TED Tips — Issue 25: Ideas for Digital Instruction

Welcome to a very special 25th issue of UWW Ted Tips!  This special blog post takes the form of a video blog or VLOG!  You’ll find a video recording below with an outline of notes.

The main purpose of the TED Tips blog this week is to provide some ideas of how to build a digital “lesson” and to show you some ideas how to do that inside of Canvas!

The main idea is to create a written outline or “to do” list associated with that idea.  It is always a good idea to provide communications to students for a completed lesson — in this case, I’ve shown an announcement in Canvas for that page.

Inside of Canvas, you’ll want to create a page or a module as a “wrapper” to contain the content.  It’s a good idea to include a purpose or objectives — what’s the key idea or essential learnings for the digital content.

Things to consider including in a lesson:

  • Summary of key points
  • Outline of main ideas
  • A review of previous content or how this connects to the larger course content
  • You can include a Video summary or note
    • (similar to what’s shown in the VLOG!) this particular vlog posts shows an introduction [timestamp 1:21]
    • an example is shown in the Vlog to a previous piece of digital content
    • Canvas supports Kaltura Capture which is an easy way to record simple videos or screencasts
  • Lecture notes
  • Powerpoint presentation
  • Related readings from a textbook or other course documents
  • Links to other websites or resources
  • Multimedia embedded from other sources

TIP:  It is always helpful for students to provide context and clear insights for what is important for students to review.  Instead of just linking to a multimedia source or video, provide a timestamp and other clear guidance. [timestamp: 2:59]

  • Links to Canvas Discussion questions
  • Other instructional activities including
    • practice questions
    • lab work
    • online learning activities (flashcards, games, puzzles, etc.)
  • Homework assignments
  • Other resources like links to other websites
  • Citations / References

Issue 25 was structured in a way to provide an example of what this could look like and will set the tone and idea to explore these in different ways!

Future TED tips will explore more focused tips on:

  • selecting and curating good multimedia
  • research on what types of multimedia works and why
  • Recoding short videos at home using Kaltura Capture from inside Canvas
  • Recording longer reusable videos utilizing the LTC Video Recording studio
  • Recording podcasts
  • Where to store videos in canvas and host them on VBrick Rev

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

Resources:

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Celebrating Teaching and Learning Conference 2019

Celebrating Teaching and Learning Call for Proposals

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Celebrating Teaching and Learning Conference 2019. This special forum hosted by the LEARN Center and the LTC showcases the wide variety of ways we are all transforming the lives of our students through teaching and learning. The Conference will be held Wednesday, May 22, 2019 on the UW-Whitewater campus. Concurrent presentation sessions will consist of 45 minute presentations with 30 minutes to discuss their topic and 15 minutes for questions and answers.

We encourage proposals in the following themes:

  • Student Engagement
  • Integrating Teaching and Technology
  • Civil Discourse and Diversity
  • High Impact Practices
  • Something Else

To submit a presentation proposal or learn more about this year’s Celebrating Teaching and Learning conference visit: Conference Website

Home

Call for Proposals: Celebrating Teaching and Learning Conference 2019

Celebrating Teaching and Learning

As a member of the UW-Whitewater community, you are invited to submit a session proposal for the campus event Celebrating Teaching and Learning Conference 2019.  This special forum hosted by the LEARN Center and the LTC showcases the wide variety of ways we are all transforming the lives of our students through teaching and learning.  The Conference will be held Wednesday, May 22, 2019 on the UW-Whitewater campus.

Proposals are due February 22, 2019.

Presentations — Concurrent Presentation Sessions will consist of 45 minute presentations with presenters having 30 minutes to discuss their topic and 15 minutes for questions and answers.

We encourage proposals in the following themes:

Student Engagement: Topics may include learner engagement strategies, discussing different ways of supporting students in courses, incorporating active learning strategies, or other engaging teaching activities.

Integrating Teaching and Technology: Topics may include lessons learned from Canvas,  integrating emerging technology into teaching, managing mobile devices or apps, ePortfolio, or preparing students for 21st century skills (e.g., evaluating information, being a digital collaborator).

Civil Discourse and Diversity: Topics may include effective discussions, cultural navigation skills advocacy, relationship building, and a campus culture of belonging.

High Impact Practices: Topics may include showcasing high impact practices, community based learning, undergraduate research, first year experiences, or LEAP projects.

Something Else: Have an idea that doesn’t fit into the themes above? That’s okay! Submit your idea using the “Something Else” theme!

To submit a presentation proposal or learn more about this years Celebrating Teaching and Learning conference visit: Conference Website

LTDC Virtual Showcase 2019 Call for Proposals

The education session proposal deadline for the 2019 UW System Learning Technology Development Council Virtual Showcase (https://www.wisconsin.edu/learning-tech/events-conf/ltdc-virtual-showcase-2019/) has been extended to December 21, 2018.

The UW System’s annual LTDC Virtual Showcase will be held on April 2nd and 3rd, 2019. The theme for this year’s showcase is Building the New: Innovate, Integrate, Motivate.  We want to hear your tips, tricks, and tales from the trenches as it relates to teaching, learning, and technology.

LTDC Virtual Showcase April 2-3 CALL FOR PROPOSALS

Please consider submitting an education session proposal (https://uwex.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eP9Str1A4qJz2hn). It’s a great way to present at a national conference without having to leave your campus or department. Presentations during concurrent sessions will be 45 minutes: 30 minutes for presentations and 15 minutes for questions and answers. All sessions will be given via a web conferencing tool. Sessions will be recorded and available for archive viewing. The LTDC highly encourages collaboration, use of appropriate and acceptable technologies, multiple institutions, and multiple discipline proposals.

Proposals will be selected and placed into one of the conferences tracks. The tracks are:

  • Digital Learning Environment – What have you learned about the DLE that you’d like to share? Discovered interesting features that everyone should know about? 
  • Teaching & Learning – Have you used technology to prepare instructors to teach or to assist students with learning? What train-the-trainer opportunities have you created?  
  • Technology and Other Resources – Have you created a wonderful set of resources for faculty and students?  What new tool have you discovered that you want to share?
  • Student Engagement – What are you doing to promote student engagement in your classes? How are your students connecting with each other and you?
  • Library and Digital Media – How have you incorporated media or leveraged the library into your classroom? Let’s hear about your LibGuides, user guides, knowledge bases, and instructional videos.
  •  Open Educational Resources – What type of Open Educational Resources have you discovered in the public domain or introduced with an open license?

TED Tips – Issue 20: TED Talks

Our Mission: Spread ideas

I’ve been asked several times where the inspiration for TED Tips originates, so this week I want to explore that source of inspiration. TED Tips talks TED talks. As such, what are TED Talks?

“TED is a nonpartisan nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues…”

TED logo

https://www.ted.com/

While TED Talks have been around since 1984, they saw a spike in interest and use correlated to the increase in popularity of YouTube. Most TED talks are recorded, of high quality, and the videos are made easily accessible. Another feature of TED Talks lends itself well for internet consumption. TED talks follow strict guidelines and adhere to high quality standards. No talk can exceed 18 minutes in length… According to TED Talks curator Chris Anderson, 18 minutes is “short enough to hold people’s attention, including on the Internet, and precise enough to be taken seriously.”

I have named this blog TED Tips for similar reasons. I cannot resist a good pun and acronym – so basing the blog name off of my name “Ted” made sense in the context of my job in the Learning Technology Center as a Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant. My job title can apply directly to the use of TED as “technology, education, and design” as it applies to higher education. Finally, I find affinity with the mission of the original TED Talks, exploring all ideas and sharing those ideas with others. I hope that this blog lives up to those standards and source of inspiration.

I want to share a couple of my personal favorite TED talks and some of the ideas worth sharing. I recently discovered the following talk on the TED Radio Hour. NPR produces a radio version of the show and the accompanying podcast works wonders during my commute. Podcasts and radio broadcasts keep me thinking and engaged while I can focus driving.

Recently, I was visiting with my goddaughter – a spunky, somewhat awkward, still discovering herself twelve year old. She likes cooking, acting, polar bears, and obsessed with the band BTS. Like many pre-teens, she struggles with confidence and overcoming perceived obstacles, social barriers, and school drama. A version of Megan Washington’s talk entitled: “Why I live in mortal dread of public speaking” played on the TED Radio Hour. I immediately connected some of the themes and strategies outlined in the talk to the struggles of my goddaughter.

The synopsis of her talk reads and I’ll share the embedded link.

Megan Washington is one of Australia’s premier singer/songwriters. Since childhood, she has had a stutter. In this bold and personal talk, she reveals how she copes with this speech impediment—from avoiding the letter combination “st” to tricking her brain by changing her words at the last minute to, yes, singing the things she has to say rather than speaking them.”

The second TED talk I want to highlight is Steven Johnson’s entitled “Where Good Ideas Come From”. I have often share this with students when hoping to provide time for creativity to develop. Contrary to the notion that inspirations strikes in a flash or “Eureka!” moment, good ideas take time to develop and often require clashes with other ideas. Steven Johnson elaborates on this idea in a corresponding book, TED talk, and an even shorter animated version is worth the multimedia experience. I’m including a link to that animated version here:

 Finally, I want to share one final TED Tip: There’s a TED app that builds personalized recommendations based on your preferences delivered directly to you. I’d encourage you to check it out and explore more ideas worth sharing.

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

RESOURCES:
https://www.ted.com/

TED Talks referenced:

Why I live in mortal dread of public speaking by Megan Washington. TEDxSydney April 2014 https://www.ted.com/talks/megan_washington_why_i_live_in_mortal_dread_of_public_speaking

Where good ideas come from by Steven Johnson. TEDGlobal 2010
https://www.ted.com/talks/steven_johnson_where_good_ideas_come_from

TED Tips – Issue 9: First Impressions

Listening to Chancellor’s Kopper’s excitement about the sesquicentennial theme “150 years: Inspire. Engage. Transform” I was reminded of a personal story about first impressions. First impressions can have incredible impact on our students: both positive and negative. The “best” first impressions tend to be memorable first impressions! These are the impressions that can inspire students, get them to engage, and get them to achieve more than they thought possible. They can become memories that last a lifetime.

When I was a student, my first year philosophy instructor was Fr. William Ryan, SJ, a senior faculty member and a Jesuit priest. On the first day of class, Father Ryan terrified me. He looked like a villain from a fantasy movie.

Imagine him. He had a couple of peculiar physical characteristics that he leveraged for maximum cinematic impact. He was double-jointed with reversible elbows that bent the wrong way. They swiveled like a contortionist. On that memorable first class, he greeted us perched precariously forward on these elbows, hands like off-kilter talons dangling from broken bones. He had large dark beady eyes that protruded slightly too far from his head on menacing eyestalks. To add to the menace, he swayed silently like a cobra, back and forth, back and forth.

There were no rows in the classroom. The desks were arranged in a circle around the outside of the room. As we were settled in in our seats, trying desperately to avoid eye contact, unsure what to expect, we waited in silence; those large beady eyes flickering from side to side glaring at each student in turn, with no place to hide… The atmosphere was thick and unease, fear, and terror collected as beads of sweat on a warm fall day from anxious — now silent students. We awaited some proclamation that would likely spell our doom for the semester.

The uncomfortable silence lingered. After what seemed like an eternity, (likely no more than a few seconds), Fr. Ryan stood up and started class. He was not a large man. His voice was soft but the silence amplified his words into a bellowing roar. Three words without preamble or introduction: “KANT WAS WRONG!”

This was NOT what we expected on the first day of class. Who was this misshapen lunatic? Who was Kant? Why was he wrong? Am I in the right class? I hope Kant is not a student! Do I belong here? Can I do this? What madness was this? Am I smart enough to be here? What does this mean? My class was ensorcelled.

Then I started to notice something remarkable happening. After another pause, Father Ryan sat back down into is his chair. No longer perched on backwards elbows, his arms now rested at his side. A slow tremendous smile spread across his face. His eyes softened. A warmth began to spread across the room led by his smile. A glow replaced the glower. A soft laugh replaced the bellow. My class started to relax.

“Welcome to class!”

The spell was broken. It would take a long time to learn more about this Kant character and why he might be wrong…but we could begin the school year!

TED Tips. Technology. Education. Design.
–Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

Welcome Back Students! Have you signed into Canvas yet?

The University of Wisconsin System is transitioning from Desire2Learn (D2L) to Canvas.  Here is what you should know for the Fall Semester.

  • Courses may be in either Canvas or D2L. During the Fall 2018, Winter 2019 and Spring 2019 semesters instructors have the option to use either Desire2learn or Canvas for their courses.  If you aren’t sure where to find your course, be sure to ask your instructor and they can point you in the right direction.
  • Canvas 24/7/365 support is available for all users.  Most students are already familiar with the D2L Support Form, but what happens when a student needs help with Canvas?  You can contact the Canvas 24/7/365 Support team.  You can find the Chat and E-mail options on both the Canvas Login Page and in the Help button in the lower left hand corner after you are logged in.  If you prefer to call someone, you can reach the 24/7/365 Support at 1-833-811-3207.
  • Self-paced Student Training Course is available. Anyone interested in receiving an introduction to Canvas before the start of the semester can self-enroll in the state provided Canvas Student Training course http://go.uww.edu/canvas-student-training
  • Informational Tables Available 9/4-9/7. During the first week of classes ICIT will bat at various places around campus to chat with students.  See the list below for details, or just keep an eye out for us.
    • Esker Dining Hall: Tuesday Sept 4th from 11:30AM-12:30PM
    • University Center: Wednesday Sept 5th from 11:30PM-12:30PM
    • Drumlin Dining Hall: Thursday Sept 6th from 12:30PM-1:30PM
    • University Center: Friday Sept 7th from 12:30PM-1:30PM

If you have questions regarding the Canvas Transition, please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

TED Tips – Issue 8: 2018 NMC Horizon Report — Trends

Each year, for the last fifteen years, the New Media Consortium has published an annual Horizon Report. The report “identifies and describes the higher education trends, challenges, and developments in educational technology likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry.” In 2018, EDUCAUSE acquired the rights and plans to continuing publishing this important look at trends and technological developments that drive educational change. As the name implies – the report is a look towards what is on the five-year horizon for higher education.

This week’s TED Tips will start what will become a three part series on the 2018 Horizon Report. The Horizon report includes three main sections:

  • Key Trends Accelerating Technology Adoption in Higher Education
  • Significant Challenges Impeding Technology Adoption in Higher Education
  • Important Development in Educational Technology for Higher Education

This week’s post will explore the key trends; about once a month, I will report on the each of the remaining topics.

Technology changes:  timelines

Trends in technology drive our planning and decision-making. They shape our strategic thinking. Long-term trends take time to emerge. Mid-term trends shape a window three to five years from now. Short-term trends influence technology adoption now but may be fully implemented or replaced by other trends in the near future.

Growing Focus on Measuring Learning: short-term trend

In the context of measuring learning, the trend here is on the variety of methods and tools used to evaluate measure and document academic readiness, learning progress, and skill acquisition. Changes in the workforce change the skills needed. Data analytics has been a buzzword for some time; that translates into an increase in expectation around developing data systems to provide “evidence” for decision-making. Data mining, dashboards, and visualization software. We have already looked at how we are no longer focusing on “Learning Management Systems” and instead looking at “Digital Learning Environments”. One of the main advantages of this trend is to leverage analytics and visualization to portray data. The upcoming LEARN / LTC workshop on Efficient and Effective Communications Strategies has a segment on how to develop strategies to use that information in Canvas to help your students! I suspect that this trend will continue.

Redesigning Learning Spaces: short-term trend

This trend focuses on strategies that help blend digital components with more active learning elements. Our “classrooms” are evolving to support online, blended, and hybrid modes of teaching. We are concerned with greater mobility, flexibility, and multiple devices. What is the role of technology in the classroom? How do we use it to inform our design? What spaces can we use to encourage the skills for students to use and interact in their future careers?  Rebuilding classrooms take time, budget, and talent.

For example, several classrooms on campus have been recently redesigned to become “active learning classrooms”.  These spaces often feature movable tables and chairs, individual whiteboards, screen sharing technology, multiple monitors for easy content viewing, interactive whiteboards, and other technologies.  The newly redesigned Heide 105 opens this fall as an example of this trend and included input from teams from the College of Letters and Science with collaboration from ICIT, facilities, and campus planning with support from the Provost’s Office Classroom Redesign Initiative.

Proliferation of Open Educational Resources: mid-term trend

One driver in higher education has been costs associated with textbooks, materials, and fees associated with implementing software or devices. Open Educational Resources (OER) could be an answer to help keep costs down.  OER is “high-quality teaching, learning, and research materials that are free for people everywhere to reuse and repurpose”. A common example of an OER resource is Creative Commons. The Horizon Report itself is published using “attribution 4.0 International license” which allows anyone to replicate, copy, distribute, transmit, or adapt freely, provide attribution is provided. As such, I am providing a link the full report and the full citation in the Resources section of this post. Additional OER strategy could be using Canvas Commons where faculty can find, import, and share content for their classes. Another potential outcome of OER strategies could allow institutions to leverage investments and share content from courses and instructors – potentially building programs across departments and colleges.

The Rise of New Forms of Interdisciplinary Studies: mid-term trend

New maps and paths for higher education continue to be developed and expanded every year. The “traditional, single degree” path has faded as higher education explores new models. Recent innovations within this trend have included alternative credentials, badges, “stackable” degrees, awarding credit for real-life experiences, and on-demand training. Building these structures takes time.

Advancing Cultures of Innovation: long-term trend

A long-term trend in higher education has been a call to drive innovation and invention. This trend can been seen in programs that foster entrepreneurship, spark startup incubators, and develop venture capital and investment. Students engage in tackling bigger problems. Higher education is being called upon to innovate, invent, and create.

Cross-Institution & Cross-Sector Collaboration: long-term trend

The final long-term trend reflects an increasing global and interconnected environment. Faculty can work with colleagues across institutions, time zones, and continents. Technology provides more resources to support cross-sector collaborations. How do we prepare students for this new digital focused workforce? What skills are needed? How do we realign and rebuild our programs and degree pathways to align with these changes?

The 2018 Higher Education Horizon Report provides a look into the future. It is a rich place to explore ideas connected to the themes of Technology, Education and Design. These glances can inform our thinking now, guide our planning, and inspire our journey. The emphases will change over time. I appreciate the opportunity now, to gaze out towards that horizon, and ponder possible trends educational technology can have on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry.

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant
RESOURCES:

2018 NMC Horizon Report
Citation: Samantha Adams Becker, Malcolm Brown, Eden Dahlstrom, Annie Davis, Kristi DePaul, Veronica Diaz, and Jeffrey Pomerantz. NMC Horizon Report: 2018 Higher Education Edition. Louisville, CO: EDUCAUSE, 2018.
https://library.educause.edu/resources/2018/8/2018-nmc-horizon-report
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

TED Tips – Issue 7: Upcoming Training Opportunities

Last week, I introduced the idea of “learning technologies” as the broad range of communication, information, and related technologies that support learning, teaching, and assessment. This week, I want to explore a few upcoming Learning Technology Center (LTC) activities where you can learn more about various “learning technologies”.

training

training

Welcome Back Week

One of the most important events at the start of the academic year is Welcome Back Week. Each year, ICIT hosts a Technology Open House where faculty, staff, and students explore new campus technology and technology related initiatives. This year’s Tech Open House is Wednesday, August 29 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm in UC 275. You will find hands-on interactive demonstrations, information from vendors, and can participate in a “GooseChase” scavenger hunt. There will be free food and door prizes. Complete scavenger hunt missions to win additional door prize entries. See the resources section at the end of this TED Tip for more information on how to get started on the GooseChase.

In addition to the Technology Open House, there are several Canvas workshops throughout “Welcome Back Week”. These workshops cover a variety of topics from getting started in Canvas, a look at building content, and a more hands-on approach to features like “SpeedGrader” and other ways to expedite grading and provide feedback.  These workshops will are all held in Hyland 3101.

  • Introduction to Canvas — Friday, August 24 from 8:30 – noon
  • Using Canvas for Grading and Feedback – Friday, August 24 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm
  • How to Build Content in Canvas – Tuesday, August 28 from 3:30 – 4:30 pm

LEARN Center/LTC Collaborative Workshop Series

The LTC/LEARN Center collaborative series for the 2018-2019 is on the theme of “Back to Basics to Balance Workload” and will focus on strategies to improve your teaching practice and student learning without adding to your workload. The first session “Efficient and Effective Communication Strategies,” will be Thursday, September 20 from 12:30 until 1:45 pm in UC259A. Heather Pelzel, Biological Sciences and LEARN Center and Ted Witt from the LTC will present communications strategies to help you:

  • Establish expectations and boundaries for communications between instructor and students.
  • Evaluate strategies for determining academic “at-risk” students and tips for how and when to facilitate academic interventions.
  • Explore methods to use CANVAS for additional ways to communicate with students.

The other workshops in the fall series will be on October 18th “Best practices on providing effective feedback using low-tech and high-tech options” and November 27th “Using groups to engage students and maximize your class time”.

Teaching with Technology

Searching for ways to build community with students in your online class? Looking for a way to facilitate communication and collaboration between your students in your face-to-face class? You may benefit from the Learning Technology Center’s (LTC) “Teaching with WebEx Teams Bootcamp!” Webex Teams is an app for continuous teamwork with video meetings, group messaging, file sharing and white boarding. This three part series is on Wednesdays at 3:00 pm in October.

  • Why Should I Use WebEx Teams? October 10
  • How Do I Use WebEx Teams? October 17
  • Now What Do I Do With WebEx Teams? October 24

Additionally, there are two upcoming “Poll Everywhere” information sessions. Poll Everywhere is a polling application that can enhance live interactive audience participation in class in real time. You can learn more about “Using Poll Everywhere to Engage Students” through two upcoming workshops:

  • September 26 at 3:00pm
  • October 4 at 11:00 am

Institute for Online / Blended Teaching

If you are new to teaching online or blended courses, or are interested in revitalizing a current course, the Institute for Online/Blended Teaching provides instructors the opportunity to collaborate on course design strategies and teaching best practices. This intensive and interactive series of workshops simulates taking a blended course and integrates a variety of different methods and technologies. The structure of the Institute allows participants to explore new instructional and course design methods, and participate in learning activities similar to what a student would experience. Look for registration for the Winter 2018 program early this fall.

For a complete list of upcoming events or to sign up for these events, use the ICIT signup web page using your Net-ID! https://my.uww.edu/signup/Home Find more about these and other activities on the LTC’s blog page: http://blogs.uww.edu/instructional/

Next week I want to peer into the future and explore the innovative practices, trends, and technologies for higher education as presented by the 2018 Horizon Report.

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

RESOURCES:
http://blogs.uww.edu/instructional/

Welcome Back Week GooseChase notes:

  • Play our Interactive Scavenger Hunt, GooseChase.
  • Download the GooseChase iPhone or Android app.
  • Register for an account with your “uww” email address.
  • Create a password that IS NOT THE SAME as your Net-ID password.
  • Search for and join one of the two “ICIT Tech Open House” games.
  • The missions will go live on Wednesday, August 29 at 1pm.

TED Tips – Issue 6: What is “Learning Technology”?

Technology has become more and ubiquitous in higher education.  Technology allows students to conduct research and analysis, collaborate and communicate, and to create rich multimedia experiences.  Interacting with digital learning environments help develop deeper skills like problem solving and critical thinking.

Over the last few weeks, I have introduced myself and started to explore the themes of Technology, Education, and Design.  This week I want to describe the meaning of the phrase “learning technology” and some of the context of the work we do in The Learning Technology Center.

I work in the Learning Technology Center (TLC). The LTC is a unit in the Instructional, Communication, and Information Technology (ICIT) Department in the division of Academic Affairs.  ICIT focuses on using technology to meet “educational, research, learning, organization, administrative and public service” needs. As part of ICIT, the Learning Technology Center supports faculty and instructional staff.  The LTC looks
for ways to integrate pedagogy and technology to develop effective learning experiences.

procution studio

LTC Media Production Studio

What is “Learning Technology” and how does the LTC support it?

The Association for Learning Technology defines “Learning Technology as the broad range of communication, information and related technologies that support learning, teaching and assessment”.
Learning technologies support the process, design, and delivery of education.  In addition to learning, teaching, and assessment, tools can aid faculty in other ways such as analytics that provide insights into student progress and support data-driven decision-making and intervention.  Tools that support research can also be included.

What types of topics fall into the broad category of “learning
technology”?

Digital Learning Environment The University of Wisconsin System uses a “digital learning environment” to support teaching and learning in all modes.  As we have explored over the last few weeks on this blog, the UW-System is moving to Canvas Instructure as that main platform.  The LTC supports faculty by providing training and workshops on how to use Canvas, migrate content from D2L to Canvas, and explore specific tools within Canvas. This support extends beyond how to use Canvas and its tools, but promotes the best practices and advocates for sound pedagogical approaches to using those tools.

The digital learning environment extends beyond the Canvas platform.  It include other ways to design, develop, and deliver learning materials, interactive experiences, and assessments.   For example, multimedia video has been shown to increase student engagement; the LTC has a professional media production and recording studio to help create, manage, and distribute streaming video for classroom use.

Incorporating technology into learning spaces.   Higher education increasingly incorporates digital elements into the classroom.  Learning technology can support traditional face-to-face classrooms by incorporating digital content or active learning
models.  Technology also enables the facilitation of other course modalities, for example, online classrooms or hybrid and blended spaces that fall somewhere in between.  More recently, classroom interactions often support multiple devices including mobile smart phones and the use of student response systems.

Evaluating emerging technologies.  As new technology emerges, there are different possible applications for classroom use.  The LTC supports pilot projects to help
monitor and evaluate trends related to emerging technologies for potential use at the UW-Whitewater campus.  Additionally, the LTC supports technology adoptions that meet both instructional and non-instructional needs.  For example, the LTC is currently exploring adaptive learning with instructors.

While technology can be fun and shiny and new…we believe that technology should not be used for technology’s sake or because it is considered “fun and shiny and new”!  Instead, we believe in understanding the underlying issues and trends, exploring multiple options (including possible low or no tech solutions), implementing strategies, and evaluating their effectiveness.

I hope that this week’s TED Tip elaborates on what “learning technology” means and some of the ways the LTC supports using technology to enhance teaching and learning.   Next week I will explore in more detail some of the specific services, workshops, and training opportunities the LTC offers.  I invite you to participate!

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

Resources:

https://www.uww.edu/icit/ltc

https://www.uww.edu/icit/about

https://www.alt.ac.uk/about-alt/what-learning-technology