“I’ve never been in here before,” I heard from two students yesterday as they made their way to the staircase in Hoffman. I assumed these students were busy locating and meeting their advisers for spring registration. Yes, some faculty members have offices in Hoffman.

Hoffman Innovation ZoneCoincidentally, we held this week’s ETC meeting in Hoffman’s Innovation Zone to spark conversations about classroom technology. We demonstrated video conferencing and distance learning applications and the flexibility provided by mobile seating and mobile display units. The Innovation Zone does not have a teacher station, so connections to display units may be unfamiliar for some.

Within the context of this space we discussed the aging analog technologies in some classrooms on campus, and the need to plan for upgrades. Learning more about the needs and concerns of faculty members and students is essential. Room size and planned use also become critical conversation points. Larger rooms intended for lecture/presentations may still need projectors, screens and teacher stations. Updating from analog to digital while maintaining current functionality is one option. Yet, we must consider many options. Should we consider a mobile teacher station? I ask this because of the article that just landed in my email from Faculty Focus, Step Away from the Lectern. So, there is much to consider.

ETC members extending these conversations with their constituents will provide additional input at our next meeting. Interested individuals who “have never been in here before” may learn more about the Innovation Zone or test it out by contacting learningtechservices@messiah.edu.

I look forward to continued conversations.

Canvas has a new user interface (UI) for the web. The Interface looks very similar to the Canvas App many are already using on their mobile devices.

UI.fw

This was my first look at the new interface. I like it. While the landing page looks very different, functionality will remain the same. Navigation that is running across the top of a web page in the blue header will now extend down the left side of the page. And, just below the colorful tiles for each course, users will find links for direct access to Announcements, Discussions, Files and Assignments in a course.

The committee discussed announcing the change this fall,  and making the UI available for everyone in early January. Share the news!

 

We began our 1st meeting of the semester welcoming our new committee members:

  • Stella Ye
  • Tim Ferret
  • Tim Knapp
  • Moses Kavishe

 

Members of Learning Technology Services presented on the work accomplished over the summer. Each of the following items were well received by the committee.

  • Computer Labs (Frey 145, 166, Boyer 337, and Library 012) have a new QR Code posted by their door. Scan the code to view lab schedules and call the number on the sign to reserve the room.
  • A copyright web page is under development.
  • All classrooms have new computers, but they are really small and you may not see them. Our blog article shows just how small they are. The article also reminds faculty that laptops still provide the fastest and reliable method for projecting your presentations.
  • Work continues on Capital projects funded at the end of the spring semester including work with the digital humanities, Computer and Information Sciences department renovation, mock counseling video upgrade, and TurnItIn software to support academic integrity efforts.

 

Tim Knapp presented an overview of three new products available to the campus this fall, TurnItIn, Canvas Commons, and Office 365.

  • TurnItIn is a tool to support student writing efforts and support faculty members in their instruction of proper citations and originality of student work. Best practices for the use of TurnItIn include allowing re-submission of assignments so students can address highlighted concerns in report before submitting for final grade.
  • Canvas Commons, a feature of Canvas, is accessible from the top blue navigation bar. By selecting shared with Messiah College faculty members and students with the TA role can import modules like the popular Academic Integrity Module into their courses. This module was the result of collaborative efforts from faculty, Learning Technology Services, and the Library.
  • Office 365 – Two themes are emerging from the Office 365 sessions held across campus:
    • What is Office 365/OneDrive? What can it do for me?
    • What is this syncing option? Is it right for me?

 

office365.fw

Simply put, Microsoft’s Office 365 offers space for collaboration on documents that are accessible from multiple devices. Our communications sent to employees and students through mass email cover these basic elements as well as considerations for security and access controls for Messiah’s data from the Institutional Data Storage Standard (see note 2). Thinking about the content we place in Office 365 and adhering to our Institutional Data Storage Standard is imperative.

The syncing option requires consideration as well. Learning Technology Services works with individuals and groups to determine best practices according to desired outcome. This will be an exciting conversation that will continue over the course of the year. There is much for all of us to learn. Working together we uncover new methods for accomplishing our work. These are fun times!

 

This year I’m attempting to keep the Messiah community informed on the topics the¬†Educational Technology Committee (ETC) discusses, deliberates over, and wrestles with. Posts do not replace our meeting minutes. Posts will reflect casual, personal observations and thoughts I believe the larger Messiah community may be interested in collaborating on. I encourage members of the Messiah community to connect with their ETC representative about issues they feel are relevant to their use of educational technologies. My hope is that topics addressed here will spark new thoughts and ideas that circulate back to committee members.

Who is your representative?

ETC membership.fw

 

Susan,
Educational Technology Committee, Chair