The June issue of the Edtech newsletter focuses, as it has in other years, on our May conference on teaching and technology, cosponsored by the Center for Innovative Teaching, IT/EdTech, and the University Libraries, and supported by the Office of Faculty Development, the College of Advancing and Professional Studies, and the Freshman English Program. You’ll find recordings of most sessions on the conference proceedings site.
This year the regular conference day was preceded by an evening opening reception on May 15, at which Provost Winston Langley introduced the new Provost Fellow for Teaching and Technology, Professor Brian White (Biology), who gave the keynote address: “Helping a Thousand Flowers to Bloom: Teaching with Technology at UMass Boston. Others gave greetings (Anne Agee for IT, Daniel Ortiz for the library, Denise Patmon for CIT, and Philip DiSalvio for CAPS) and faculty awards for innovative uses of technology in teaching were presented to Susan Mraz, Eileen Stuart-Shor, Linda Beith, and Gary Zabel.
A full day of presentations on May 16 illustrated the thoughtful work that UMass Boston faculty are doing. The day began with a plenary by Professor Stephanie Hartwell (Sociology and Graduate Studies), winner of the 2012
Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, who shared her experiences as “A Reluctant Early Adopter” of technology.
The sessions that followed focused on effective strategies for working with readers and writers and for supporting ESL learners; on helping students to learn the skills of self-assessment; on student, course and program assessment with eportfolios; on ebooks and library resources; on engaging with MOOC’s and collaborative learning; and on ways in which faculty are supporting their teaching with a number of tools and platforms, from Blackboard and social media resources, to Voicethread, to the Camtasia lecture capture system. One strand focused on this year’s iPads in the Classroom project and on what faculty across departments have discovered as they’ve explored ways of using iPads with their students.
The articles that follow will, I hope, give you a taste of the conference, including the provost’s remarks and some of Brian White’s thoughts as he takes on his new role, the work of faculty award recipients, and reports on
sessions on teaching in digital environments, teaching with Voicethread, and on what’s being learned from the iPads in the Classroom project. Conference proceedings with recordings from many sessions are available at .
On a personal note, the conference and this newsletter issue are my last activities in my role as IT Faculty liaison, as I really retire this time (after “failing” my retirement from the English department several years ago). I am grateful to Apurva Mehta who gave me the opportunity to build on my growing interest in using technology in teaching in ways that could further that work at UMass Boston, and to our provost, Winston Langley, for supporting my interest in and recommendations for faculty development, as well as to all my edtech and faculty development colleagues and and to all of the faculty I’ve worked with. I will follow with interest the work in these areas as it goes forward in very capable hands.