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Faculty, staff and students share how technology enhances learning

BOONE—The website Tech4Teach, which identifies technologies pertinent to teaching in higher education, has spawned a fair in which faculty and staff share how they use technology to better engage and teach students.

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This year, some 150 faculty, staff and students will gather for the second annual Tech4Teach Fair Feb. 5 at Appalachian State University. Registration for the one-day event is closed as maximum capacity has been reached, which is more than double that of last year’s event, according to event coordinator Nigel Davies.

“This reflects the greater interest in effectively integrating technology into learning,” he said of the annual event, which may evolve into a regional or state-wide gathering. “The committee has worked hard to create a dynamic learning experience for all attendees.”

In addition to the student e-poster sessions, one of the several new sessions for the fair are T4Ttalks. These presentations are an indication of the ways technology continues to transform classroom instruction. Michael Windelspecht will share how data is transforming the learning ecosystem. The former biology professor at Appalachian has been active in the development of multimedia resources for the online and hybrid science classrooms and now co-owns Ricochet Creative Productions, a multimedia production company that develops and assesses new technologies for the science classroom.

Paul Orkiszewski, a lead librarian in Belk Library and Information Commons, will talk about technology and open access scholarship and publication.

Technology is used by science educators to put the “wow” in their classroom labs. David Sitar, astronomy facility director, lab instructor and outreach coordinator, will share how an engaging lab experience can provide a more engaging learning experience.

Tom Hansell, co-director of documentary film services and assistant professor in the Center for Appalachian Studies, is known for showcasing important environmental and social issues through film. He will share how student documentary projects teach teamwork, compromise and leadership, and strengthen connections between students and members of the local community.

Among the student perspectives to be shared through e-poster presentations is that of Alexis Hellman, a freshman psychology major who created an e-portfolio to organize her course work. Senior computer science major Hunter Irving, who used the applications “Form & Function 3D” and “Sculpting” to explore and study biology and art, will also present.

Ashley Goodman, an associate professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science, and sophomore Hannah Blevins, will provide information on the use of “Anatomage Table,” a virtual anatomy visualization system containing 3D and 4D high-resolution cadaver and radiological images.

Major exhibitors and sponsors of the event are Dell; Camcor Inc., which provides instructional technology solutions and presentation systems for educational institutions; Learning Interactives, a project of Ricochet Creative Productions; the University Bookstore’s Appstore Technology area; Belk Library’s Technology Services; Learning Technology Services and Information Technology Services on campus; and the Department of Communication’s AppTV.

More information is online at http://tech4teach.appstate.edu/fair.

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