Lillian Jones, guest blogger for The Wheel, is the author of this series. Lillian is a doctoral student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, studying Hispanic linguistics and second language acquisition. Her research interests include educational technologies, computer-mediated communication, computer assisted language learning, and pedagogical applications of messaging apps and social media. In her free time, Lillian enjoys traveling, running, playing soccer, practicing yoga, cooking, writing, learning languages, laughing, drinking coffee, and tasting Old World red wines.
The 2020 UC Davis Summer Institute on Teaching and Technology (SITT) took place July 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, and included a series of pre-recorded events (such as faculty interviews and short talks), live webinars (with the keynote presentation by Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Spanish, Dr. Robert Blake), Daily Debriefs on both Wednesday and Thursday, and concluded with a special SITT edition faculty forum. Over 200 attendees actively participated in insightful and lively conversations, via face and voice, Zoom chat, Google Docs collaboration, as well as on Twitter.
Professor Blake kicked off the live portion of the conference on Wednesday, July 22nd, where he delivered a meaningful message on the impact of storytelling for effective learning. His presentation reminded us that all humans possess the innate desire to tell their story, and utilizing content and context together to understand and narrate course material is imperative in student learning.
“Storytelling is what we live for and what defines us…and if you’re really able to get your students telling their stories you are really getting into the active enterprise which is teaching.” – Dr. Robert Blake
The topic of learning through storytelling was threaded throughout the conference as participants shared anecdotes and stories from teaching remotely in the Spring of 2020, providing lessons that all of us could consider as we prepare for the Fall. Participants told tales which blended failures, successes, and lessons learned, all contributing to enlightening dialogue with immediately practical actions to apply in the classroom next term. Thus, in short-story form, we will share a five-part blog series which highlights five general themes that emerged from the 2020 Summer Institute on Teaching and Technology: Equity & Accessibility, Community & Connection, Video, Multimodal/Multitasking, and Breakout Rooms.
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The UC Davis 2020 Summer Institute on Teaching and Technology brought together many experienced instructors, faculty, and staff from across multiple disciplines, members of the UC Davis community who together boast years of teaching and experience in higher education. The insightful and engaging discussions included hands-on opportunities for group members to break down the biggest challenges of teaching online, and ways we can begin to address such challenges, starting with the partnership of pedagogy and technology.
As instructors, we cannot just take the same approach that we do with face-to-face courses. We need to adjust, be flexible, and remember that if we are having a hard time, most certainly our students are as well. In adjusting to this new way of teaching, we must be intentional about changes to our courses and be transparent with our students about the choices we make.
The year 2020 has presented many challenges and difficulties, and with each challenge comes opportunity. Let us approach Fall 2020 as a chance to connect with and learn from our students, introduce and trial new tools and strategies, enhance our own teaching practice, and continue to support one another through consistent communication. When it comes to technology, whether we are innovators or laggards, we are in a prime position to inspire, motivate, and above all, teach our future leaders, so why not give it a try?
“There are so many diverse approaches to teaching online. And it is so strongly affected by technology and all the thoughtful pedagogy that goes behind it all.” – Patricia Turner @UCDavis_CEE
In the coming weeks, please look out for five blog posts covering SITT 2020 trends: Equity & Accessibility, Community & Connection, Video, Multimodal/Multitasking, and Breakout Rooms. I look forward to sharing them with you.
Post event resources:
- Keep Teaching Student Resources
- Keep Teaching Faculty Webinars
- Center for Educational Effectiveness
- Email Instructionaldesign@ucdavis.edu for consulting and advice on how to implement instructional technologies in your specific UC Davis course.
- Find SITT snippets from Twitter by following @ucdaviswheel and @Lily_Jones20, using the hashtag #UCDavisSITT.
*Remember this is an annual event, so make sure you put it on your calendar for next year! Subscribe to The Wheel e-newsletter here, or follow @ucdaviswheel to stay up to date on all Academic Technology Service happenings and more.