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What does Academic Technology Services do?

E-textbooks. Hybrid and online courses. Using learner analytics to assess experiments that involve academic technology. The future of SmartSite.

These are a few of the areas that David Levin intends to discuss, and address, as director of Academic Technology Services for Information and Educational Technology. Below, you’ll find an excerpt (1 of 13) from an interview with Levin. You can also read the full text.

What does Academic Technology Services do?

We help faculty use technology in their teaching, learning and research, both on campus and online. We also help students and other staff, through faculty. I’ll summarize what we do:

  • Our media production group produces video, graphic content, animations, simulations, photography, and things like that, for faculty to use in their teaching and learning.
  • Our AV Engineering group takes care of classroom-based technology—all of the technology, projectors, document cameras, computer hookups, and the like, in our 128 general assignment classrooms. We also install and sometimes manage technology for another 40 to 50 classrooms for professional schools on campus that have been turning to AV Engineering for support.
  • The computer classroom and open-access lab group manages open-access labs all around campus, plus computer classrooms. Faculty members may want to reserve a computer classroom for a workshop on a particular tool. Or, the class may meet the entire quarter there. The unit also has a virtual computer lab service, in which students can remotely access software on the lab computer when the labs are closed.
  • Our academic programming group basically builds Web applications, often for research activities, but sometimes for teaching and learning as well.
  • And of course we support our learning management system, SmartSite, and other learning applications like clickers. Our faculty support and training group supports faculty in the use of those technologies.

As director, you make sure these services are working, set a vision, and incorporate the technology into the campus?

A director position has two branches: management, and leadership, or vision. In terms of management, I manage this area and these services, and work with other managers in IET to make sure our fit of services works well with others.

It doesn’t work in isolation. For example, with SmartSite, we manage the user interface and a lot of the testing, to make sure it works well, and meets faculty and student needs. On the other hand, as a back-end service, it’s managed by the applications group within IET’s Enterprise Applications and Infrastructure Services unit. And within the classroom, some of our technology, in a sense, is an end-point service for the university network. Because to make it all work, it has to attach to the network.

And on the leadership side?

The whole management team within ATS is the leadership group there. We manage our services, and think strategically about where we’re going to be in a few years.

I imagine you welcome faculty who want to talk with you about all this?

Absolutely.

What’s the best way for them to contact you?

Send me an email or call me (530-752-2133). Even better, as much as I live in the virtual world, I want to get together and talk with you. So, set up an appointment. Drop by.

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