Curricular Technology Team Meeting Notes 10/6/09

Key Topics: CT and CTLR collaboration,  review of technology in education sites, curricular technology site information architecture, categories of technologies/tools and uses/pedagogies, tech buzzwords

CT and CTLR Collaboration

Alex met with Mary Ellen Bertolini, JoAnn Brewer and Shel Sax to discuss ways in which the Curricular Technology team and the Center for Teaching, Learning and Research (CTLR) can collaborate.  It was agreed that at the very least we would cross link our sites in a consistent way so that visitor of either site could easily move from one to the other.  Beyond that we discussed documenting “teaching with technology” stories that we would organize by means of “pedagogies” and “technologies.”  The CT team with the help of Academic Consulting Services (ACS) would take the lead on developing an initial site for these stories and a basic organizational schema with the CTLR would review.

Review of Technology in Education Sites

Of the sites about technology in education that were compiled, The Tufts Academic Technology site seemed the best organized and well-written.  Many of these sites included documentation such as A/V classroom support that we have decided is best maintained in our wiki.  The team struggled with how to handle tech buzzwords that so many people use but so few really understand.

Curricular Technology Site Information Architecture

The overarching objective of the CT site IA continues to be finding a way to connect technologies/tools with pedagogies/uses with case studies/stories.
The team continued to struggle with the challenging task of categorizing different types of technologies and uses and how to label and describe these. Two strategies were debated:

Lists of specific Uses and Tools
This approach favors creating potentially long lists of different uses/objectives (real-time discussion, asynchronous discussion, collaborative writing…) and tools, both hardware and software (Audacity, Blender,…,Microphone,…,MediaWiki,…,WordPress).  If the lists are properly organized, efficiently laid out and contain simple descriptions, then people ought to be able to find what they are looking for…  Key to this strategy is short simple labels when possible for categories, particularly for higher level navigation (e.g. Uses, Tools, Stories, Help)

Categories of Technologies/Tools and Uses/Pedagogies

This approach favors categorizing technologies/tools and uses/pedagogies into a limited number (no more than 10).  If these categories are well thought out and taken as a whole form some sort of narrative, then people ought to be able to browse and find what they need…  The strategy requires longer, more descriptive navigation labels (Tools, Platforms and Media, Teaching and Learning Strategies, Case Studies, Help)

Tech Buzzwords

There was a lively discussion of tech buzzwords and whether or not to use them in our navigation.  Many felt that it might be better to avoid these as much as possible and include a section on Buzzwords/FAQs

While part of the CT team charge is to create a “tech incubator,” it was briefly considered that we might include a section on Initiatives, many felt we hadn’t done enough in this area to include such a section in our initial IA.

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