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A Decade of Campus Technology in Review

2020 brings a new decade. We’ve seen a lot of changes in technology on campus in the last ten years. Let’s take a look. 

Online Learning and Accessing Your Course Materials – In 2010, Blackboard was the industry-standard in learning management systems and online classes were facilitated in Centra. By 2020, each class has a presence in Canvas and everyone has access to Zoom for interactive, online classes and web conferencing. Universal Design for Learning principles are used to create accessible course content that appeals to all. 

Email, File Sharing, and Collaboration – In the last 10 years, faculty, staff, and students moved to the cloud for email, file sharing and collaboration. Email quotas have increased from 1 GB to 100 GB over the course of 10 years. Google Drive and OneDrive provide practically unlimited storage for files and videos. Online collaboration is made easy with Office 356 and G-Suite. 

MyUTK & the UT app – Ten years ago, OIT introduced the first MyUTK.  Since then, we have added  functionality and given MyUTK a facelift.  In addition, UT has launched and upgraded the UT app twice in the last 10 years. 

Classrooms – In 2010, faculty used Smartboards to connect their laptops to the screen and spent more time lecturing in class, with students taking notes and following PowerPoint lectures. In order to get personal responses, students had to purchase physical clickers, as well as pay for an account to access them. Now, you can use Cynap, a bring your own device system that allows you to connect devices wirelessly. Clickers are moving to using a mobile device in many classes, and all students have access to the Turning Point account paid for by the Technology Fee. As for lectures, flipped classrooms have gained a following by faculty. Video-content and lectures are often viewed outside of class, and class time is being used to practice and discuss content and concepts. 

Staying up to date – Email was the primary method for staying informed ten years ago. Although we still use email, we also use social media and digital signage to spread the word about our services.   

Wireless – WiFi was available on campus, but only indoors. Since 2010, we have expanded to several outdoor spaces, including Volunteer Boulevard and the Pedestrian Mall. In 2010, many folks had bulky laptops, and smartphones were beginning to become more common. The iPhone 4 was one of the hottest phones. Now, in addition to lighter laptops, many faculty, staff, and students carry three WiFi-capable devices, like smartphones and tablets, with them daily.  

Training and Professional Development – Then, OIT primarily offered face-to-face training. Now, we have a subscription to LinkedIn Learning for all faculty, staff, and students in addition to our face-to-face workshops and videos. 

While technology will always be changing, one thing that doesn’t change is OIT’s dedication to providing you with the technology and support you need!

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