Events and Workshops

Click here for EdTech currently offered events information and registration.

Register for TCDC events here.

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The Vancouver Podcast Festival: Report

Photograph of panel at CBC live podcast 2050: Degrees of Change

The Panel at 2050: Degrees of Change (CBC live podcast)

The Vancouver Podcast Festival 

Karen Budra and Julian Prior attended the inaugural Vancouver Podcast Festival, sponsored by the Justice Institute, CBC and the VPL and presented by DOXA, between Thursday, Nov 8 and Saturday, November 10. We attended a number of panels, workshops, social events & live podcasts. Here are our takeaways: 


In the panel, Politics & Podcasting, Charlie Demers pointed out that podcasts “fulfill… the promise of the internet” as opposed to social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, because podcasts are “more thoughtful.” This resonated with us, as one of the primary functions of academia is to encourage students to demonstrate deep learning and we would encourage faculty to learn how to use podcasts both to deliver course material and to provide students with another modality with which to express their ideas. 


Most of the kit recommended by the senior sound CBC sound engineer, Cesil Fernandes in Sonic Sorcery: The Magic Tricks of Sound Design, such as the Zoom, Shure and Sennheiser microphones and portable recorders, are already available through EdTech or AVIT. Additionally, of course, smartphones (with or without attached microphones) can be used as a “safe” adjunct, should another recording device fail. 

EdTech also has an insulated studio in which to record audio, available to be booked by Langara faculty. 


In the course of the three days, we met a variety of people from a variety of backgrounds, including Johanna Wagstaff, Lisa Kristiansen, Ian Hanomansing, & other CBC luminaries; well-established podcasters Karina Longworth and Helen Zalzberg; neophyte podcasters and students. 

These connections were both informative and inspiring, especially as one of the CBC producers is the parent of one of Karen’s current students and was able to talk knowledgably about Langara. We also spent time with two recent UBC film grads who run a podcast and learned much about how they set it up and the best way to deliver podcasts to students. More importantly, we learned how they created this student podcast and gained valuable insight into how we might support Langara instructors to help their students establish one based on this model. One of the great strengths of podcasts as a learning tool is that they can be delivered directly to students’ mobile devices, allowing them to study on the move.

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Brightspace Quizzes now save automatically.

New: Auto-Save for Brightspace Quizzes

You’ve always been told to advise your students to save every quiz question as they finish it, and Save All Responses before submitting. This was to make sure that in-progress quizzes would be saved if a student was interrupted mid-quiz.

As of October 2018, it’s no longer necessary to need to manually save answers when taking a quiz. Quiz responses will now be saved as students complete each question. See below for images showing the old version (with Save button) versus the new, including what it will look like when a question auto-saves.

The old Brightspace quiz question interface, with Save button and disk icon (showing that the question is saved).

The old Brightspace quiz question interface, with Save button and disk icon (showing that the question is saved).








The new Brightspace quiz question interface, without Save button, with the "Saving/Saved" message highlighted.






Instructor Note: The quiz event log will show whenever a question is automatically saved, including an updated character count for Written Response questions.

Other Updates

No More Save Button

The “Save” and “Save All Responses” buttons at the bottom of a Quiz screen have been removed. The “Go to Submit Quiz” button is now called “Submit Quiz.”

There will still be a submission confirmation screen, after clicking “Submit Quiz,” that prompts students to submit the quiz when they’re ready.

Auto-Save Works Differently for Written Response Questions

If a Written Response question shows the format bar (also known as the HTML Editor), student responses will not be automatically saved as they type. To make sure that the answer is being saved as they work, students must click anywhere outside the text entry field to prompt the “Saving…/Saved” message to appear at the top right.

Other question types, or Written Response questions with the format bar disabled, will auto-save approximately every 30 seconds.

Internet Connection Status Notifications

Brightspace will now display a notification if the student loses their internet connection while taking a quiz.

a red-bordered notification box that reads "Internet connection lost. Trying to reconnect..."



Students will also see a notification when the connection is restored, at which point Brightspace will automatically save any unsaved answers.

A green-bordered notification that reads "Internet connection restored! Saving all answers..."



Instructor Note: The quiz log will record when a lost connection is restored.


Question is Still “Saving…”

If a student has answered a question and it seems to be stuck on “Saving…” for a very long time, they should double-check their internet connection. If they seem to be connected, they should continue writing their quiz. Any unsaved answers will be saved when they either move between pages, or go to submit the quiz.

Recommendations for Writing Quizzes

As always, we generally recommend using a wired internet connection, if possible. This greatly reduces the chances of losing an internet connection in the middle of a quiz.

If a student is writing a quiz from a mobile device like a phone or tablet, it’s best to access the quiz from Assessments > Quizzes, rather than from Course Materials > Content. This will provide more room on the screen for quiz questions. If possible, a desktop or laptop computer is best for taking quizzes, as these devices offer the best experience.

Updating Your Course Materials

If you’ve been advising your students to save each question as they go, please update those instructions in your courses to account for these updates. You can also just link to the student support page for these changes, which outline the new auto-save function and other new features now active in Brightspace quizzes. Click here, or access the link below, to see the student update.

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Do you or someone you know use classroom polling or another type of student response system (SRS) at Langara?

The Education Technology department wants to know how many instructors at Langara use a student response system, or SRS. Examples of popular SRS are iClicker desktop or cloud, Top Hat, Turning Point, Socrative, Quizziz, Poll Everywhere, etc.  If you do not use a SRS but you know of someone who does, please kindly forward the link to this announcement.

Marianne Gianacopoulos, and Nimmy Nelson are guiding this review of the use of student response systems (SRS) across the college.

If you currently use a SRS, do you mind answering a few short questions via the below survey link? We want to gather information on numbers of users and types of SRS programs currently in use. If you previously answered a survey sent specifically to you, please disregard this request. We already have your information.  Please click on the following link:

Thank you. We appreciate your taking the time and for your participation. Access to the survey will close as of November 15th.

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Lunch and Learn with (by LinkedIn Learning) is an online library of over 6,000 instructional videos organized in over 2000 courses covering a wide range of business, creative and professional skills. Taught by accomplished teachers and industry experts is a high quality resource for students, faculty and staff looking to develop skills in Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, project management, social media and many other areas.

EdTech are offering the following sessions in the EdTech Lab and online via Zoom. The sessions will be facilitated by Lindsey Mussack from

Lunch and Learn with Lynda 1: Getting to know Friday October 19, 12.30-1.00 p.m.

Lunch and Learn with Lynda 2: Improve your Office 365 skills Friday October 26, 12.30-1.00 p.m.

Lunch and Learn with Lynda 3: Mapping content to your Brightspace courses Friday November 2, 12.30-1.00 p.m.

Bring your lunch and we’ll provide the snacks and inspiration!

To sign up to attend the sessions in person in the EdTech Lab click on the links above.

If you would like to attend the sessions remotely let us know in the comments below and we will send you the URL for the Zoom room.


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Create/Engage/Share/Reflect: Introducing Digital Media Creator


Mug of tea with Create letteringThe Digital Media Creator (DMC) is a program of professional development designed to equip you with the skills required to be confident users of digital media in the classroom and online. Sessions take place in the EdTech Lab with a focus on fun, collaboration and creativity. All you need is enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. Five modules of two hours each are scheduled to fit around your teaching:


  1. Create/Share/Engage/Reflect: Introduction to the DMC (October)
  2. Visual Storytelling (Sketchnoting/Storyboarding/Cartoons & Comic Strips) (November)
  3. Effective Slide Design (December)
  4. Video Production and Editing (January)
  5. Podcasting and Audio (February)


You can take modules individually; if you complete all five, you will receive a DMC Digital Badge and a free lunch!


For more information and to register your interest, please leave your name and email address in the comment section below or call Julian Prior at 5591 or Karen Budra at 5694. We will then send out a Doodle Poll so the timing of the modules fits around your teaching schedule.


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Welcome back!

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Open Education Advocacy and Research Fellows – Applicants welcome!

Image: Ideas Start Here

Photo by Chris Knight on

Interested in becoming an advocate for Open Education? Perhaps your students use a free open textbook and you want to raise awareness of the benefits of using one for students, instructors and the college?

BCcampus are currently welcoming applications for three Open Education Advocacy and Research Fellows amongst post-secondary faculty in BC. Successful applicants will receive mentorship in OER advocacy and research, and funding of $2000 for conference and meeting attendance.

For further information see: The closing date for applications is Thursday February 15, 2018. If you would like to discuss any potential application please contact Julian Prior in EdTech (

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D2L Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning

The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) and Desire2Learn ( D2L) invite submissions for the 2018 D2L Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning. 

This award celebrates and recognizes innovative approaches that promote student-centred teaching and learning.

Awards are open to all instructors currently teaching at a post-secondary institution, regardless of discipline, level, or term of appointment. Applications in French or English are welcomed. Applicants do not need to be members of STLHE to apply.

Award recipients are expected to attend the 2018 STLHE conference, which will be held in Sherbrooke, Quebec, on June 20 – 22, 2018 and a retreat which will be held the day before the conference. 

The award recipients (up to five per year) receive the following:

1) Up to $2,200.00 to offset the registration and travel costs to attend the Annual STLHE conference and an Award Recipients retreat the day before the conference

2) Two-year membership in STLHE

3) Certificate of Recognition


The deadline for submission of an application package is Sunday, 18 February 2018

For further details and award criteria please visit:

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12 Apps of Christmas!

Originating at Regent’s University London in 2014, 12 Apps of Christmas is a fun and free online micro-learning activity aimed at staff and students working in educational institutions. The idea behind it is to introduce a series of mobile apps sent out via a blog 12 Apps of Christmas logopost over twelve days in December. Each post introduces the app, explains how to use it, suggests some possible uses in learning and teaching, and finally sets a challenge for the reader that is shared on social media. The activity is a bit of fun but is also a great way to find out about some of the useful mobile apps out there and have a go at using them. You can learn about the App and do the challenge in around 10-15 minutes so it is a great professional development opportunity for time-pressed educationalists!

This is the second year that the Educational Technology User’s Group in BC have run the activity. This year’s 12 Apps has been very successful so far with over 200 people from around the world signing up to receive the daily updates. To see the Apps released so far visit You can also register here to receive daily updates for the remainder of the Apps. Check out #12AppsBC on Twitter to see some great examples that participants have created using the Apps.

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Open Education: The Teenage Years (Reflections on OpenEd17 Part 1)

In November 2010 when I was working as a Sociology Instructor at a Further Education College in the UK, I was lucky enough to get some time off to attend the 7th annual Open Education Conference, held that year in a beautiful science museum in Barcelona. At the time the Open Education movement was still relatively young and appeared, at least to me at the time, progressive and radical. I remember being wowed by presentations from the likes of Martin Weller, Paul Stacey, Richard Hall and Joss Winn, Rory McGreal and the late Erik Duval. Sessions referenced the University of the People and the University of Utopia, Manifestos for OER Sustainability, CloudWorks and OERopoly (a game to generate collective intelligence around OER). It felt exciting, cutting-edge, DIY and autonomous. There was talk of EduPunk and apparent schisms between those who promoted sustainability and funding models versus those who saw the potential of Open Education to initiate not just a revolution in teaching and learning but in society itself. It was exhilarating stuff.

Fast-forward seven years and thanks to my colleagues in the Library and Ed Tech I was able to attend the 14th annual Open Education Conference, this time held in Anaheim, California. One immediate difference was the size: 2010’s conference involved around 200 participants whereas estimates put this year’s attendance at well over 500 including what seemed to me to be large numbers of first-time attendees. Another was the format. In Barcelona we had keynotes and presentations mainly, whereas Anaheim added round-table discussions, an unconference session and a musical jam. Dialogue and conversations felt genuinely participatory, democratic and inclusive even though there was a recognition that much work still needs to be done in this area.

The Keynotes

The originally announced Keynote line-up had received some criticism from a number of people on Twitter both for its lack of diversity and for including a representative of an organisation whose policies run counter to the ideals of the open education movement. Challenging this took a good deal of courage from those who stood up to be counted and from those who backed them. Encouragingly, the conference organiser took the criticisms on board and made some changes to the programme.

Ryan Merkely, CEO of Creative Commons kicked off Wednesday’s programme by announcing a prototype of a search tool that brings 1-click attribution as well as a new CC Global Network Open Education Platform which all open education advocates are invited to participate in. Ryan devoted the rest of his Keynote to presenting an intensely personal and powerful call for us to build the Open Ed community by focusing on values of equity, inclusivity and diversity. This process often requires us to listen to others, examine our own privilege and ensure that no voices are left out. In other words “Active, unrelenting inclusion” as Jamison Miller put it.

Friday morning’s Keynote Addresses were given by David Bollier and Cathy Casserly. Bollier, who is Director of the Reinventing the Commons Program at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics, urged us to see the knowledge commons as embodying a different set of values and practices to the global market and the state. Whereas global capital imposes social relationships of price, enclosure, patents and copyright, the commons is a self-organised social system that emphasises fairness, responsibility, long-term stewardship and meeting peoples’ basic needs. The next big thing, Bollier argued, could well be a lot of small things — examples such as Platform Co-operativism, community land trusts, makerspaces, and the various ‘opens’ (source, textbooks, journals) point the way to a new generative and value-creating movement beyond the tyranny of business models, bureaucracy and the market.

I first heard Cathy Casserly speak in Barcelona in 2010, back when she was about to become CEO of Creative Commons. She is an excellent speaker, and has the unique ability to tell personal stories and link them to wider political events. At its core, she argued, the Open Education movement is about freedom, transparency, social justice, equity, access and inclusion, values that are being fundamentally threatened in the current social and political climate. If we are to achieve our ambitious aim of transforming learning globally then we must grow, and as we grow reflect intently on the various ‘nodes’ within our network, ensuring all voices are included and given space for articulation. As we move from the “terrible twos” into our “teenage years” we must also think about issues of governance and leadership and consider giving a far more prominent role to Open advocates on the ground (those that “make shit happen” as Cathy put it). Otherwise the Open Ed movement could end up replicating the power structures of the traditional Taylorist model of education that it is trying to replace.




What about the students? In part two of this blog post I will switch attention to an inspiring panel involving students from a local college, reflect on my presentation on international student engagement with open textbooks, and talk about some of the technologies and platforms that are being promoted as open alternatives to proprietary software from the likes of Pearson and McGraw-Hill.

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