In my new role as the director of Faculty Engagement and Outreach in UITS Learning Technologies, I am eager to hear more about the work of our faculty in engaging and inspiring students at IU. I want to learn more about how you are using the technology tools and services we provide, as well as what may be missing or ways we can improve.
We are committed to partnering with you to enhance our technology services. For example, in February we partnered with the IUPUI Faculty Council Technology Committee to co-host listening sessions with IUPUI faculty. In a two-week timespan, we received feedback from 58 faculty regarding their use of Canvas and other apps, their preferences for tech in the classroom, and their overall communication preferences. As a result of these sessions, we scheduled several webinars and events directly related to top-of-mind topics for faculty—and we have more projects in the works to address both current concerns and opportunities for collaboration.
We are working with our partners on each IU campus to offer more listening sessions, both online and in person. Please be on the lookout for messaging from our campus teaching centers for upcoming sessions this spring and fall so we can learn more from your experiences.
This issue of The Connected Professor exemplifies the many ways we can work together:
- In our lead story, read about how Sarah Smith-Robbins at the IU Kelley School of Business piloted PlayPosit with such great success that it's now available to anyone at IU.
- Our UITS Learning Spaces team has an experimental classroom, the ALCOVE, at IU Bloomington and will be opening one at IUPUI this fall with the goal of providing emerging technology for faculty to experiment with in an active learning classroom setup.
- The Digital Gardener Initiative is wrapping up its first semester of faculty fellows. This group brings together members of the IU community to support students through digital literacy programs. Applications to become a Digital Gardener Faculty Fellow will be accepted through May 10, 2022.
One of my favorite activities is to serve alongside faculty on technology projects. I have been fortunate to participate in both campus and university technology policy committees, as well as faculty-driven initiatives like technology communities of practice and pilots of emerging technologies. I value the opportunity to brainstorm with faculty, to share information regarding our initiatives, and to collaborate on future projects. I enjoy getting to know the needs of these groups and how we can work together.
One final example: last fall, the Learning and Teaching with Technology committee in the IU Bloomington School of Education invited me to some planning meetings. As a result of our conversations, we co-hosted a webinar series this spring, open to faculty on all campuses, with a range of topics from A(ccessibility) to Z(oom). If your department, school or campus has a technology committee and would like a UITS Learning Technologies visitor from time to time, please don't hesitate to ask! We want to hear what's on your mind and make the connections needed to further your success with learning technologies.