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         March 2011 Volume 6 Issue 2

From the Program Coordinator

Spotlight on Students and Alumni

School of Education Faculty Spotlight

Tool Talk

Courses for Summer 2011

UHCL Alumni Association

International Society for
Technology in Education (ISTE)

The Texas Computer Education
Association (TCEA)

Association for the Advancement of
Computing in Education (AACE)

American Society for Training & Development (ASTD)

Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT)

Texas Distance Learning Association (TxDLA)

United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)

Important Dates from the
UHCL Calendar




Once again, attending the Texas Computer Education Association Conference (held February 8 – 11, 2011 in Austin, Texas) proved to be worthwhile. One of the more interesting sessions I attended was a quickly arranged meeting of the Moodle Mayhem members. Founded by the peripatetic Miguel Guhlin, Moodle Mayhem is entirely focused on the non-commercial sharing of Moodle ideas via its listserv and website. This meeting gave many of the members their first opportunity to meet in real time. The meeting was quite productive and a real opportunity to make contacts.

Read more ...

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Richard Smith

Richard Alan Smith
Coordinator, UHCL Instructional Technology Program


Instructional Technology Program (INST) alums working for The Texas Virtual School Network


Associate Professor Caroline M. Crawford (center) with
INST grads Matthew Cushing and Sara Baltunis. Matthew and Sara
are Course Review Consultants with the Texas Virtual School Network

Two of our INST alums, Matthew Cushing and Sara Baltunis, are now working with the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) as Course Review Consultants. The INST program is an approved provider of TxVSN professional development for teachers who are new to online instruction and also for teachers who are experienced online instructors.

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Judith Peace comments on her job and degree from UHCL

I am employed by Barrios Technology, a local aerospace engineering and technology services firm that focuses on America's space exploration. Barrios Technology works with federal government agencies and large aerospace corporations. After graduating in 2002 with my INST degree, I began my journey as an instructional designer on the JSC/NASA Bioastronautics Contract in June 2003. I was tasked to create web-based courses hosted in a proprietary eLearning system that tracked training for 900+ employees.

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Judith Peace - IT Services Section Supervisor

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Caroline Crawford's Forthcoming Edited Book

Caroline Crawford has been finalizing an edited book, entitled An Anthology of Educational Innovation: Digital Frameworks of Understanding. It is basically a conglomeration of Dr. Crawford's international refereed journal article publications published through Common Ground Publishing ( As quoted from the Overview section of the manuscript, "This comprehensive volume, or anthology, offers the chapters framed through different overarching themes, so as to focus the efforts of the authors into more manageable frames of reference." The themes are:

  • Theme One: Communities of Learning
  • Theme Two: Social Media's Digital Tools Towards Supporting Social Constructs
  • Theme Three: Reconceptualizing Learning Environments
  • Theme Four: Authorship and Ownership of Knowledge within Digital Learning Environments

Latest Faculty Publications

Our faculty have been very busy over the previous few months, publishing innovative work within international blind reviewed journals. Dr. Caroline Crawford, Dr. Marion Smith of Texas Southern University and Dr. Terri Edwards Bubb, one of our illustrious adjunct instructors who is also an INST alum, recently published Evolutionary Communities of Learning: Designing Professional Academic Communities of Learning through Interactivity, Responsiveness, and Flexibility while Focusing upon Professional Identity and Perspective in the Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal. As well, Caroline Crawford and Kele Anyanwu, not only an INST alum but also finishing up his doctoral studies at the University of Houston, just had a manuscript accepted after double blind review, for The International Journal of the Book, entitled Social Media and Their Potential Impact upon Learners' Understanding of Information: The Impact of Words and Images within Distance Learning Environments, and the Associated Publishing Opportunities.

Faculty Presentations at the ATE Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida

Drs. Caroline Crawford, Denise McDonald (TCED) and Terri Edwards Bubb offered a well-attended presentation, entitled Tipping Instructional Hats: Shifting Instructional Frameworks towards the Online Learning Environment during the Association of Teacher Educators Annual Meeting that was held February 12-16, 2011, in Orlando, Florida. The presentation was framed through the metaphorical representations of the different "hats" that a distance learning instructor wears throughout the progression of a quality distance learning course environment. The annual meeting theme was Re-igniting the Passion and Purpose for Teaching.

Faculty Presentations at the TCEA Conference in Austin, Texas

Caroline Crawford and Richard Smith held three roundtable discussions at the 2011 Texas Computer Education Association Conference that was held from February 7-11, 2011, in Austin, Texas.

  • Online Instruction and Face-to-Face Instruction: Are They Truly Different?
  • Challenges and Success in Creating Online Communities of Learners
  • Teaching an Online Course You Did Not Create

New Education and Technology Today Podcasts

Caroline Crawford and Richard Smith recorded two new Education and Technology Today podcasts during the TCEA 2011 conference. They interviewed Sam Farsaii regarding the instructional technology accomplishments of the Irving Independent School District. Sam Farsaii is an INST grad and Irving ISD's Director of Instructional Technology.


Dr. Richard A. Smith with INST Alum and Irving ISD Director of Instructional Technology Sam Farsaii at the 2011 Texas Computer Education Association Conference exhibit hall.

Victoria ISD Conference

The Victoria Independent School District in Victoria, Texas held their EdTech Conference on Saturday, March 5, 2011. The conference was amazingly well organized and very well attended. Caroline Crawford and Richard Smith offered two presentations during the event:

Read more ...

Instructional Technology Profs Visit BP's Exploration and Production (E&P) Learning Center

Drs. Richard A. Smith and Jana Willis paid a visit to BP's Exploration and Production (E&P) Learning Center, located in West Houston, to arrange for semester-long capstone experience practicums for Instructional Technology students who are nearing graduation. This state of the art teaching center features everything from seminar rooms to advanced teleconferencing facilities. Working at the center are instructional designers, project managers, and media specialists all working to create interactive training for BP employees in Houston and in BP locations worldwide. Dr. Don Shoultz, the head of the Learning Center, provided an overview of the Center's operation and explained in detail how the work of the Learning Center supports BP's operations worldwide.

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As instructors, instructional designers, and instructional technologists, we are constantly looking for new and useful tools that are relatively inexpensive and easy to integrate into the learning environment. Much as the instant feedback options of remote response units (clickers) was realized through Poll Everywhere, there are several other opportunities for cell phone use within the instructional learning environment. Two other instant feedback opportunities are:

  • Wiffiti "Wiffiti publishes real time messages to screens in thousands of locations from jumbotrons to jukeboxes, bars to bowling alleys and cafes to colleges"
  • iPadio A mobile podcasting opportunity that offers the ability to collect live audio data

Square: Mobile Phone Point of Sale Product

Caroline Crawford has come across a unique piece of software called "Square." Dr. Crawford notes that it is an intriguing software and card reader product that allows individuals to accept credit cards in business transactions at a "per swipe" fee of 2.75%. Available for iPhone, iPad, and Android". It is an interesting development for our INST colleagues and alums who are seriously considering setting up a small business. It makes credit card payments easy. There are several reviews and write-ups about the Square:



This summer look forward to be able to select courses from the following offerings,


INST 5130 Learning Theory & Instruction
INST 5131 Trends & Issues
INST 5135 Multimedia for Educators
INST 5333 Systematic Design of Technology-Based Instruction
INST 5433 Instructional Design, Project Management & Grant Writing
INST 5635 Web Design & Development
INST 6032 Applications of Technology
INST 6437 Interactive Distance Learning


INST 4535 eLearning
INST 4537 Multimedia for Instruction
INST 4635 Web Development

We urge everyone to enroll in the courses "sooner" rather than "later" so as to ensure that the course you want is not dropped due to low enrollment a few weeks prior to the first day of class, which has happened in the past. It is unfortunate, but once a course is dropped then it impacts not only the students who enrolled early but also everyone who planned on enrolling later during the enrollment period. Therefore, we urge you to ensure that your place in a summer 2011 course is secured.

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