SMUFlex, Our Innovative Necessity

Page of the Codex Parisinus graecus 1807While the original origin of the phrase is unknown, Plato’s Republic suggests that “our needs will be our real creators.”  An 1894 translation by Benjamin Jowett adapts this statement as “The true creator is necessity, who is the mother of our invention.”  The COVID-19 academic continuity necessities of this extraordinary time have spawned the innovative and unique SMUFlex mode of instruction.

At the heart of SMUFlex instruction is Continue reading SMUFlex, Our Innovative Necessity

Zoom Video Sharing Made Easy: Save Straight Into Canvas

Record to the Cloud in ZoomOver the summer, OIT has implemented a helpful new integration tool that allows faculty to easily save Zoom class recordings directly into Canvas for easy sharing with students.  To use this integration, faculty only need to choose the “Record to Cloud” option in the Zoom interface.  Once the recording is concluded, the video is automatically copied into Canvas, where faculty can conveniently link it to the appropriate course for both easy and secure sharing with students using Canvas’ integrated Panopto application.  Whether teaching in-person, SMUFlex, or fully online this fall, all faculty will want to record Zoom sessions into Canvas using this easy new integration. Continue reading Zoom Video Sharing Made Easy: Save Straight Into Canvas

Farewell to July: Ready for August!

Recently, I received the dubiously perfect birthday gift—someone who knows me too well presented me with a desk plaque which reads simply: “Let Me Overthink That.”  I’m a worrier, I’m an over-analyzer, and I’m the guy who—just before the meeting is over—prolongs the meeting by another 15 minutes anticipating all of the other things that might go wrong—and how we can strategize to keep those things from happening.  Generally, things go pretty smoothly despite my bias toward preparing for the worst.  To the best of our ability, we are committed to continually supporting and encouraging you in this challenging work toward preparation for the Fall 2020 term.  As it happens, I can vouch for your campus faculty support partners who share the similar characteristic I mention above—we make it our job to overthink things to improve support and experiences for our faculty and students.  Please remember that we’re here to help—if you have any instructional planning or preparation questions or challenges—don’t overthink or worry about it too long—let us partner with you to find answers to your questions and concerns. Continue reading Farewell to July: Ready for August!

Closing in on Fall 2020: Classrooms & Resources Taking Shape

Last week, a colleague encouraged me to reconsider using the word “unprecedented” in any further official communications—citing that the whole world was quite exhausted by the term. We are traveling through uncharted instructional readiness territory as we rapidly near the beginning of the Fall 2020 term. We recognize the unparalleled, unequaled, unmatched, unrivaled, extraordinary, uncommon, and remarkable efforts and preparations that you are making for your students’ Fall 2020 instructional readiness. As you navigate this significant work, remember that your support partners in the Office of Information Technology (OIT), the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), and the SMU Libraries are here to help. Continue reading Closing in on Fall 2020: Classrooms & Resources Taking Shape

On Track for Fall 2020: Unprecedented Faculty Response to Fully Online & SMUFlex Instruction & Technology Readiness

Dear SMU Faculty,

Into this second week of July, we recognize the unprecedented effort and long hours that you are contributing toward Fall 2020 instructional readiness.  I’m pleased to report high levels of enrollments and participation in the Online Teaching and Canvas technology courses which are being expertly facilitated by SMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) and Office of Information Technology (OIT).  Over 120 faculty have already completed at least one of these two online courses in this first week!  Nicely done!  In addition to those making online preparations, some faculty are right now successfully teaching again on campus in classrooms equipped with new “SMUFlex” remote technology and their experiences are helping shape and improve support resources as we re-open our classrooms just next month. Continue reading On Track for Fall 2020: Unprecedented Faculty Response to Fully Online & SMUFlex Instruction & Technology Readiness