ITS Teaching & Learning has changed its name to ITS Educational Technologies.
The ITS division determined it needed a new moniker after being known as Teaching & Learning for nearly 15 years. Along with the name change, Educational Technologies (ITS ET) has a new website and a new Twitter handle of @UNC_EdTech.
New name clarifies function
Teaching & Learning “was so encompassing it proved confusing for collaborators, customers and even colleagues in other ITS units,” said Suzanne Cadwell, Director. “The new name helps clarify the specific services this group of 24 IT professionals provides the campus community.”
The new name of Educational Technologies, she said, provides “a clearer message about the expertise our team brings to the table.”
Veteran team members
Cadwell’s tenure with the division, by the way, predates the Teaching & Learning name. When she was hired in 2000, the group was known as the Center for Instructional Technology. In 2006, computer labs, classroom support, CCI Printing and the former CIT came together under one organizational umbrella of Teaching & Learning.
Many of the Educational Technologies team members, in fact, are veterans of the division or entities that predate the division. Jeremiah Joyner, Manager of the Educational Technologies Systems & Services group, has served the division for more than two decades. So have Gina Reitz, Manager of Classroom Support & Learning Space Design, and Bob Henshaw, Liaison to the Center for Faculty Excellence. In addition, Mark Hurt and Lloyd King on Reitz’s team and Andy Brawn on Joyner’s team have worked for the constituent groups for more than 20 years.
The Educational Technologies team, Cadwell said, “understands well how technologies are used online and in classrooms by instructors and students. Our collective understanding draws from decades of experience in end-user support, but also in system selection, design, implementation, integration and maintenance.”
The division provides such tools and services as CCI Printing, Classroom Hotline, Exam Scanning, Poll Everywhere, Sakai, UNC Check-In App, Virtual Lab, VoiceThread, Warpwire and Zoom.
Many groups across the University, of course, contribute to Carolina’s educational mission.
Educational Technologies’ work, Cadwell said, “is not performed in isolation.”
Educational Technologies “collaborates with our fellow ITS units and campus informational and educational technology staff,” she said. “We consult with academic departments as well as individual faculty, teaching assistants and students. We work closely with campus accessibility professionals, the Carolina Office for Online Learning’s instructional designers, and the Center for Faculty Excellence’s faculty developers.”
New name amid many changes
The division’s new name and website come during a year of many changes, heavy lifting and quick pivoting. Educational Technologies has been a critical collaborator with other campus groups during the pandemic. The division worked with these other campus entities to provide a variety of training and resources for faculty for the shift in March to remote instruction. The Keep Teaching website was a key resource for the transition to remote instruction.
Within Educational Technologies, the Classroom Hotline unit, for one, reconfigured tech in general-purpose classrooms for mask-to-mask and HyFlex teaching and set up 21 new campus locations that had zero tech. The Sakai services team, meanwhile, met with 400 instructors and support staff in late July to mid-August to assist with remote teaching.