Monday, July 18, 2016

2016 Faculty Technology Institute

On Monday, May 16th, faculty gathered in Templeton for the 2016 Faculty Technology Institute, a yearly tradition spanning back over 17 years. For those unfamiliar, the Faculty Technology Institute (FTI) is a full week of sessions exploring the role of technology in education, offering faculty the opportunity to learn about new technologies and explore ways to incorporate them into their curriculum and teaching. This year’s event included over forty faculty participants, as well as staff from the Watzek Library and instructional technologists from Whitman College, and the University of Puget Sound.

The sessions were preceded by an opening keynote from Laurie Burruss, Professor Emeritus at Pasadena City College and an Educational Consultant at Laurie spoke on the power of new media and its implications in the field of education. From there, participants were able to join sessions within four tracks: Instructional Video, Data: Share, Store, Synthesize, Teaching in the Info Age, and Transformative Tools & Trends.        

A new offering this year was the Video Deep Dive option, which guided faculty through the process of creating a short instructional video. Following an open application process, five proposals were selected, and participants were paired with an EdTech staff member, who guided them through the process from start to finish. Participants included: Cecilia Benenati (Foreign Languages), Erik Nilsen (Psychology), Cara Tomlinson (Art), Julie Vorholt (AES), and the team of Liza Finkel and Barbara Shepperson (GSEC). Links to their finished products can be found at the bottom of the FTI page.

A few of our participants took some time to share their experiences with the EdTech team at the conclusion of FTI. Inspirations to participate varied, however one idea was constant amongst our faculty: video is key to the future of education.

“I believe that instructional video is only going to become more ubiquitous. Therefore, learning more about instructional video can only improve the quality of my teaching.” said Julie Vorholt.

Liza Finkel echoed her sentiments. “We need to integrate more video and other technology skills into our program and this seemed like a good way to get started.”

While EdTech staff are available year-round to assist with the creation of instructional video, the Deep Dive was unique in that it allowed participants to work on their projects in the same room, at the same time as other faculty. This was a component participants particularly enjoyed.

“I certainly benefited from being able to observe my colleagues’ video development and their usage of a variety of tools and applications. I especially enjoyed seeing how they approached their video development in their academic discipline.” said Vorholt.

Barbara Shepperson agreed. “I think working so closely with another faculty member was challenging but also rewarding. And, it was great to be a student again……helps you to remember what it is like from their perspective.”

In all, the 2016 Faculty Technology Institute provided faculty with a great opportunity to explore technology and connect with colleagues both inside and outside of their disciplines. For more on FTI, including a complete overview of sessions offered, check out our Sched page or search for the #FTI2016 hashtag on Twitter.  We hope to see you all again in 2017!

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