I’m Baaaaaaack!

Well the holiday break is nearly over, students return to campus next week, and classes resume for the Spring semester next week Wednesday.  What else is new? Your new Educational Technologist returns from her sabbatical, ready and eager to really get into her new job! In this blog post I want to communicate to you some of my plans for the Spring semester and what you might expect to come from the Ed Tech office this semester.

My first job this semester is to really figure out what all my position will entail.  Educational Technology is a big job and I am but one person.  I will need to begin to see where I will need to focus my energies as I begin to help the college move toward more effective use of technology. One thing that will be my guiding principle is that I will be much more focused on helping the college to be more innovative in the use of technology. As such I will need to take a higher level view of the use of technology. What I mean by this is that my position is not supposed to be tech support, but rather helping instructors more effectively and creatively use the technology available.  For example, have a quiz that will simply not work for some reason, this is a call to eClass4Learning for tech support. Want to use the Moodle quizzing feature more creatively in your classroom to improve student learning, call me (x5253). Figuring out the scope of my position will also involve coordination with several different areas of campus including Tech Services, Library Services, FDC, and the new Teaching and Learning Coordinator.

Another area that I will be focusing my energies is the improvement of our online programs (Grad Ed and Grad Nursing). Currently we are testing out a system called Quality Matters to help us to improve the delivery of these online programs.  We are also working on developing a handbook for online instructors.  I will be giving more information about these in a future development session being planned in coordination with FDC.

In addition to the Quality Matters and Online Instructor Handbook development session(s) I plan to have 3-4 additional faculty development sessions. One that I hope to do relatively early is a session on the technology resources Morningside currently has but are underutilized. I will plan additional session based on information from the survey I gave late last year spring and in conversations with faculty.

Speaking of conversations with faculty, it is a goal of mine to have one-on-one meetings with as many faculty members as possible this spring to talk about issues in teaching and learning and to see areas where faculty might be interested in using more technology. I see these conversations as being very informal and talking about what we all love to talk about most, and that is how to best help our students learn.  So expect me to contact you to set up a time for us to chat this semester.

Finally, I hope to have many consultations with instructors about ways to best improve teaching and learning using technology. I invite everyone to visit me in my new office (213 in HJF Learning Center). I plan to keep my eye out for innovative uses of technology and to purchase some tech toys that might be worth experimenting with in the classroom. As these things happen you can expect a blog post, Facebook/Twitter entry, or other means of communication. As always, if you have interest in a particular product I am all ears.

I hope the spring semester is enjoyable and exciting for you. Personally, I am happy to be back, though I admit I think the transition will be rough.  Sabbatical is awesome and I got some great research done, but it is surely a different pace of life. I look forward to seeing everyone next week.