TTU's recent Technology Day hailed as a success

Approximately 50 technology enthusiasts from four area universities braved snowy weather conditions last Thursday to attend Tennessee Tech University’s fourth annual Technology Day.

The event featured hour-long topical presentations, a keynote luncheon address and an award presentation for the university’s Exemplary Course Project, won this year by Ken Wiant’s online graduate level risk management and insurance course offered through the TTU College of Business Distance MBA program.

Based on feedback from program participants representing TTU, Austin Peay State University, Pellissippi State Community College and Middle Tennessee State University, organizers say they consider this year’s Technology Day a success.

“The one-on-one feedback we got from attendees was great. They really seemed to like the wide variety of presentation topics that were offered, and they felt it was a good opportunity for collaboration,” said Stacey Crook, an organizer from TTU’s Institute from Technological Scholarship, which hosted the event.

Improving PowerPoint presentations, making home movies on tablet PCs, combining community service and teaching and podcasting were among the topics of free, hour-long workshops.

Although all the presentations received positive responses from those who attended, the podcasting presentation, led by Charles Long, academic computing specialist at TTU’s Learning Resources Center, was especially popular.

That’s because podcasting is a national trend that allows professors to record lectures or quotes that students can download and listen to on portable mp3 audio players.

Long said he felt his presentation was so popular because he showed participants how to use technology to quickly, easily and inexpensively apply the national trend in their own classrooms.

“Once someone learns the technique, it’s something they can implement almost immediately,” he said.

In addition to the free presentations, Technology Day also featured a luncheon keynote address by Roger Hanley, vice president of academic strategies at Elluminte Inc., a company that provides the synchronous virtual classroom used by TTU, and results of the TTU Exemplary Course Project competition.

Hanley discussed the dynamic technological shift in education in the last few years and the future of integrated learning. A former educator, Hanley presented applications for many new forms of technology in the world of learning, emphasizing active learning and new outlets for student participation.