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NEWSLETTER: PREVIEW EDITION VOL II, # 1, February 6, 1998

 

Letter from the Editor:

Greetings to all WISLRNTEC subscribers. In January 1998, I became Editor of the Teaching for Technology Today (TTT) Newsletter; next week, after a six month hiatus, a full-length Teaching for Technology Today will go to press. In addition to my new position as TTT Editor, I am the Program Coordinator for the University of Wisconsin Learning Technologies Development Council (UWLTDC) and have been part of the Undergraduate Teaching Improvement Council (UTIC) staff since fall 1997. Aside from my current graduate work in art history, I have a particular interest in curricular development and pedagogy in higher education. Learning Technologies recently has had a strong impact on they way art history is taught in our department, as staff and project assistants have been converting perishable slide collections to electronic image "libraries." Advanced web sites for students, faculty, and administrators also provide improved access to otherwise restricted resources of the department.

In taking over this new project and following discussions with Hal Schlais, I have proposed several changes to the appearance and content of the Newsletter. Although the basic goals will remain largely the same, that is, to share how learning technologies affect and enhance learning and teaching in the UW-System, I hope to expand the depth and scope of discussion to consider some more specific questions and problems. For example, how are campuses addressing the need for faculty development, and what have been some more effective strategies? How do student evaluations compare with actual learning assessment in the use of technology and multimedia? What have been some effective uses of Distance Learning and why? As Stephen C. Ehrmann states, "the quest for useful information about technology begins with an exacting search for the right questions." Furthermore, he observes that particular questions and problems change in case-by-case scenarios, across a broad spectrum of college disciplines and diverse needs of students.* With these considerations in mind, I have proposed the addition of a new section of TTT entitled "Learning Technologies Forum," with the specific purpose to stimulate an in-depth discussion among faculty and instructors in future issues. By focusing on a specific theme each month, instructors would be able to share specific strategies using learning technologies that they have found to be effective (or not). Responses by other faculty would be included in the next several newsletters. I would like to change the theme of discussion monthly, and summarize positive and useful points of the debate at the end of each month.

In addition to the regularly featured articles written by the TTT Editor, I would like to ask faculty and instructors to contribute articles on their projects. Another aspect that will undergo significant change is the appearance and content of the TTT Web Site. To date, the site lists fourteen disciplines. My goal is to at least double that number by the end of the semester. Additionally, as the number of abstracts increases, we will add a search engine to make the site easier to navigate.

These changes and additions to TTT are by no means restricted, and we openly welcome any further suggestions by readers and contributors. We hope that the reinstatement of this project will be a successful one.

Until next week,

Renata J. Wilk
TTT Editor and LTDC Program Coordinator


*As a focal point for these ideas, Ehrmann emphasizes the necessity of designing and studying educational strategies for using technologies. Stephen C. Ehrmann, "Asking the Right Question: What Does Research Tell Us About Technology and Higher Learning?" (Annenberg CPB Projects, 1995), 1; 20.