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Instructional Technology `97

conference set

By Catherine Doss

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 03 - September 11, 1997

How is technology being integrated into instruction at Virginia Tech? What practices have been successful? Which ones need to be refined? What are future opportunities for instructional technology?

These are just a few of the issues that will be addressed in Virginia Tech's first one-day conference on instructional technology for faculty and technical staff members. Instructional Technology '97 will be held Friday, Sept. 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center. It will include presentations and panel discussions by Virginia Tech faculty members and will provide an opportunity to engage in in-depth conversations about the use of instructional technology in teaching and outreach activities.

"The conference differs in scope and purpose from the Faculty Development Institute (FDI) summer workshops in that it will provide a broad perspective on instructional-technology practices compared to the more in-depth coverage and hands-on experiences provided by the FDI," said Tom Head, director of media services and organizer of the event. "It will also provide opportunities for policy discussions, sharing perspectives on the use of technology, and identifying common threads that lead to successful implementation in the classroom."

The conference will begin with an overview of the emerging teaching-and-learning environment and presentations of best practices in science and engineering, arts, humanities, and social sciences. This will be followed by a luncheon presentation on the university's newly opened Math Emporium. Concurrent afternoon sessions will cover such topics as on-line degrees, getting started in using instructional technology, televised distance learning, uses in outreach and Extension, intellectual-property issues, and virtual-learning environments. After a closing discussion on critical issues, the conference will end with a reception and door prizes.

Head said Virginia Tech was unique in terms of its commitment to faculty development and that more than 95 percent of faculty members have participated in FDI workshops during the past four years.

"These efforts have resulted in a high level of energy and enthusiasm among faculty members and students who are involved in this emerging teaching-learning environment," he said. "One of the real challenges over the next several years is to continue to provide the infrastructure and technical support in the face of rising demand among our faculty members."

Instructional Technology '97 is jointly sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Information Systems. The conference is free; however, registration is required. Interested persons may register on-line at www.conted.vt.edu/IT97.html. For more information, contact Head at 1-6664 or by e-mail at tom.head@vt.edu.