Faculty improve teaching through technology

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    BY JENNY RICKS

    Faculty searching for ways to improve teaching and learning will find answers at the Teachnology Expo October 27 and 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in rooms 3222 and 3224 of the Wilkinson Student Center.

    Meghan Kennedy, a Center for Instructional Design consultant, said the purpose of the Teachnology Expo is to inform, instruct and inspire faculty to improve their teaching and student learning through appropriate uses of technology.

    Clyde Williams, BYU associate professor of ancient scripture, said he has had experiences at the expo that have improved how he teaches in the classroom.

    ?I believe that my students would all say that they are the beneficiaries of this, and it makes me a better teacher and gives some variety and flexibility in my teaching that I didn?t have before,? he said.

    All faculty are invited to attend this event at any time convenient for them. Information booths and computers will be set up, providing access to a variety of resources.

    Williams also said technology can help other professors add a significant and inspirational dimension to teaching, as long as they are willing to exert a little time and effort.

    Faculty members such as Williams, who have found ways to improve teaching and learning, will share their successes at the Teachnology Expo.

    Those attending the expo will gain information about Blackboard, testing, copyright and instructional technology, as well as instruction on how to create online quizzes, PowerPoint presentations, scan documents and images and edit video and audio clips.

    Drawings for technology and training packages, including Adobe and Macromedia Suites, an Axiom PDA, flash drives and other items aimed at improving teaching and learning through technology will also take place at the expo.

    Kennedy said technology can help faculty transform classroom time to allow for more significant learning.

    ?Before using technology to take the place of what has been used in the past, faculty must first set clear learning objectives and goals,? Kennedy said. ?Then, tools can be used to achieve these goals and to create the best learning environment possible.?

    Larrie Gale, a BYU theatre and media arts professor, said while many instructors see value in technology, some are wary about technology advancement in the classroom.

    ?There are those who see technology as something of a threat to personal contact and being personal in instruction, and while certainly it can have that effect, it can also have the opposite effect,? she said.

    Gale said technology is simply a carrier of anything an instructor wishes to put into it.

    The event is hosted by the Center for Instructional Design, the Faculty Center, BYU Testing Services, the Harold B. Lee Library, the BYU Bookstore and the Copyright Licensing Office.

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