Reframing Faculty Development as a Makerspace: The Technology Test Kitchen at Your Institution

Concurrent Session 9
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

The Technology Test Kitchen: professional development reframed as an engaging, participatory, interactive, immersive space for exploring and experimenting. This panel discussion with TTK creators provides a blueprint to showcase this approach at your institution and highlights some of the key ideas behind it.


Ann is an Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Florida Atlantic University. She teaches undergraduate and graduate course online and F2F. She embraces the philosophy of pedagogy before technology. She has a Certification in Online Learning from the Online Learning Consortium and develops and facilitates workshops including Multimodal Design, Exploring Interactive Videos Tools, New to Online – Introduction to Online Tools, and Converting your Course Content. Dr. Ann Musgrove enjoys working with faculty and administrative teams to create, administer and deliver meaningful and flexible learning environments. She develops and creates curriculum for faculty transitioning to online and blended courses. Ann has developed 2 courses that have been nationally recognized by Quality Matters (QM). She has extensive QM experience serving as an Institution Representative, Active Peer Reviewer in Higher Education, K-12, and Continuing Education, and is an online facilitator for the QM foundation course “Applying the Quality Matters Rubric”.
Robbie K. Melton, Ph.D. is a full tenured professor at Tennessee State University. Major research studies include Strategic Planning for Emerging IOE (Internet of Everything) Smart Connected Mobile Devices for Education and Workforce Development. She has published and presented around the nation on the impact and value of mobilization for education and the workforce and has acquired a new distinction as an “App-ologist” due to her study of the pedagogy and best teaching practices with mobilization, quality standards for the utilization of mobile apps, and for her creation of the Mobile App Education and Workforce Resource Center (50,000 + Apps that have been aligned with over ninety-five subject areas from Pre-K to Ph.D., including workforce careers, professional development and lifelong learning, according to one’s mobile device of choice). Melton is the winner of numerous awards; the latest being the 2016 Online Learning Consortium Fellow, 2016 Richard Jonsen Educational Technologies top honor for her lifetime work in educational technology, 2015 MERLOT Leadership Visionary Award, CDE Top 30 2014 Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers, 2013 Apple Distinguished Educator, 2012, Technology WOW Award, 2013 eAfrica Innovator Education Award.
Phylise Banner is an online teaching and learning consultant with extensive experience in planning, designing, developing, delivering, and evaluating online courses, programs, and faculty development initiatives. Her work focuses on aligning institution-wide approaches to program, course, and professional development with teaching and learning effective practices and the Community of Inquiry framework. As an online learning evangelist, she actively seeks out opportunities to experiment with emerging technologies in order to best serve faculty and students, and to create communities of lifelong learners. She is featured regularly at regional, national and international conferences, speaking on the topics of online teaching and learning, faculty development, instructional strategy, experience design, social media, information visualization and GIS technologies. She also teaches Digital Storytelling online for SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and in person for the Academy for Lifelong Learning at Empire State College. She is an Adobe Education Leader, STC Fellow, performance storyteller, avid angler, aviation enthusiast, and currently training to be a private pilot. She is also the proud owner of a 1967 Amphicar.

Extended Abstract

Educators face a befuddling paradox - the ubiquity of technological innovation seemingly stands in stark opposition to the demand for them to meet established outcomes with dwindling support (both in the form of funding and time).  The paradox is a puzzle waiting to be cracked open and solved, more an invigorating opportunity than a debilitating problem. The concept of the Technology Test Kitchen was born of the minds of educational puzzle solvers, innovators and collaborators.  Breaking down the silos and separations present in much of academia, they immediately spotted an opportunity to reframe professional development as a hands-on, experiential process and a community of inquiry.  In spaces where educators purportedly gathered to cogitate, experiment and play, they noticed that the deliverable was actually static, one-to-many presentations with little to no interaction.  They were compelled to action to bring a more profound kind of professional development into the spotlight.  And more than anything else, these innovators formulated an approach for bridging the ever-expanding gap between tried-and-true teaching methods and the unique needs of the current populations of learners.

The Technology Test Kitchen, with its rotating cast of players, is malleable, iterative and adaptive.  At its best, it is messy - a feature that is inherent in all learning spaces constructed to best meet the differentiated needs of the learners present.  Participants are individually empowered by the fact that they are all called to be creators of knowledge, actively contributing to the hacking of the concept of professional development as we know it.  For a space with technology in the name, the commodity has never been the tools, but rather the interpersonal connections and ideation that occurs through the practice of inquiry and assessment.  

The TTK provides a space, a time, and the resources for exploration, experimentation, in depth conversations, problem-solving, innovation, and connection. The TTK is not a place to sit and absorb. It is a place to connect, try new things and explore new discoveries.  an incubator of all the best stuff about an educational technology conference. it is a place to practice the new and emerging ideas that ask the big “what if” questions around our largest challenges in education. It is a space to dream big and then create models on the spot of what those dreams might look like in the classrooms of tomorrow. The TTK is a place to get your hands dirty and aim for the moon. It is a place to try new things and to fail faster so that the potential learning from a conference can breathe and grow rather than get shoved into a backpack from one session to the next. It is the loud and messy place where the good ingredients of one idea get tried with the fresh ingredients of another to unveil something entirely new and innovative that hadn’t been thought of before.

This panel discussion session, moderated by Jessica Knott, will highlight ways to successfully showcase this approach at your institution, using resources developed by the Technology Test Kitchen pioneer "chefs.” We’ll share its origination, history, evolution, recipes, lessons learned, and a blueprint to help you transform professional development at your institution.