Our current help hours:
These hours sometimes change, so please check this page often. Click the Continue Reading link below.
These hours sometimes change, so please check this page often. Click the Continue Reading link below.
Ed Tech is still here to support you, but we’ve moved to remote support. We are available via email and Zoom (https://langara.zoom.us/j/6043235403), which will be staffed by an Instructional Assistant between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. Email questions can be answered between 8:30 am and 8:00 pm. You will need at least a microphone to participate in Zoom meetings.
As you can imagine, many people are trying to contact us now. Please be patient: we will get to your requests as soon as we can.
In the meanwhile, check out our resources for teaching remotely here: https://langara.sharepoint.com/sites/edtech-employees/SitePages/We-are-Here-to-Help.aspx
Hang in, Langarans!
Click here for EdTech currently offered events information and registration.
Register for TCDC events here.
There’s a new way of adding Kaltura MediaSpace items to your Brightspace course Content. Click here for a step-by-step of the process.
Note: this method only works in the Content tool. Everywhere else in your course, the Insert Stuff method still applies.
Need to email your students, but not accustomed to using Brightspace? Watch the video below for a how-to on using the Brightspace email tool to easily contact your students, or click here for a step-by-step PDF.
Note: With the retirement of Course Tools, Brightspace email changed on Dec 23rd, 2019. It is no longer be possible to receive email messages in Brightspace. Your message will be sent from your @langara.ca email address and sent to your students’ @mylangara.ca email address. When they respond to the emails you send from your course, the message will go to your Langara email address, and your replies to them will be sent to your students’ MyLangara email address.
On Wednesday, January 29th, Elder Mary Jane Joe officially welcomed people into the beautifully renovated EdTech/TCDC offices on the second floor of C Building.
Our new acronym, TLC, suits the light-filled, welcoming space, which features a recording studio, flexible furnished meeting rooms, a cosy reception/book club nook and airy new offices.
Family, friends & staff joined us to celebrate the opening, during which people noshed on food and “teaching/tech tasters” ranging from the use of the lightboard to creating a podcast.
If you were unable to make the official open house—or want to bask in the ambience once more—feel free to visit; we’re here to support your teaching needs.
As part of my EdTech remit, I’m exploring how Artificial Intelligence, Virtual & Augmented Reality might be used to enhance teaching & learning. To that end, I recently attended the “Alternate Realities” segment of the Sheffield DocFest, “AI: More than Human” at the Barbican Centre, London, and “VIFF Immersed” at the Vancouver International Film Festival. In all three instances, I realised that anxiety about the “singularity” (the point at which AI will become self-conscious and possibly uncontrollable) can be tempered by what Chris Milk refers to as its capacity to become an “empathy machine.”
This dichotomy can be summed up by one of my favourite theories, that of the Burkean sublime, which posits that art (in this case, AI/VR/AR) is capable of jolting us out of complacency by exposing us to either extreme beauty or extreme horror. Our discomfort with the “uncanny” nature of AI is mirrored in Gothic cautionary tales of the inanimate made animate: the Golem
But these monstrous AI possibilities balance with divine promises of enlightenment, companionship and connection. Which is one reason, apparently, why AI & robots have been readily accepted in Japan, where Shintoism accepts that all matter is animate.
I’m happy to chat about the philosophical ramifications of AI, especially as it relates to creativity. But wanted to share some of the highlights of my recent investigations into how AR & VR might be used in the classroom. In a perfectly funded academic world, we’d have access to the equipment and expertise necessary to create seamless virtual realities, transporting Literature students to the streets of Elizabethan London, Biology students to the interior of a cell undergoing meiosis and Kinesiology students into the threads of slow-twitch muscles. For most of us, however, augmented reality, which enhances the live world with a digital overlay, is within the realm of possibility, especially now that EdTech owns a 360 camera (anyone interested in joining me on a project?) Both VR and AR are useful training tools, as participants can be firmly guided toward specific learning outcomes using interactive overlays. However, in my experience, the greatest power of both technologies lies within their ability to elicit powerful emotions, transcending individual experience to connect with an “other;” a truly sublime experience. I am still processing what I experienced last summer: interacting with AI in a generative art experiment to release butterflies and tendrils of flowering vines from my hand; listening to Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” remixed a hundred different ways by AI; playing a virtual pinball machine that ricocheted LGBTQ coming-out narratives within a set of interconnected virtual family kitchens. But I want to share a few of the filmic highlights.
Which are, as good art always is, self-explanatory. Enjoy!
Echo: Empathy and Narrative
4 Feet Blind Date https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVL1G267ywo
Carne y Arena
Changes coming to Brightspace in the next few weeks:
On December 18th, myLangara Classic is being retired, so our Brightspace course request and TA/Marker Request forms are moving. You can find them on the EdTech Sharepoint site (you will need to log in with your Office 365 credentials).
Brightspace email will change on Dec 23rd, 2019. It will no longer be possible to receive email messages in Brightspace. Your message will be sent from your @langara.ca email address and sent to your students’ @mylangara.ca email address. When they respond to the emails you send from your course, the message will go to your Langara email address, and your replies to them will be sent to your students’ MyLangara email address.
On January 2nd, the way you access Brightspace is changing. Instead of your Computer User ID (jdoe), you will log in using your Office 365 email address and password (email@example.com), and verify using 2-factor authentication, just as you do now for your @langara.ca email.
This change affects all Langara employees, including TAs or markers (or anyone who needs to log in to Workday for timesheets, income tax receipts, etc.).
There’s more than technology in EdTech! This month, we want to introduce our EdTech Advisors, all of whom are passionate about helping faculty use analogue and digital technologies to enhance the delivery of their materials.
One of my interests in EdTech is using formative assessment in online environments to increase student engagement and success, and my not-so-secret passions are applying universal design for learning principles to course design, dispelling neuromyths in education and researching evidence-based approaches to teaching . I’m happy to talk about anything related to curriculum and course design and redesign regardless of the mode of delivery. I spend my free time gardening, knitting, cooking and wrangling three teenagers with varied appetites and demands.
Balancing between English & EdTech allows me to indulge what I love to do: teach and create. When not at work, I dance, write, shoot short documentary films and try to learn as much as possible about the stories we share and the ways in which we share them, especially via video and podcast production. I’ve been at Langara since 1989 (!), teaching regular and field studies programmes specialising in Literature, Theatre & Cinema Genre and History. I was once a stage actor, and continue to enjoy co-operative activities, like EdTech’s Digital Media Creator programme, which I was happy to help develop. In addition to an MA in English (U of T 1984), in 2016, I completed an MA in Documentary Film & TV Production at the Cambridge School of Art (UK) Currently interested in augmented reality in video, I am pleased to help faculty determine how best to engage students using narrative. I am film, fashion and music-mad, and thrive on co-creation and discovery.
I’ve been an instructor in the Computer Science department since 2000, teaching general computer science courses as well as specialized courses in web development. I’ve worked half time as an EdTech advisor since 2015. I have a keen interest in exploring technologies that can be used to increase engagement directly in the classroom, such as student response systems. I am also interested in applying open source software and platforms to enable instructors and students to publish on the web. Outside of work, I try and spend as much time as possible in the outdoors hiking and biking.
I am currently Chair of Educational Technology and an EdTech Advisor, having come to Langara (and Canada) in Jan 2016. I taught Sociology at a UK further education college for 12 years before moving into learning technologies at the University of Bath and Southampton Solent University. I have a keen interest in digital media (especially podcasting) and am a passionate advocate of open education. In my spare time I play Masters level badminton and get to travel to tournaments throughout Canada and the US. I love photography and noodling around with electronic music – although I’m definitely an amateur at both!
I enjoyed my time as a student in the Library & Information Technology Programme (1993) so much that I pursued a Masters in Library & Information Science at UBC (1995.) After working for the Centre for Health Services & Policy Research, I moved to the Federal government as Library Manager for Natural Resources Canada. In 2013, Langara beckoned once more, and I was hired as the Chair of Library Technician programme. Coupling my love of new challenges with that of technology, I began work with EdTech half time in 2018. When I am not at work, I can be found with some sort of racquet in hand (badminton, ping pong, tennis or pickle ball), making art with my 2 girls or standing on the soccer field in the rain with my husband.
There are many misconceptions about creativity. One is that it is the exclusive preserve of geniuses – think Mozart or Picasso. Another is that creativity is a genetic trait passed on within families (while partly true your environment still plays a major role in how creativity is expressed). A third is that it is the domain of teachers and students in creative arts subjects. Forget encouraging creativity in Math, Business or Physics.
The good news: researchers from Durham University argue that we all possess “small c creativity,” that is, the kind of creativity that encourages us to “think differently” in social circumstances (including teaching) and find new ways of doing and thinking about things (Davies and Newton, 2018). Sir Ken Robinson goes further; paraphrasing Picasso he argues that the education system stifles the artist within all of us and one of our jobs as educators is to take risks in order to nurture and spark our creative capacities.
Thanks to Robinson and people like Andrew Churches (2008) who reformulated Bloom’s Taxonomy for the digital age, creativity is now seen as an essential 21st century set of skills alongside those of literacy, numeracy, critical thinking and collaboration. The ability to adapt and remix, make, publish, build and construct are considered valuable higher order skills in the classroom but also increasingly in the workplace. A 2014 Adobe study of over 1000 hiring managers found that 94% look for evidence of creativity in job applications. In the classroom both teachers and students are expected to demonstrate a degree of digital fluency when it comes to creative higher order skills. Students in particular are being encouraged to move beyond a consumer model of education and instead co-create their learning experiences while as educators we are being told we should provide opportunities for our students to demonstrate multiple means of action, expression and communication.
In EdTech our response to the need for more more creativity in the classroom and online has been to offer a program of professional development which we call Digital Media Creator. There are six modules: one a month from September through to March, focusing on creative practices such as podcasting, video production, screencasting and using cartoons/comics in teaching. We also offer an intensive DMC ‘boot camp’ where we cover all six modules in one week around NID time in early May. Each session is 90 mins long with an additional 30 mins “stay and play.” We aim to create an informal, stimulating and supportive learning environment in which to develop your creative skills, and we help you to create digital artefacts that you can use in your teaching. While we encourage you to sign up for all six modules you can also sign up for them individually depending on your interests and skill levels if you wish. Spots fill up quickly so you need to move fast!
Adobe (2014) ‘Study reveals students lack the necessary skills for success.’ http://blogs.adobe.com/education/2014/09/29/study-reveals-students-lack-the-necessary-skills-for-success/ (retrieved September 04, 2019)
Churches, Andrew (2008) Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228381038_Bloom’s_Digital_Taxonomy (retrieved September 6, 2019)
Davies, Lucy M and Newton, Lynn (2018) ‘Creativity is a human quality that exists in every single one of us.’ https://theconversation.com/creativity-is-a-human-quality-that-exists-in-every-single-one-of-us-92053 (retrieved September 5, 2019)