Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Bouquet of Opportunities for Ball State Faculty and Staff to Grow Technical Skills

Don’t you just love summer? The bright sun itself puts everyone in a great mood — colorful gardens, the sweet songs of the birds, too. These are nice contrasts to those who, only a few days or weeks earlier, were bogged down with the cold, clouds, paper grading, and the day-to-day hustle and bustle.

Nice weather makes it feel like we have more hours in a day, and the Technology Training Specialists here at the University Libraries’ Technology Training Support Services, would like to help you fill some of them. To do this, we have prepared a variety of opportunities for you to grow your technical skills and to cultivate technologies that may help you and your students.

Our Summer Faculty Enhancement Series 2007 includes some new features along with the ones popular from last year. Our “Web Tools” program focuses on newer technologies that promise great learning opportunities for students. These are technologies that are especially powerful for providing communication and collaboration opportunities and that add pedagogical value to your courses. Among these technologies are blogs, podcasts, and wikis.

For example, blogs provide the students a forum for discussing course topics and reflecting on what they have learned outside of class. Podcasts give the instructor another rich avenue to communicate course content as well as providing an opportunity for students to access course material for review and study. Wikis provide an easy-to-use medium for collaborative projects.

The Best of Blackboard Series 2007 will be offered over the summer, too. In this series, we explore a variety of course design and organization ideas to get you started and familiar with Blackboard. While learning the how-to of Blackboard technically, attendees will also have a chance to build their own courses by uploading content, creating assessment tools, and communication methodologies such as discussion boards and chats. Faculty will also have a first look at the new version of Blackboard that will be coming online in August, 2007.

For faculty who teach in a face-to-face classroom setting, using PowerPoint can be a double-edged sword. To escape using the familiar bullet pointed slides, join us for our PowerPoint Presentation Series 2007 so you can get started on building flexible, dynamic, visual presentations to become a "relational presenter" to engage your students with visual communication.

I hope you will explore these and other professional development opportunities that are being offered to faculty. I also hope you find many opportunities to enjoy the sunshine, work in the gardens, and listen to the birds — bonuses that summer offers.

To learn more about these and other Technology Training Support Services programs, contact Yasemin Tunc, at YTunc@bsu.edu, (765) 285-5902. To register for one or more of our programs, visit www.bsu.edu/techtrain.

This newsletter article first appeared in The Library Insider 5(5): 11; May 2007.

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