Themes, Events, and Initiatives in Instructional Technology, 2014-2015

Now that the semester is underway, let me take this opportunity to highlight some of the programming threads you will see in events and other initiatives from Instructional Technology this year. These include Tech Snacks, the #100percentdigital Faculty-Staff Learning Community, workshops, and a new event in October called “Experiments in Teaching”.

Tech Snacks Now Wednesdays at 3:30-4:30 pm

Tech Snacks logoTech Snacks is an ongoing series of short presentations and faculty discussions. Each session emphasizes the pedagogical use of a specific technology or technology-enabled practice. These sessions are intended to offer models from your fellow instructors of how they use technology for teaching and learning. This year our tech snacks will center on a couple of themes.

Making the Most of the Twenty-First Century Learning Ecosystem.

Learning happens in an ecosystem. Instructors and students customize their learning environment to fit their learning needs. All course participants can interact with each other and course content synchronously and asynchronously, face-to-face and virtually, formally and informally. Interaction and learning happens across a wide spectrum of modalities. These tech snacks will explore how faculty at St. Edward’s University have made the most of this diverse ecosystem.

  • Apps and Appetizers Mixer, Wednesday, September 10 from 3:30 – 4:30 in the Faculty Resource Center, Premont 110
  • Managing Your 21st Century Classroom, Wednesday, September 17 from 3:30 – 4:30 in the Faculty Resource Center, Premont 110

Technologies to Support Student Research and Creative Work.

Students increasingly need to tackle authentic, unscripted problems to develop their problem-solving skills and demonstrate their learning. Instructors at St. Edward’s University engage students in a variety of research projects both in and out of the classroom. These tech snacks will feature faculty who have used technology tools to engage students in research.

  • Fostering Student Research, Wednesday, October 1 from 3:30 – 4:30 in the Faculty Resource Center, Premont 110
  • Digital Scholarship Projects, Wednesday, November 5 from 3:30 – 4:30 in Library 141

If you would like to share a teaching practice or model for either of those themes, please contact Rebecca Frost Davis at rebeccad@stedwards.edu.

New Time and New Location

In response to those who couldn’t come last year because of the timing, we have moved all our tech snacks to Wednesdays, 3:30-4:30 pm. We’ll also be holding them in some different locations around campus in case the hike to Premont is a challenge. Bring your ideas, curiosity, questions and an appetite for some snack foods! Find out more here: http://think.stedwards.edu/instructionaltechnology/techsnacks

#100percent Digital Faculty-Staff Learning Community

#100percentdigital blog logoThis faculty-staff learning community will complement our focus on making the most of the twenty-first century learning ecosystem because so much of that ecosystem is digital. Over the course of one semester, this group will meet multiple times to share their successes and challenges in shifting to a more digital lifestyle. Many participants will be the proud owners of new iPads. A growing number of faculty, staff, and students have these and other mobile devices on campus. Each meeting will center around one theme with members and guests invited to share their solutions and insights in this joint endeavor. Find out more at the #100percent Digital blog. http://sites.stedwards.edu/100percentdigital/

Pedagogical Innovation

Our academic strategic plan now includes a focus on pedagogical innovation. One of the key insights we gained from the work of the task force for Pedagogical Innovation and New Educational Approaches last year, was the need for more sharing of models of how our colleagues here at St. Edward’s University are innovating in teaching and learning. Instructional Technology is involved with several initiatives to share these innovations. First of all, we co-sponsor the Innovation Fellowship with Academic Affairs, the Center for Teaching Excellence, and the Munday Library. Check out the work of the 2014-2015 Innovation Fellows on the Innovation Fellowship blog.  Applications for next year’s fellowship are due February 1. We’ll also be co-sponsoring a new event with CTE and the library, “Experiments in Teaching” on October 24, 2-4 pm to showcase the work of these fellows, faculty who have completed Technology for Innovative Learning & Teaching Pilot Projects funded by TLTR Grants, and other innovators on campus. Save the date! We’ll also continue to share innovative models in our tech snacks and on this blog, under the tag  commons for our developing “Pedagogical Commons“, where we will be documenting all the models that get showcased in our events.

Training Workshops

Evernote logoInstructional Technology also offers a variety of training workshops and other resources. These workshops compliment our programming threads, with workshops on digital workflow and practice, as well as a variety of tools available in our twenty-first century ecosystem or to support your pedagogical experimentation. Check out the schedule of all Training Workshops   or request a custom workshop for one of your classes. Visit http://think.stedwards.edu/instructionaltechnology/training or email training@stedwards.edu to get started.

Share Your Ideas!

Have an idea for an event or technology  you’d like to see us tackle?  Let us know in the comments or contacting any of the staff in Instructional Technology.

About Rebecca Davis

Rebecca Frost Davis Director of Instructional and Emerging Technology Rebecca Frost Davis joined St. Edward’s in July 2013 as Director of Instructional and Emerging Technology, where she provides leadership in the development of institutional vision with respect to the use of technology in pursuit of the university’s educational mission and collaborates with offices across campus to create and execute strategies to realize that vision. Instructional Technology helps faculty transform and adapt new digital methods in teaching and research to advance the essential learning outcomes of liberal education. Previously, Dr. Davis served as program officer for the humanities at the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE), where she also served as associate director of programs. Prior to her tenure at NITLE, she was the assistant director for instructional technology at the Associated Colleges of the South Technology Center and an assistant professor of classical studies at Rhodes College, Denison University, and Sewanee: The University of the South. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in classical studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. (summa cum laude) in classical studies and Russian from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Davis is also a fellow with the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE). As a NITLE Fellow, Dr. Davis will develop a literature review relevant to intercampus teaching, which will cover contextual issues such as team-teaching, teaching through videoconferencing, and collaboration; a survey of intercampus teaching at NITLE member institutions; and several case studies of intercampus teaching at liberal arts colleges, including interviews with faculty, students, support staff, and administrators. This work will be summarized in a final report or white paper to be published by NITLE. At Rebecca Frost Davis: Liberal Education in a Networked World, (http://rebeccafrostdavis.wordpress.com/) Dr. Davis blogs about the changes wrought by new digital methods on scholarship, networking, and communication and how they are impacting the classroom. In her research, she explores the motivations and mechanisms for creating, integrating, and sustaining digital humanities within and across the undergraduate curriculum.
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