November 2016 Ed Tech Update

Illustration: Ed Tech Update
October 29, 2016

A new academic technology advisory group has been formed. Canvas resources and stock media content are available.

System-wide Academic Technology Advisory Group Formed

The University Learning Technology Advisors (ULTA) is a system-wide group that receives, researches, reviews, and recommends potential academic technologies. ULTA serves the growing need to assess and advise on the future of academic technology and to find the best place where technology and pedagogy meet.

Created as a direct recommendation from the 2015-2016 Academic Technology Formal Community of Practice (AT FCoP), the ULTA group is composed of 28 faculty representatives from across the University and a limited group of non-voting central technology and learning representatives.

Learn more about ULTA's charter, membership and evaluation process at the ULTA web site.

Canvas Learning Management System Related Resources

Canvas, hosted through Instructure, is an online cloud-based learning platform. It is available through the University's membership with Unizin and has been favorably received and adopted by many peer institutions in higher education.

As part of the University's ongoing mission to review and evaluate emerging instructional technology, Canvas is currently being piloted by a number of U of M faculty, staff and students. UMD has eleven instructors in the Fall 2016 pilot.

Check out these resource links to learn more about Canvas and the University of Minnesota pilot project.

Canvas Pilot Project Page
Learn more about the pilot in general and read the report on the spring 2016 semester.
Canvas Resource Course
Explore a real Canvas course from the student perspective while learning how to use the system. Sign-up/registration not required. Just jump right in.
Canvas Sandbox Request
Want to really see what Canvas can do? Request a sandbox course which gives you full instructor access to the system.

Faculty Experiences with Canvas (Recorded Sessions)

As explained in the October 2016 Ed Tech Update you can learn more about Canvas from faculty who are participating the UMN pilot. The following are the first presentations from the Canvas Experiences series hosted by UMN Academic Technology Support Services.

September 8: Charlotte Romain (Video)

October 13: Irene Duranczyk (Video)

The video of Irene Duranczyk's  session is available on YouTube. Irene is from Postsecondary Teaching and Learning.

Further Canvas Pilot Information

Free Stock Content Available to U of M Community

The University of Minnesota students, faculty, staff as well as vendors working with the University have free access to VideoBlocks for Education. VideoBlocks provides free access to a suite of:

Video clips
100,000+ clips of stock video, Adobe After Effects templates, motion backgrounds and more
Audio clips
Free production music, sound effects, and loops
Royalty-free photos, vectors, illustrations and other design elements

To date more than $1 million in videoblocks content has been downloaded.