Tech seminars for staff members

mac illustration photo

Illustration: Colourbox.com

This spring semester, a colleague from the Department of Technology, Economy and Business and I have held five seminars (one each month) for staff members. Although the seminars are called “Tech seminars”, it`s really not about the technology itself, but rather about using tech in a pedagogic setting. The attendees have heard us talk about the technology and they have been able to test some features, but we have emphasised how they can use it in class or to reach off-campus students. Basically, using technology to teach better, not technology as a goal in itself.

The seminars were: 1. Discovery tools (Google Scholar, DOAJ, Oria) 2. Collaborative writing tools (Google Drive, TitanPad, Zoho, Editorially. I really liked Editorially, but unfortunately the service was discontinued in May..) 3. Questionnaires and voting devices (Google Forms, Socrative, Blackboard) 4. Web seminars and tutoring online (Google Hangouts, ClassLive, Skype) 5. Images: copyright and creative commons (Colourbox, Creativecommons.org).

I have had seminar series before, with varying content and success, and although these tech seminars also had moderate/poor turnout (from 6 to 25 attendees), I deem the series a success. Those who turned up gave us many encouraging comments about the content and presentations, and many said that they had wanted and needed the seminars, but were prevented to attend by meetings, teaching etc.

I don`t know if we`ll do something similar later, or if we will just hang back and wait for the staff members to contact us. I don`t really believe that these seminars will have a lasting effect on the attendees, but if nothing else – I was forced to think about some things that I had forgotten, and some staff members told me that they had discovered useful things. We`ll see..

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