SITT wraps up, looks ahead

The last day of the 2006 Summer Institute on Teaching and Technology looked toward the future. After a week of discussing current developments in teaching and educational technology, SITT spent this morning asking its audience, "Where do we go from here?"

Friday, some leaders in campus technology offered a few answers.

Liz Gibson, director of IET-Mediaworks, talked about the new directions for her department, which provides audio, video, graphic art, Web design, and course technology services to faculty and staff.

Mediaworks strives "to provide the tools faculty need for quality instruction of the 'net generation'," she said. Instructors just beginning to adopt technology into their classrooms are teaching students to whom the Internet is second nature. Gibson stressed the importance of bridging this generation gap.

Jon Wagner, director of the campus Teaching Resources Center, talked about changes in his unit as well. One, he said, might involve shifting from one-time workshops such as SITT to building networks and communities over the entire year.

For the rest of Friday, the audience had the floor. Attendees broke into groups to come up with ways to improve education on campus. Some wanted to know how winners of TRC grants used their funds.

As the morning wound down, the audience commented on the institute itself. One instructor wished for smaller SITTs during the academic year. Another said it was important to keep things simple.

Andy Jones, coordinator of SITT; Fred Wood, interim vice provost for undergraduate studies; and Jon Wagner made closing remarks, thanking staffers for helping and the faculty for attending. Wagner, whose unit hosted the institute, appreciated the open forum of SITT.

"I came here as a host," said Wagner, "but leave as a participant."

Over the past week, more than 100 SITT participants and presenters have shared their ideas about teaching and how n ew technologies can change the classroom. The week included an Art of Teaching contest of classroom visuals, with entries displayed at the International House Thursday afternoon. The winner was professor R. Holland Cheng, a professor of molecular and cellular biology.

For recaps, please visit TechNews, or SITT's Web site for the agenda.