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Electronic Teaching Tools for Faculty & Staff
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by Linda McConnell

TALENT (Teaching And Learning with Electronic Networked Technologies), created by ITS, Distributed Learning and Users Services, is a system-wide faculty/staff support and development program originally developed in 1997. This innovative, free training program provides a variety of instructional sessions focusing on Distance Educational issues, concerns, applications and tools to interested UH faculty and staff.

TALENT not only provides hands-on training sessions on the UH Manoa campus by skilled technical support personnel but also Interactive Televised Broadcasts to neighbor islands and community campuses throughout the academic school year.

ITS staff assist in video production

The fall and spring semesters bring TALENT Offerings in the areas of Workshops Delivered via Interactive Television, Skills Workshops, Guest Presenters and various Satellite Broadcasts. Broadcast sessions for workshops delivered via interactive television focus on the University of Hawaii's supported online Course Management Tool, WebCT (Web Course Tool), as well as distance educational topics such as copyright issues, ADA policies and online portfolios.

The fall and spring, hands-on Skills Workshops are held at the UH Manoa campus and focus on supported software applications used to enhance teaching and learning in either distance or face-to-face courses. Software applications normally covered in these sessions, for both Macintosh and Windows, are Macromedia's DreamWeaver used to assist in the creation of course Web pages, Microsoft's Photoshop Elements for editing of digital or scanned images and Microsoft's PowerPoint for enhancing lectures to name a few.

Over the past few years TALENT has had a variety of guest speakers visit the campus. These speakers often provide presentations covering topics dealing with not only Distance Education, but also teaching and learning in general. TALENT firmly supports these events and helps to provide information to advertise such activities.

In addition, each semester TALENT hosts live satellite teleconferences for UH professional development. These telecasts, provided by PBS Adult Learning Service (ALS) and other higher education institutions, offer teleconferences focusing on distance learning topics such as faculty issues, copyright, student support and technology.

An updated schedule and an RSVP form for all fall and spring activities are posted on the TALENT Web site at ( select the link for "TALENT Offerings" ). Fall topics are posted in September, while those for spring are up by early February.

During the summer months (June and July) TALENT offers the Summer TALENT Institute, another system-wide training program for UH faculty and staff. These sessions are based on issues and pedagogical strategies surrounding the design, creation and delivery of Internet-supported course materials. The institute provides an opportunity for not only the technical support staff to visit neighbor island campuses but also to have faculty gather and interact with their peers to share learning activities that can last a lifetime.

The Summer TALENT Institute is comprised of an Internet based course (TALENT101) introducing faculty/staff to the wonderful world of distance education and learning, hands-on Introduction to WebCT (TALENT102) and an Advanced Tools session (TALENT201). The introductory hands-on portion of the institute covers the "how to's" of using various tools in WebCT (UH online course management tool) while the more advanced session (TALENT201) currently focuses on how to capture, edit and stream video, narrate presentations and use other resource tools to enhance ones online course.

An updated schedule of events as well as an RSVP form for the Summer TALENT Institute is available towards the end January, early February on the TALENT Web site at ( select the link for "TALENT Summer Institute" ).

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