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First Annual BYTE Showcase Brings Technology to Life

BYTE Showcase Event at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, April 11, 2018.

Belmont University’s Office of Instructional Technology recently hosted its first BYTE “Bring Your Own Technology Experience” Showcase where 22 faculty members from across campus shared ways in which they utilize technology throughout their classroom. Set up in the Frist Lecture Hall, the event included hundreds of attendees who walked from booth to booth for each demonstration.

Featuring topics with both instructional and technological focuses, faculty members shared knowledge related to content delivery, grading, distance learning, data analysis, specialized software, web conferencing and more.

Professor of Media Studies and Showcase Presenter Dr. Sybril Brown demonstrated “Holograms: A Virtual Representation of Knowledge.” To best illustrate the concept, Brown brought Hunter Morgan, one of her students, along with her. Morgan developed videos, that with the aid of a plastic viewer, turned a person or object into a hologram projection that came to life. Morgan and his team used these holograms to present their group project in class for an assignment based around an emerging piece of technology.

A student holds the hologram he made in his hand.

Morgan holds his hologram, projected from a video on his phone, in his hands.

As his team was assigned holograms, the group decided to launch into investing the idea for themselves–ultimately ending with their presentation becoming a hologram, itself. “We knew we needed to think way outside of the box for this project and create something new, creative, exciting and engaging,” Morgan said. “When we were faced with creating a hologram, which we had no idea how to do, we knew we had to go for it. This class forces you to think outside the box of ways to present, and this was the ideal way to share our presentation.”

Director of Instructional Technology and BYTE Showcase Host Geoff Price supports faculty in their use of technology with an explicit focus on aligning the capability of digital tools with research-supported learning strategies. He also provides professional development opportunities across campus that allow faculty to develop knowledge and skills for effective technology integration.

At his previous institution, Price participated in a similar showcase-style event and immediately was interested in bringing to Belmont. “Given Belmont faculty’s innovative use of digital technologies, I knew we needed an event that would showcase these innovations,” he said. “The goal was to create an experience that allowed attendees to view demonstrations of interest and provide opportunities to engage in one-on-one conversations with the faculty behind them.”

Price and his team were eager to provide this unique opportunity to Belmont faculty as it can be challenging to find time to share these classroom innovations given such busy schedules. “By focusing on instructional uses of technology, the Showcase allowed faculty to discuss how specific tools can enhance particular pedagogical strategies,” he said. “It provided opportunities for economics professors to learn how nursing faculty record classroom lectures and more.”

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