CIT Showcase Turns 10

Exhibition of technology in the classroom to be held Friday

When Duke faculty gathered in 2001 for the university's first instructional technology showcase, the hot topic was teaching with the Web.

Then came iPods, multimedia, and a tidal wave of technologies that have opened up new possibilities for teaching and learning.

This year, Duke's 10th annual IT Showcase will focus on "Learning Beyond the Classroom" -- from mobile devices, social networking tools and mapping technologies to open educational resources.

"Technology enables innovation in education," said Steve Nowicki, dean and vice provost for undergraduate education, who will deliver the event's opening plenary. "We need to think innovatively about what we want to do in our learning environments and understand how technology can enhance that and improve learning outcomes."

The free one-day conference, hosted by the Center for Instructional Technology (CIT), is Friday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Perkins/Bostock libraries and the Link. The showcase is open to the public, but registration in advance is recommended.

Among the topics:

· Blogs and Twitter as tools for teaching writing, foreign language and nursing education.

· ePortfolios for measuring student learning outcomes.

· Duke Immerse, a proposed program that would allow students to forgo a regular courseload for a semester in exchange for an intensive semester of full-time research and learning alongside two or three faculty members.

· Students' perspectives on the effective integration of technology in the classroom.

· Mobile devices and mapping technologies in service learning projects in Durham and around the globe.


The event offers faculty an opportunity to share their experiences with emerging technologies. Associate professor Kate Scholberg, for instance, uses a "smartpen" to record short videos demonstrating how to solve physics problems that she wouldn't have time to demonstrate for her class.

"Students tell me they want more examples, and we have limited time in class," Scholberg said. "The pen records what my writing and my voice while I'm explaining. For students who need that kind of spoken interaction, it works very well."

Other presentations will highlight the potential for technology in interdisciplinary collaboration. Duke faculty in dance and engineering, for example, will discuss a project using accelerometers and video motion capture software to create 3-D models that students can manipulate to learn movement and dance sequences.

"Dance seems like one of the most nontechnological areas, but the tools are there now to move forward in interesting ways," said Tyler Walters, associate professor of the practice of dance.

Mary Barzee, who will present about a "Twitter soap opera" produced by the School of Nursing, said she's looking forward to learning how colleagues are using different technologies.

"The showcase is the perfect place to learn about new technology and make connections with people across campus," said Barzee, program coordinator for the Innovative Nursing Education Technologies grant. "The technology is so exciting right now, and it's fun to see what other people are doing."

A complete list of presentations and presenters is available online.

The second plenary session, "The Potential of Open Educational Resources," will be presented by Joel Thierstein, associate provost of Rice University and executive director of Connexions, and Michael Boezi, editorial director of Flat World Knowledge.

Duke is exploring the possibility of involvement with the Open Learning Initiative, an effort to make courses freely available to non-enrolled learners, Nowicki said.

"We need to move away from the ‘sage on the stage' lecture-based model to a new model where basic content is delivered outside the classroom and class time focuses more on active learning and reinforcement," he said.

Find out more about the event at the showcase site.