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How can we improve teaching and student learning? Can we connect with students through texting, or invert the traditional classroom experience altogether? These were just a few of the questions posed at U of T’s second EdTech Workshop, held at the Bahen Centre on May 28.

The workshop showcased leading applications and best practices for innovative teaching and learning. The 250 attendees learned about everything from webinars and lecture capture, to online office hours, group-marking software and e-textbooks. They also listened to presentations from 13 of U of T’s leaders in educational technology, including engineering Professors Jim Wallace (MIE) and Susan McCahan (MIE), Vice-Dean, Undergraduate, and Lecturers Jason Bazylak (MIE), Jason Foster (EngSci) and Dr. Micah Stickel (ECE), First Year Chair.

This year’s workshop was led by Allison Van Beek, Instructional Technology Specialist, who, in the spirit of the event, tried some innovative ways to capture the day’s activities.

“We broadcasted our opening remarks into a smaller room to demonstrate how that could work for a distributed-learning environment,” said Van Beek. “We also asked one of our vendor participants, Akindi, to help us design a custom bubble-sheet trivia game.” What’s more, all the sessions throughout the day were lecture captured and will be posted online.

“This day was designed to be a ‘show and tell’ experience, where instructors could share what they’ve learned as educators,” said Van Beek. “I hope that it inspired people to try something new … I also hope that people become more aware of how much interest there is to implement technology in the classroom.”

This is the second time U of T Engineering has hosted the EdTech Workshop. The first was in 2011, and was chaired by the late Harpreet Dhariwal , former Instructional Technology Specialist for the Faculty.

“The 2013 workshop continued the spirit of his work,” said Van Beek.

Van Beek is already looking ahead to next year’s EdTech Workshop, where she hopes to live-stream the sessions, add more interactive elements and have more collaborative sessions.

“I expect to see some big jumps in how we use technology in the classroom at U of T this year, especially in U of T Engineering,” she said. “I can’t wait to showcase those efforts next year.”

Learn more about this year’s EdTech presenters.

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