Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Technology Day met with success

By Courtney Westlake

With the theme of "Building iCommunity: Toolsets for Today," the 8th annual Technology Day was held on Wednesday, February 27 from 11:30 to 4:30 in the PAC Concourse and received a great turnout from the campus and local community.

"I thought it went great," said Tulio Llosa, director of Educational Technology at UIS. "We reached out to the entire UIS community; there were faculty, staff, students, and educators and technology coordinators from District 186."

Numerous participants stopped by to visit the various booths of poster sessions set up and take part in the educational and interactive workshops on subjects like online learning and teaching, job search in the digital age, technological resources available at UIS and much more.

Ann Peterson Bishop, professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and community organizer, spoke to a group of campus community members at 12 p.m. about the field of community informatics and using technology in innovative ways.

Community informatics is an interdisciplinary field that encompasses research, practice and policy, Bishop said. It has to do with how knowledge is created and mobilized and how information technologies help and hinder the sharing of knowledge.

"Community informatics kind of looks at one geographic community and looks at that entire community as a unit and asks how all relates together," Bishop said. "It is specifically grounded in community development. We're interested in how technology and knowledge play a role for good and really help communities and community members."

Bishop discussed her work with the Community Informatics Initiative - integrating technology within communities and organizations of all kinds - and showed numerous examples of the ways the initiative collaborates with communities.

"I really liked her presentation," Llosa said. "I like the concept of an iCommunity using technology not only in our work but in our community. It tied in really well with our theme."

Participants of all backgrounds were able to find something that interested them and were able to learn something new, Llosa said. There was a session on eDocs for faculty, one about Cisco communicators and IP Phones for staff, and employers from companies like ADM and State Farm that students were able to speak with about technology skills, he said.

"I'm very happy with the turnout, especially at the presentations," Llosa said. "It really gave us an opportunity to showcase the innovative ways we are using technology here at UIS."