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College awards tech mini grants for 2020

The College of Education values innovative classroom and teaching practices. In encouraging faculty to provide students with unique and rigorous coursework, the College issued a call for proposals to receive Technology Innovation for Teaching mini-grants in early Spring 2020. 

“These grants will support faculty members in their endeavors to learn about and utilize emerging technology in innovative ways to enhance student engagement, learning, and motivation, as well as enhance their own teaching,” said Mete Akcaoglu, Ph.D., co-chair of the College’s Technology and Instructional Resources Committee. “We decided to host this opportunity prior to the onset of COVID-19 and the shift to distance learning, however, we feel it only emphasizes our drive to be progressive. We find that the ongoing commitment to technological innovation and integration is vital to our College’s success for faculty and students.”

A total of $5,000 in funding was available, and proposals were accepted for any class setting including face-to-face, online, or hybrid.

Recipients of the COE’s 2020 technology mini-grants include: Michelle Reidel, Ph.D., Selçuk Dogan, Ph.D., Heather Scott, Ed.D., Nancy Remler, Ph.D., and Nedra Cossa, Ed.D.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ReidelMichelle.jpgMichelle Reidel, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Middle Grades and Secondary Education, received a $2,500 grant from the College to assist with the delivery of instruction to Master of Arts in Teaching graduate students as they work to earn initial teaching certification through the College’s fully-online programs. According to Reidel, the MAT Middle Grades and Secondary Education programs will utilize the funds to pilot The Teaching Channel, a video coaching platform that includes a video observation tool for students to record their teaching practice, a virtual library complete with context experts and modeling of classroom best practices, and a platform to build personalized modules or utilize existing classroom modules.

“The pilot of The Teacher Channel will assist the program’s faculty in determining which video coaching platform we will commit to using long-term, as we want to ensure the best option for our teacher candidates,” said Reidel.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Dogan-Selcuk.jpgAssistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction for the Department of Elementary and Special Education, Selçuk Dogan, Ph.D., received a $1,000 grant to pilot test new technology by incorporating it within an online, graduate level course that is geared to provide practicing teachers with professional development opportunities.

“Teachers in this course will be using innovative technology tools to facilitate their professional learning and work in more efficient ways,” said Dogan. “The course will be fully integrated with technology to develop assessment tools using Rubric Maker, to get peer feedback using Peermark, and to analyze assessment data with WebDataRocks. Through Slack’s mobile capabilities, instructor-student interaction will be promoted”
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ScottHeather.jpgHeather Scott, Ed.D., program director for MAT Middle Grades and Secondary Education programs, is utilizing the $720 she received to purchase GoReact accounts to use for the fall MAT Secondary Education students in their student teaching semester. GoReact is an interactive video assignment platform that allows faculty members to easily provide feedback, grading and critiquing. 

“Student performance during field experiences has historically been assessed through face-to-face observation,” said Scott. “As the MAT program is moving fully online in fall 2020, there is an awareness that face to face observation will not be available for students who are outside of our travel radius. However, the spring 2020 pilot study using GoReact software for remote supervision has made us hopeful that effective observation and feedback is still possible.”
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Remler_Nancy.jpgAssociate Professor of Middle Grades and Secondary Education, Nancy Remler, Ph.D., received $500 in funding to participate in an online workshop offered through the Online Learning Consortium called “Adaptive Learning Fundamentals and Courseware Exploration.”

“As students juggle work, school and family responsibilities, they rely more heavily on mobile technologies to communicate and to complete academic work,” said Remler. “That technology reliance applies especially to preservice teachers, whose frequent travel between the University and K-12 field placements makes flexibility in learning a necessity. Now, COVID-19 elevates the necessity to offer flexible learning opportunities to all students. Through this online workshop, I’ll enhance my knowledge of adaptive learning pedagogy and useful technologies for such pedagogy.”

Remler will make adaptations to her coursework based on the knowledge gained from the workshop activities and plans to purchase equipment to record and produce her own podcasts for her courses as well.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Faculty-Staff-Cossa-Nedra.pngNedra Cossa, Ed.D., assistant professor in the Department of Elementary and Special Education, is utilizing the $250 awarded to purchase Camtasia, a software suite for audio and video production that includes screen recording for tutorials. 

“The software allows course instructors to record audio and video while during class presentations as well as recording group meetings,” said Cossa. “This also allows me to record audio of images on my computer. My hope is to improve the quality of course instruction by providing opportunities for more personal connection in an asynchronous format.”

Members of the College’s Technology and Instructional Resources Committee include: Bryan Griffin, Ph.D., William Reynolds, Ph.D., Jackie Kim, Ed.D., Chelda Smith Kondo, Ph.D., Mete Akcaoglu, Ph.D., Charles Hodges, Ph.D., Shelli Casler-Failing, Ph.D., and Lacey Huffling, Ph.D.


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