iPad apps? Best online teaching techniques? Wade Maki brings faculty together to learn from each other
Article by Mike Harris
UNCG’s Faculty Teaching & Learning Commons is run by faculty for the faculty, Wade Maki explains.
“We consider anyone involved in teaching to be faculty. Our goal is to bring faculty together and learn from each other.”
Wade Maki was a Spring 2013 FTLC Fellow for Online Learning. Other faculty learned things from him – and he learned from others as well. Recently, he was named a faculty co-director in the UNCG Faculty Teaching and Learning Commons. As such, he is the first FTLC Fellow to transition into an FTLC leadership role.
“One of the great secrets of being an FTLC Fellow is that you learn as much or more from doing it as those who attend your events. This is so important for online learning as most units have a handful of people that do it well. We need a peer group to learn from – and the FTLC provides that.”
He has taught at UNCG for nearly a decade, both online and in person. He currently teaches a variety of courses in the Philosophy department and for the Bachelor of Liberal Studies program. He teaches topics ranging from business ethics to the meaning of life.
One such event was a recent iPad/apps discussion “So you’ve got an iPad…” He led a discussion about some powerful apps and how they can be used to enhance classroom teaching, create content for classes, and manage our ever-busier lives. “For example, the $5 iMovie app allows anyone to create a professional looking video with music, graphics, and text popups, in a very short time. With a brief demonstration anyone can create, edit and deploy professional looking videos in their courses.”
They had a good mix of faculty and staff at the event, he adds.
A few personal facts: He grew up in northern Minnesota. The growing season is extremely short there, so he relishes the longer-season Southern gardening. He also enjoys most things involving technology and history – and if you have an interest in Hobbits or Sith Lords, well he does too.
Many may know him as the director of UNCG’s BB&T Program on Capitalism, Markets, and Morality, through which he has has worked to connect students to community through a partnership with the Piedmont Business Ethics Award, applying ideas and concepts to real-world problems. Others may know him through Faculty Senate – or his passion for online learning.
As a leader at FTLC, he wants to help bring the best practices out of the silos, he says, and to the entire faculty. “For example, online learning is coming – perhaps like Godzilla to Tokyo – and we need to make it the best learning experience it can be. We have people doing wonderful, creative, and engaging things in the online space that faculty need to know about.
“The first time we brought online teaching faculty together we learned that all of us had made the same mistakes early on. Through the FTLC and online training workshops such as “PowerUp” we can show new faculty how to avoid common mistakes and adopt the best online practices from the start.”
The FTLC is trying to replicate that process for many areas of teaching and learning, as well.
The FTLC’s next PowerUp workshop, which provides training and discussion on online/hybrid teaching, will be Dec.16. See the regularly updated schedule at http://commons.uncg.edu/workshops/index.php