Academic Technology Team at Educause

The EDUCAUSE Annual Conference brings together IT professionals and technology providers in  higher education. This year Academic Technology and their CIS colleagues offered the following three presentations:

Virtual Reality in the classroom

Virtual reality and 3D video, long time dreams of both science fiction writers and internet theorist, is now becoming an accessible tool for faculty and students. This presentation used faculty case-studies to explore the past, present, and future applications of virtual reality in teaching and learning.

– Kelly Egan, Andrew Goodman

Rethinking Academic Technology for 21st-Century Teaching and Learning

Pedagogical and technological changes are upsetting the status quo of course delivery. To remain relevant, academic technologists must be responsive, agile, and forward-thinking within a context of rapid change, high demand, and limited resources. Participants learned how Brown’s academic technology unit strategically prioritized and responded to these challenges in today’s climate.

– Hong Chau, Catherine Zabriskie

IT’s Easy: Creating an Engaging IT Organization

When we’re stuck in an under-resourced and overworked state, how can we step back, break the cycle of reactive support, and become an engaged and engaging IT community on campus? Brown University has seen the positive results of focusing on internal and external engagement, from support clinics to funny YouTube videos. Participants learned how to connect with students, faculty and staff in creative ways to learn what they really want from their University organization.

– Gillian Bell, Stephanie Obodda

If you’d like to learn more about any of these topics, feel free to contact us at

New Canvas Dashboard

Starting June 1, 2016, will look different

The Canvas home page will have a better responsive design suited for smaller screens and smartphones. There will be very few functionality changes, however, the landing page and global navigation will look different. In the “New UI (user interface)”, look for the following changes:

  • Dashboard: will display a grid of Course Cards [1]. Click on a Course Card to access a class site, or click on course activity icons to view recent course-specific Announcements, Grades, Discussions, or Files [2].
  • Canvas Navigation: Look to the left navigation menu for links to all Course sites [3], Canvas Account [4] information , and other global Canvas tools, like the Calendar and Inbox tool. Looking for Grades? It’s now on the right side of the Dashboard page.
  • Courses: Choose Course Cards by clicking on the Courses [3] icon, then “All Courses”. Click on the Star icon for a course to display as a course card on the Canvas dashboard.
  • Help: Report a problem, call, or chat with Canvas support using the Help [5] icon in the left navigation.


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Fall Frenzy!

Use this checklist to stay ahead of the semester start-up craze!

  1. Request your course site at
  2. Upload your syllabus to for campus access during Shopping Period.
  3. Copy or import content from last year’s Canvas course.
  4. Add your TAs, course designers, and observers to your Canvas site.
  5. Activate your E-Reserves Note: films take up to 2 weeks to re-activate.
  6. Sign up for workshops that cover a range of academic technologies.
  7. Ask for help! Consult with ITG for in person support.
  8. Refer to the Faculty Quickstart guide for additional resources.
  9. Receive specialized support for Instructional projects, multimedia assignments, and digital projects.

Contact for more information or request a consultation today!