Let’s Talk: Updates from Instructional Technology

Let's Talk graphic with word bubblesThere’s a lot going on with instructional technology this year. To help you keep track, below is a round up of what’s on our mind and how it might impact you. To ask questions, seek help, or share your thoughts, please email us at instcom@stedwards.edu or contact any instructional technology staff member.

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Here are a few technologies that are leaving our global learning ecosystem . . .

Spring 2016 Last Semester for Blackboard

Canvas and BlackboardHow prepared are you and your colleagues for the full transition to Canvas? While 55% of all instructors are teaching at least one course in Canvas, we know that the transition can be challenging and would like to know what the stumbling blocks are for you and your department and how we might better address those issues. We have found that those faculty who attend at least the “Introduction to Canvas” overview training session, have had a better start at moving their courses from Blackboard and setting them up in Canvas.  Upcoming Canvas Training Sessions (some with pizza or cookies) are listed here: http://think.stedwards.edu/instructionaltechnology/canvas

EdShare Ends Jan. 1, 2016

BoxHave you moved your files to Box yet? Box lets you access your files from more devices and location, but it does require some planning for shared departmental files. What are your processes and practices around sharing files within your department? What are your needs? Find out more at http://box.stedwards.edu

How else have you been using EdShare besides for file storage? Some uses of EdShare, like the myWeb functionality, will require alternate plans for replacement. Our hosted blog platform (CampusPress, formerly Edublogs) provides one solution for easily creating and maintaining a website: http://sites.stedwards.edu/

Classroom Requests

You should have already submitted classroom requests for Spring 2016, but it’s not too late to make a change. Here are some highlights of classroom technology that might interest you.

Cameras & Microphones

Do you or your colleagues need classrooms equipped with cameras and microphones for recording student or guest presentations, or video conferencing to bring in guests or interact with classes elsewhere? Check out this video about the updated Technology in Trustee Hall.

In addition some classrooms have specialized equipment for using Panopto for capturing student and instructor presentations (slides and video).  Contact Instructional Technology (instcom@stedwards.edu) if you are interested in trying out Panopto.

Movable Furniture (with Wheels!)

group_discussion_300Do you do a lot of group work or frequently change the configuration of your classroom? Take a ride in our movable furniture. To request use of our flexible classroom (Moody 212, seats 24) for the full semester, use the form available from the AVP of Academic Affairs. You can also request this room for ad hoc usage.  See our blog post on the flexible classroom for more information.

Request Computer Classrooms Software Early

If you are teaching in a computer lab in Spring 2016 please submit any non-standard software requests now. It takes a month to install and test new software, so everything is running smoothly by the first day of class. See the list of standard software here and email your request to support@stedwards.edu.

Pilot New Technologies

Instructional technology is seeking faculty partners to research several new technologies now available on campus. They include:


  • Cisco Webex LogoHold virtual office hours or meet with your advisees remotely
  • Hold class virtually while attending a conference
  • Bring internship reports from the field into your classroom

High-definition Video Conferencing

  • http://think.stedwards.edu/instructionaltechnology/globaldigitalclassrooms
  • Globalize your class by inviting a virtual guest from one of our nineteen global partner institutions
  • The Brown Foundation Global Digital Classroom Library 143Bring experiential learning to the classroom through remote reports from students engaged in fieldwork, internships, or community-based learning
  • Connect to Austin and the Central Texas Region without the traffica
  • Schedule your class for one day or the whole semester

Panopto Presentation Capture

  • Panopto logo with globeFor recording and sharing presentations and other videos
  • Plugs into Canvas and auto-synchs slides and video
  • Record student presentations in class for later review and grading
  • Flip your class by recording brief content lectures in advance
  • Save class time by having students record and share presentations virtually

To volunteer or inquire about any of these opportunities or to make other suggestions, please fill out our pilot sign-up form.

For Departments

We are reaching out to all departments to gather input on your needs by attending departmental meetings.  Here are a few more topics we’d like to discuss:

Sharing Curricular Materials

CanvasCanvas puts options in the hands of the instructor for adding TA’s, other instructors, etc., to courses and for sharing materials at the school or university level via Canvas Commons. What are your practices and processes for such sharing in your department? Find out more about Canvas Commons by following this link.

Strategic Initiatives in Your Department

What goals or strategic initiatives do you have in your department? How might Technology for Innovative Learning and Teaching Pilot Project Grants sponsored by TLTR and/or Innovation Fellowships help faculty in your department advance these initiatives? CFPs for each will be available November 1, with applications due February 1, 2016.

Address Instructional Challenges

Are there challenges facing instructors in your department that might be addressed via technology? How can instructors partner with instructional designers to come up with solutions? Give us a call at 512-464-8804 or send us an email at instcom@stedwards.edu to set up an appointment.