Technology Showcase

Last week we put on a technology showcase for our faculty. We called it the Tools for Transformation Showcase. We designed the event to be fun by using different types of technologies to play different types of games. We opened up registration for the event to 60 and much to our surprise it was completely full within 2 days. Due to the great feedback from the faculty we now plan to do a technology showcase twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. We plan to incorporate different types of technologies each time.

This time we showcased our Course Management System (Blackboard), our video conferencing tool (Wimba Classroom), social networking using Facebook and collaborative workspace using GoogleDocs.

In our CMS we played “Name that Tune” using the assessment tool. We created a quiz that had 5 questions with each question playing a different piece of music. The faculty were in groups of 3 and took the quiz together. They had to listen to the music that was played and name the artist and title of the song. The faculty had a lot of fun doing this. We had the music randomized so no 2 groups were listening to the same song at the same time.

In our video conferencing tool, we used the content area to display baby pictures of famous musicians and they had to guess who the musician was. Then, at the end they had to figure out what all of the musicians had in common (they were all musicians from Mississippi). Then we used the Break-out room feature to break them out into 5 groups and they had to work together using the whiteboard and text chat to come up with as many more Mississippian musicians as they could. The winning group won a prize.

We introduced social networking and collaborative workspace to them by having a faculty member who uses these tools show how they use them for their classes.

Throughout the event we gave them prizes and treats and served them lunch at the end. The event was an overwhelming success. One of the things that we do stress when doing things like this for our faculty is that it is not all about just using technology but using it in an appropriate manner. We also stress good instructional design techniques.

Our local news did a TV spot on the event:

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