TLT offers a summer roster of teaching and learning events

Penn State’s Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) has had a busy year. The unit has been hard at work keeping the University up to date with new learning technologies through talks, seminars and events like the 2014 Symposium for Teaching and Learning with Technology, which took place March 22 and attracted almost 500 attendees — their biggest turnout to date.

Graduation may be approaching, but TLT isn’t taking the summer off. The unit has several more events slated for dates throughout the summer — all designed to help foster collaboration and education about teaching and learning online at Penn State.

May 13: GameDay 2014

TLT’s Educational Gaming Commons (EGC) GameDay took place May 13.

Everyone has that one app on their phone they can’t stop playing, whether it’s Candy Crush, Flappy Bird or any one of the thousands of other games available. These apps may suck away productivity, but EGC is working on leveraging addictive gaming technology to improve teaching and learning.

The year marked the third annual GameDay, and Chris Stubbs, EGC project manager, said the event included something to interest everyone from an experienced educational gamer to someone totally new to the subject.

“A couple years ago, we found that there were some people already using games at the University to improve teaching and learning as well those that were interested and had questions,” says Stubbs. “There wasn't an opportunity for this scattered community to connect, and GameDay was created to be that opportunity. And its really been amazing to see new projects, research and collaborations grow from a few hours spent in the same place, talking about games and learning.”

To learn more, visit http://gaming.psu.edu/gameday.

July 9–11: MacAdmins Conference

What was originally designed for people managing Mac computers at Penn State is blossoming into one of biggest Mac conferences on the East coast. This July will mark the fifth year of the MacAdmins Conference, and coordinators are expecting visitors from not only across the University but also around the world. Last year, 82 percent of attendees came from outside Penn State, including visitors from the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

This year’s conference is taking place July 9–11 with in-depth workshops on July 8. Spots are still available but are filling up fast. Sessions include topics about everything you need to maintain the machines that power teaching and learning with technology at Penn State.

Although this year’s conference will include over 60 hours of session content, there’s also social events every night like outings to Mt. Nittany Club or going to a baseball game to help attendees break the ice and network.

“We’ve also started recording and posting sessions to our YouTube channel for people who couldn’t make it to the conference,” says Justin Elliott, co-founder of the conference. “But even though they’re available online for free, people are still making the effort to come to the conference in person. I think that speaks to the value people put on the networking and interaction they get here.”

To learn more or register, go to http://macadmins.psu.edu.

July 17–18: Learning Design Summer Camp

Summer wouldn’t be the same without a visit to camp, and it’s not just for kids.

Penn State’s Learning Design Summer Camp is taking place July 17–18 and revolves around sharing and exploring innovations, best practices and emerging technologies in learning design.

“The camp is really about having fun and connecting while learning about new ideas and emerging technologies in the world of learning design,” says Kate Miffitt, camp chair and director of digital media, pedagogy and scholarship in the College of the Liberal Arts. “It’s a great chance for the Penn State community to come together to share innovations and best practices.”

Miffitt says the camp is mainly targeted to instructional designers but is open to anyone at the University interested in online technologies and pedagogy. Sessions will include discussions about the theory, practice and tools involved in online learning.

It’s not all work, though. Campers will get the chance to mingle and network at social events. Events in the past have included dinners, picnics, scavenger hunts and of course, no camp would be complete without making s’mores.

Registration will open in late May, and although attendance is free, it’s also limited. Keep an eye out for the official announcement on Yammer and http://camp.tlt.psu.edu.

The units behind the scenes

These events are made possible through TLT’s many units, including Education Technology Services and Classroom and Lab Computing. TLT went through some changes last year, with TLT seeing the transition of Training Services to another ITS unit and the addition of two new units, Studio and Operations.

Studio, led by Brad Kozlek, will work with units across Penn State to help them meet their goals using tailored software, design and web solutions, as well as continue working on WebLion. Operations, led by Terry O’Heron, is a fusion of the Accessibility, Marketing and Communications, and the Campus Learning Design teams. This new unit will maintain ANGEL program management and offer instructional technology support across Penn State.

To learn more about TLT and their ongoing initiatives, go to http://tlt.psu.edu. For more information about the new studio unit, visit http://studio.tlt.psu.edu and to learn more about the operations unit, go to http://tlt.psu.edu/operations.

For more stories about IT at Penn State, visit Current at http://current.it.psu.edu.

Last Updated May 13, 2014