NVC Faculty & Staff Present at EduTech

Several faculty and staff from Northwest Vista College took part in this year’s virtual EduTech conference. Below are some of the presentations that were presented.

Breaking the Fourth Wall of Online Learning

Presented by Alberto Vasquez

Look out Wachowski sisters. EduTech 2020 brought an audience through the looking glass with “Breaking the 4th Wall” presented by Northwest Vista College Associate Professor Alberto Vasquez. In this presentation, the attendees were introduced to the works of Henry Jenkins, a media scholar and professor of Communications previously at MIT and currently at USC. His book Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide is the basis for how today’s technology is the root of a power struggle utilized by a new Prosumer and Produser.

Today, consumers of transmedia no longer passively use the technology but aspire to actively produce their own content. This translates into the classroom where the same culture yearns to interact with the lesson thereby becoming part of the story. The attendees learned that true interaction is necessary for the lesson to move forward in the classroom and not just a stopping point of Q and A sessions.

The introduction of three easy to use transmedia technologies were demonstrated:

  • 1. Engage
  • 2. Alexa’s Voice A.I.; and
  • 3. YouTube 360O live video streaming.

Engage is a Virtual Reality platform that can help transport students into a virtual environment that is designed for students and faculty to interact. With Engage, students are no longer passive spectators watching a 2D screen but are part of the environment in virtual reality.

Amazon has provided access to create Voice applications or “Skills”  on their Alexa and Echo devices. In this session, a skill was demonstrated where Alexa taught an introductory lesson on Word Roots for HITT 1305 Medical Terminology. Students learning online can get a sense of “personal attention” as Alexa reviews the lesson and provides feedback through assessments. The application is published just say to your Alexa device “Alexa, Open Word Roots”.

Finally, a 360O streaming video lecture was demonstrated using a truly convergent technology, YouTube. Today Podcast, DIY, and gamers are using YouTube to stream political, educational, and entertainment material. Students can participate in a 360O live video lecture through YouTube and be immersed in a laboratory, classroom or work environment. YouTube provides a chat feature that faculty can use to keep communication open.

https://youtu.be/uAGW2x88Ccg (link to a 360 video of students testing their electric car for the Electrathon race held annually in San Antonio)

Educational Technology in a Problem-Based Learning Classroom

Presented by Eric Madrid, Jacob Crandall and Roopa Prasad

The Problem-Based Learning Committee presented some tech tips they have found to work well with remote learning. The first is the peer review function built into Canvas. These options allow your students to see what others in the class have produced and get feedback on how to grow in their learning. If you have attempted peer review in the past you may know how confusing it can be. Canvas keeps the entire process organized, transparent for you and the students, and completely digital.

They also presented some ideas about how to keep your students engaged in small groups. Canvas allows you to create random groups for the semester and the peer reviewed data show that three to four weeks is an optimal time for group placement. You can use these groups as your ZOOM breakout rooms with the manual settings. Cloud based applications are also fantastic for group work because they allow for the collaborative generation of student ideas. They like the Google Apps suite and it integrates with Canvas seamlessly. Microsoft also has cloud-base productivity applications if that is more your style. All of these really help get your students to work together towards a project rather than focusing on memorization.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *