Two NLC Staff up for Innovation Awards in Education Technology

Two staff members at Northern Lights College have been nominated for 2008 BC Innovation Awards in Educational Technology.
 
Mark Hanen and John Royer are Educational Technology (Ed Tech) facilitators at NLC’s Dawson Creek and Fort St. John campuses, respectively. They were among 15 nominees, from eight post-secondary institutions in British Columbia.
 
The Innovation awards are presented by the B.C. Educational Technology Users Group (ETUG). The awards recognize individuals from B.C. public post-secondary institutions who utilize educational technologies to enhance teaching and learning, and to provide greater service and support to students, faculty, staff, or administrators.
 
The Ed Tech department at NLC helps the College community find creative and practical ways to use technology in the classroom and to remove barriers to education.
 
Hanen and Royer were nominated by John Birnie, NLC’s vice president learning, and Eric Sehn, dean of Academic and Career Technical Division. They were cited for “the use of existing educational technology in an exemplary fashion.”
 
“The work that these two gentlemen have done in video promotion and our adoption of blended and online delivery using management systems such as WebCT and D2L made us the ‘little engine that could’ of B.C. community colleges,” said Birnie in his nomination letter. “Their devotion and dedication to introducing educational technology to our faculty has been remarkable.”
 
Among their accomplishments, Hanen and Royer have been involved with:
• developing the use of Smart Classrooms, which use a multimedia lectern and other technology to allow instructors to deliver live lectures with computer content to more than one campus;
• being among the first educators in the province to introduce personal computers to the college classroom;
• proposing the concept of an NLC online centre for instructors and students;
• expanding the use of videoconferencing to deliver academic courses – 16 in 2008 – to multiple sites when previously available on only one campus;
• helping facilitate collaborative programming efforts between institutions in areas such as Human Development, Education and Care; Criminology; and Northern Collaborative on Information Technology;
• creating the initial blueprint for an online Information Technology certification course; and
• helping the College’s Board of Governors adopt videoconference technology for its meetings to reduce travel costs.
 
“Working with educational technology is exciting and challenging, but it’s the faculty and students who make our jobs worthwhile,” Hanen said. “John and I tell the faculty and students that our job is to make technology work for them, not against them. Educational technology is about education, about access, about creating the teachable moment; it is about people more than technology.”
 
Hanen earned his Bachelor of Arts (with Distinction) and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Calgary, and has worked at NLC for more than 25 years. He has been a faculty member in Adult Basic Education, Applied Business Technology, Computer Studies, and University Transfer (English and Composition) prior to moving to Ed Tech. Hanen has published numerous articles/books on more effective use of computers and the Internet, and currently is working on his latest publication.
 
Royer has worked at NLC since 1987, teaching math and computers in Applied Business Technology and Adult Basic Education. He earned his Honours Bachelor of Science in Mathematics at York University in Toronto. Prior to joining NLC, Royer delivered workshops throughout northern B.C. and Alberta to builders and homeowners on energy conservation and energy-efficient building techniques.

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