globe is welcome to participate to expand their knowledge to become digitally literate citizens in today's society. This online learning experience teaches participants how to use established and emerging technology tools for personal and professional growth by first teaching how to embrace the habits of lifelong learning.

In the course modules, learners delve into the 4Cs of 21st-century learners, including communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. These skills are presented in a way that guides participants to choose what they want to accomplish before they begin to explore tool options. For instance, someone exploring collaboration may decide that they wish to connect with others. They would then choose from a list of social media and other collaborative tools within the complimentary EmTechWIKI, which are categorized and tagged to be able to conveniently select technologies that are relevant to their chosen objective.

Learners gain competence through experimentation and play within the constantly evolving landscape of social media and the latest emerging technology tools. Participants explore and reflect on innovative and creative uses of emerging technologies through hands-on activities and exploration of the MOOC content.

Throughout the course modules, participants build an ePortfolio as a culminating project to highlight their learning to showcase their skills and accomplishments. This also serves as a digital archive of their personal learning and discovery process. The ePortfolio works as an enhanced resume or CV and is a vehicle to display and share accomplishments with peers and prospective employers. Digital badges and a Coursera Certificate of Completion are awarded to those who complete the course requirements.

Through #EmTechMOOC, learners embark on their journey towards becoming a successful lifelong learner who is equipped to navigate in the 21st-century world of ever-changing technology. This learning opportunity is based on the highly successful SUNY Tools of Engagement Project (TOEP). #EmTechMOOC has been funded through a SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant and a University at Buffalo Professional Pathways grant.

This session will discuss the evolution of #EmTechMOOC and will highlight lessons learned along the way. Participants in the session will also have an opportunity to gain hands-on experience exploring the EmTechWIKI site. EmTechWIKI is also useful as a stand-alone resource to locate relevant technologies to meet specific learning objectives. This resource can be used to serve the educational needs of both online and traditional learning environments.