Tuesday, April 8, 2014
TIES 2.0: Engaging the Community is an exciting university-wide symposium that will showcase and explore research and teaching with educational technology across all disciplines at Western and its affiliates. Based on an enormous amount of positive feedback from the first TIES event, which took place in March 2013, this expanded two-day event will feature research papers, posters, roundtables, lightning rounds, hands-on workshops, and a student panel.
It will also feature a lecture on Friday morning titled “New Directions for Teaching and Technology in the Age of “Access Education” by Dr. Michael Geist from the University of Ottawa. Geist is a leading Canadian voice in academic and public discussions about information, copyright, technology, and the law.
According to Elan Paulson, Director of Professional Programs for Western’s Faculty of Education and a TIES 2.0 coordinator, this event is significant because it will help build the foundations for a sustainable learning community on important issues related to education and technology.
“Last year, a survey respondent stated an appreciation for ‘the feeling that Western is really taking steps to build community capacity with technology in education,’” Paulson said. “The symposium allows the Western community to showcase its strengths and to build its capacity for research, teaching, and learning with technology.”
“With a strengthened community, we will be in a better position to participate in long-term decision-making and other initiatives that will benefit everyone,” she added.
While the primary goal of TIES 2.0 is to continue the momentum that began last year, Paulson explained that they would also like to both extend the reach of the eLearning community and develop the university community’s capacity for understanding and engaging in the use of, and research on, technology in education.
“TIES was a relatively ‘grassroots’ movement at the outset — it was developed by staff, faculty, and students from all walks of Western life who had no official mandate to create the symposium,” Paulson explained. “They just wanted to get together to talk about ideas and challenges that interest them, particularly with folks they’ve not connected with before.”
“We would like to continue to build a diversity of the community through an inclusive event that we believe will offer something for everyone.”
Paulson added that because Western University wants to maintain its reputation of offering a “best student experience,” it is important to continue asking questions such as, “How do we leverage educational technology to enhance and enrich that experience?” and “What are the barriers and opportunities that educational technologies afford our community at this time and in the future?” — questions that TIES 2.0 will give the community the opportunity to discuss.
Because of the overwhelming amount of positive feedback after last year’s event, TIES 2.0 has been expanded to a full two days. Paulson encourages everyone — especially aspiring researchers and instructors — to attend the event this year.
“Last year, folks found that TIES was a truly inspiring activity for those who are passionate about innovating, creating, exploring, critiquing, and improving the use of technology in higher education,” she said. “To attend TIES 2.0 is to become better informed, and to become better informed is to make it possible to enrich how and what we research and teach.”