Instructional Technology

Instructors working during an open technology labThe Academic Excellence and Development Division (AEDD)— 248 Coleman Center (on the second floor), 304 6th Street North — supports instructors in the use of technology in their teaching practice. We can assist in many ways including aiding in the utilization of current technologies, teaching new technologies that can be utilized to improve instructional practice, and guiding in the purchases of new classroom technologies.

Your curriculum should always drive your motivation to incorporate technology in your courses. Technology can be fun, new, and exciting! It can be a good motivator for our students and capture their attention at first. If the incorporation of technology does not have a sound answer to “why are we using this?” then the enthusiasm will fade and time will be wasted on a fad. To avoid this, keep student learning as the driving force for the tools that we use, both technological and traditional.

Listed below are some of the resources housed here on this website as well as a sampling of the services that we offer in the areas of Instructional Technology.

For Assistance With Instructional Technologies:

Instructional Technology Coaching

Similar to the teaching and learning consultations, an instructional technology coaching session offers a one-on-one or small group conversation about technologies that instructor(s) can employ in or outside of the classroom in support of their teaching practice. Following a coaching model, we consult, brainstorm, train, aid in reflection, and celebrate new methods. This is a supportive and non-evaluative way to:

  • explore new technological means of creating teaching materials
  • reflect upon current teaching practices utilizing technology and brainstorming how to infuse technology to transform classroom practices
  • schedule observations of technology use in the classroom
  • brainstorm and learn new methods to utilize in the blended or online format
  • aid in the conversion from a face-to-face class to a blended or online delivery
  • learn the technological tools that already exist in the classroom
  • consult on technology requests for educational usage

For more information of instructional technology coaching options, contact Larry Sleznikow, Instructional Technologist, 608.789.2065 or SleznikowL@westerntc.edu

Accessibility

The power of the Web is in its universality.
Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.
     Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web

Content on the Web, whether it is text, audio, video, or images, must be accessible. It is the right thing to do to allow equal access to information and opportunities for individuals with diverse abilities. It is also the law under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d).

Below are several links to information about accessibility:

  • Accessibility information from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Section 508 Accessibility Checklists
    • Anytime you are preparing an electronic document that will be posted online or distributed via e-mail, whether it’s an internal document or an external document, you need to follow the Section 508 guidelines. These checklists — for PDF, Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, HTML, and multimedia files — will help you ensure compliance with the guidelines.
  • Link to the Colour Contrast Analyser (CCA) tool for Windows and Macintosh, which helps you determine the legibility of text and the contrast of visual elements, such as graphical controls and visual indicators.

Closed Captioning

Meeting the needs of our students so that they can all learn is part of what we do as instructors. Click on Closed Captioning for more information on Closed Captioning and other accessibility needs related to instructional technology.

Instructional Equipment, Software Applications and Tools

Using the technology that is available in the classroom in itself can be overwhelming. The page on Instructional Equipment and Software Applications can help with this.

Interactive Distance Learning (IDL)

Through interactive distance learning (IDL), students have the opportunity to attend classes at regional learning centers close to home. This technology offers schools, communities, and businesses a way to extend their educational resources beyond the confines of a limited geographical area, and allow students to interact (real-time) with an instructor and fellow students. The IDL page prepares instructors to deliver an effective course when using interactive distance learning technology.

Mobile Learning

Bringing mobile devices into the classroom can enhance our teaching practices and take aid in taking our curriculum to the next level. The Mobile Learning page has resources to help you sift through the numerous apps that are available for classroom use.

Using Technology to Create

Creating technological resources can be a daunting task with the numerous resources available on the internet. Take a look at our Using Technology to Create page to help you find easy to use resources for you and your students to use to create! Included in the resources available here are infographics, mindmapping, presentation, and publication tools.