I had the pleasure of attending the Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) conference at the Marquette University Law School from June 25-27. The law school building was a sight to behold. The building is only a year old, cost over 82 million, and has as much state of the art technology as anyone could ask for. The classrooms are designed to engage students – from push to talk mics to clean sight lines to configurable spaces that are geared towards collaboration or traditional lecture, depending on the class being offered. Their “conference center” is set up to accommodate guests, let local tv stations plug into their state of the art recording studio, and give conference goers a beautiful view of downtown Milwaukee at the same time.
The CALI conference was a real eye-opener on a variety of topics. Speakers presented information on topics ranging from the latest uses of iPads in the classroom to new technology options for sharing and collaborating on faculty scholarship. The crowd was nearly as enthusiastic as the speakers were for all the sessions I attended, and the questions were interesting as well. To see the list of conference sessions, view the recordings, and listen to those questions, go to http://conference.cali.org/2011/webcast
The iPad sessions focused on not only the latest apps available in the legal market, but on some very creative classroom uses of apps. At least two of the sessions used Xtranormal to illustrate ways of capturing students’ attention and introducing a topic that might normally be a little dry. The speakers suggested that new apps and cartoons created using Xtranormal may just be the trick for getting students away from those FaceBook pages and back to concentrating on the law school topic of the day!