How To Work With EdTech
The Digital Learning & Inovation Technology team (EdTech) offers inspiration, training, and help on pedagogical problems involving learning technologies.
When you email us at firstname.lastname@example.org your email will go out to our entire team, and we’ll respond within 24 hours.
Some people approach us with a specific problem they are having with an educational technology platform they’re already using. Others contact us with an interest in solving an instructional problem that they want to find a suitable technology for. Either way, we’ll help to identify the right solution. Some of our team members are experts and administrators in important teaching platforms, such as Blackboard, Digication, BU’s new video capture and distribution platform MyMedia (Kaltura), and lecture capture system Echo360. But we are also happy to help you develop your skills in any number of other BU-supported technologies, or to investigate a new technology. Bring us your ideas and questions, and we’ll explore how we can help.
If we think that your issue requires a consultation on pedagogy before discussing technology solutions we may direct you to our partner organization, the Center for Teaching & Learning.
Whom Do We Serve?
Our resources and consultations are available not only to faculty hoping to enhance their courses, but to any member of administration or staff hoping to develop strategies in an area of BU. We also can help faculty and staff trying to expand their ability to leverage an existing technology for better outcomes.
But where do you begin when thinking about how to improve a course or a program? Are you already underway with a new initiative but need help going deeper? Maybe you’re trying to figure out how to make better use of the basic learning technologies available to faculty. When you’re not sure, reach out to us to request a consultation. We can help you determine the best next steps.
Technological and pedagogical needs are often intertwined, so our process starts with defining the problem to be solved or the goal you want to achieve. Some of the most common concerns/goals we help with are questions like these:
- I want my students to be more engaged with their reading outside of class, or more engaged with each other
- I want to save time on my grading
- I don’t have enough time to cover all the course material in class (or I want to use more of class time to discuss the content with the students or engage them with activities).
- My graduate students need more opportunities to participate in university classes or conferences, but I can’t require that they spend more time physically at BU
- When I’m teaching I’m not sure whether my students are always following along with me or if they’re just on social media
- My students are reading a PDF or watching a video as a part of their homework, but I don’t know if they’re absorbing the material as they go through it
- My students are not engaged in class
And here are examples of goals that have come out of such questioning:
- I teach in the School of Public Health and my goal is to find more ways to keep my students engaged during lecture
- My class was changed from an elective to a required class, so now I must teach to students from a far broader range of knowledge of the topic. My goal is to make my class more accessible to students coming from any range of disciplines, with all levels of background knowledge.
- I am a graduate program administrator and I want to provide more opportunities for my graduate students to participate, but remotely, without having to come to BU
Confused about the difference between IT Help and EdTech?
EdTech deals with more systemic problems (for example, if BlackBoard were to crash) while IT Help deals with more technical issues, like glitches or breakdowns. EdTech is also here to help you make pedagogical decisions, like what software platform is best suited to your class’ needs. However, if you are not sure if your question is for IT Help or for EdTech, just contact IT Help and explain the problem. If it is an issue better suited to our resources, IT Help will forward the ticket to us.