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UNH Hosts Technology Integration Conference for Higher Education Professionals

By Erika Mantz, Media Relations
April 16, 2008

UNH will host TEACH!, a conference for faculty and other higher education professionals concerned with technology integration, July 15-18, 2008. TEACH! is based on UNH's successful Faculty Instructional Technology Summer Institute (FITSI), now in its seventh year.

In June 2002, the university’s Academic Technology division hosted its first Faculty Instructional Technology Summer Institute, a week-long, intensive event designed to introduce faculty to emerging technologies that can positively impact teaching and learning. “We wanted to encourage faculty to explore the broad possibilities of technology while keeping the focus on teaching and learning,” says Terri Winters, director of Academic Technology. “Our hope was that the institute would become a regular feature of faculty development at UNH.”

And that’s what happened. The first institute was an overwhelming success, capturing the interest and enthusiasm of faculty who spread the word to their colleagues. By 2004, FITSI had become something of a buzz word on campus. The FITSI logo began popping up on computer bags and notebooks and publications all over campus. Thanks to support from the provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, Academic Technology increased the number of FITSI participants. In 2005, the event was moved to accommodate its growing size. In June 2006, UNH celebrated the 5th annual FITSI with more than 25 program alums participating as panelists and presenters. Among the presenters were faculty from all schools and colleges, as well as the university library, the University Writing Program, and the Discovery Program, a key initiative on campus working to restructure the undergraduate curriculum.

FITSI has changed the landscape of teaching and learning at UNH by building a cadre of more than 150 alums who are working to integrate instructional technology into classroom teaching. “The experience was really energizing,” says one FITSI alum. “I’m not nearly as afraid of trying new technologies now.” “This was the single most valuable seminar I have attended in fifteen years,” says another. “The program was the best professional development program I have ever attended.”

And now, the word is out. Faculty from institutions across the country are inquiring about how they can bring FITSI to their campuses. So plans are underway for the first TEACH! conference, a three-and-a-half-day event that will deliver the core FITSI curriculum to educators from campuses across the region and the nation where faculty development and technology integration are priorities.

TEACH! will use the three core concepts of engagement, assessment, and communication to address key technology-integration challenges, engaging participants in a dialog about instructional technology in a supportive environment that keeps the focus on teaching. The program, facilitated by UNH faculty and Academic Technology professionals, includes a mix of panel discussions, core sessions, focus groups, and intensive hands-on workshops that will relate technology tools to specific teaching and learning objectives and examine techniques that can increase the positive impact of technology in the classroom.

TEACH! will take place at the New England Center for Continuing Education from July 15-18. For more information, visit the TEACH! Web site at http://unh.edu/idc/teach/ or contact Laurel Warren Trufant at L.Trufant@unh.edu or 2-4394.

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