B.C. post-secondary educators share their insight for the future of EdTech in 2016

As we look ahead in 2016, seven B.C. post-secondary leaders share with us the top Educational Technologies they are excited to learn, test and teach. Find out which technology trends are on the radar of these EdTech specialists and which ones we should be keeping a closer eye on in the not-too-distant future.

Lucas Wright – Learning Technology Specialist, University of British Columbia

“An interesting trend that I have been hearing about more from faculty is the development and interest in emerging collaborative learning spaces. More faculty are developing assignments where students create and edit Wikipedia articles. Another space that there is growing interest in especially in  Science and Engineering is the Jupyter Notebook ‘a web application that allows you to create and share documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and explanatory text.’ Gitbooks makes writing, collaborating and versioning accessible for the classroom. These collaborative tools allow instructors to move beyond the ‘throwaway’ assignment and engage their students in the production of content, code and the research process.”

Janni Aragon – Director, Technology Integrated Learning, University of Victoria

“I am excited to see more DIY making and hacking of spaces, sites, and culture in 2016. I am hopeful that 2016 will include more opportunities for ed tech to empower students. In terms of an app that could be extremely useful for all of us – I am smitten with Jane McGonigal’s Super Better app. I am gamifying my attempt to be Super Better, and took up her suggestion to play Monument Valley, which I love.”

Meg Goodine, Manager, Learning Technologies, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

“In partnership with the library, we launched our first try at a digital badge in September of last year. We have awarded over 2, 750 badges to students who completed a plagiarism awareness tutorial which says to us that faculty are open to this kind of digital recognition. In the coming year, I’d like to see us explore other digital badging opportunities, especially ones where students can see the value of being able to link to evidence of their learning.”

Michael Paskivicus, Learning Technologies Application Developer, Vancouver Island University

“I am excited by the potential offered through Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC). This open protocol supports real-time synchronous multimedia communication capabilities directly in a compatible web browser without requiring specific applications or plugins. The technology is open source, free, standardized, and rapidly being built into desktop and mobile web browsers. I see potential here for increased and easily initiated communication between learners and faculty, modern support for fully online courses and virtual office hours, and facilitating collaborative learning and group work.”

Terri Bateman – Instructional Designer, North Island College

“What’s interesting to me right now is seeing the integration of existing technologies; the fringe and the status quo are converging. Actual alternatives to the LMS are appearing, whereas before we just heard that it should die. 3D printing is more than just a cool thing, there are mainstream applications. I’m seeing more and more open content and sharing of information and that’s exciting to me. So for me it’s not exactly shiny new things, it’s more that I can see things coming together and I look forward to implementing and advancing these ideas.”

Carlos da Cruz Alves, Manager, Course Production, Royal Roads University

“Evolving technologies are, many times, more affordable than their revolutionary counterparts. Inexpensive robotic gadgets, like Lego Mindstorms, are opening an era of custom-made robots that can serve us and help us to learn a way that is accessible to virtually anyone for a fraction of the cost they used to be. New and affordable high-res 4K gadgets will also allow us to develop learning objects and simulations to a great level of detail. Video capturing and editing apps are finally getting to a point that are of high quality, powerful, inexpensive, and easy to learn at the same time.”

Michael Minions, Educational Technology Coordinator, Okanagan College

“As part of my ongoing experiments in how remote students can join a regular face-to-face class, I’ve been playing with the Kubi robot. I went to a history class by Kubi and everything worked great – until the prof handed out the 10 question in-class quiz on a piece of paper. I could sort of read the questions, but I had no way to hold a pencil. So there’s still a bit of adaptation required in the instructional methods, but that’s what I’m looking at for the next few months.”

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