Academic Technology Fellows are CSUN faculty who are working closely with Academic Technology and the Faculty Technology Center to support university initiatives and special projects that involve technology and pedagogy. Dr. Joyce Marie Brusasco and Prof. Wendy Yost have partnered with us to share their experience and expertise.
2020 - 2021 Academic Technology Fellows
Dr. Joyce Marie Brusasco
Dr. Joyce Marie Brusasco is an instructor in Family and Consumer Sciences, Child and Adolescent Development, and also teaches University 100.
"I have always been an early adopter of technology personally and professionally. Over the last 10 years at CSUN I have enrolled in many Faculty Technology workshops. I attended the summer eLearning Institute, I was early to transition from WebCT to Moodle then to Canvas, and I was a faculty user as part of the pilot for Canvas Insights. I use Canvas Insights as an early alert tool to reach out to students individually.
As I learned the tools CSUN provides for faculty I slowly adopted them into my classes. Early on I was using Zoom to record lectures and meet with students virtually. Now I use Panopto to record lectures and Zoom to teach online in realtime. I also use Portfolium for student assignments to help build the student's online presence, and Pronto to chat with students offline. I did not adopt all these technologies all at once. I have taken years to adopt them with small classes and then larger classes as part of my instruction. My advice is to try out one or two technologies a semester, adopt which tool feels comfortable, and attend FTC training.
I am thrilled to be an Academic Technology Fellow by providing training to help other faculty feel comfortable using technology in the classroom as part of the virtual learning environment. I believe we can create a sense of belonging for our students using technology.
Prof. Wendy Yost
Prof. Wendy Yost has taught a variety of courses over the last thirteen years at CSUN in Educational Psychology, Recreation and Tourism Management, Queer Studies, and the Tseng College's partnership with the International School of the Americas.
“Befriending technology in new ways has been a long-standing goal of mine. And if I’m honest, I actively avoided making progress on it for years, content with a dry erase board, markers, and a dedicated approach to experiential learning.
Becoming an Academic Technology Fellow arose from the realization that I needed to take advantage of the help being offered through the Faculty Technology Workshops last summer – and upon doing so, finding myself genuinely interested in learning how to translate what I naturally do in person into virtual instruction and student engagement. While the CSUN educational technologies I use most regularly are Zoom and Canvas, how I use them has evolved significantly since first relying on them to teach last March, especially after seeing how positively students respond to things like Polls, Breakout Rooms, and Annotations on Zoom, and Rubrics with detailed feedback on Canvas. I found prefacing what I am about to do with something along the lines of, 'Today I’m going to try a new feature that Zoom offers, let’s see how it goes,' gives me space to experiment without the pressure of having to do so perfectly out the gate, while also modeling for students the value of being willing to try new things.
The words of encouragement I’d like to share with fellow faculty are three-fold:
(1) To consider the technology learning curves we find ourselves in as paid internships, where we get to build skills and receive help navigating technology in new ways that can support and enhance both our professional and personal lives.
(2) To be willing to ask for and receive help from the Institutional Technology, the Faculty Learning Center, Faculty Development and from colleagues, friends, and family, including those who are younger than us.
(3) To celebrate our willingness to experiment. I’ve found that these three approaches can move us from 'have to' to 'get to' mentally short cut the amount of time spent spinning our wheels trying to figure things out on our own and remind us of how sometimes the simple act of acknowledgment has a way of replacing energy that’s been expended, allowing us to keep moving forward with all that current circumstances are asking of us."