Teaching & Learning

Calibrate: Interview with Jared Pyles about UBTech Conference

Reading Time: 2 minutes

So, Jared, you just got back from a conference recently. Can you tell me what conference it was and a little bit about it?

It was called UBTech, put on by the LRP media group which has their hand in a bunch of different professions, including education and educational technology. This conference had several tracks, including Audio/Visual integration and Instructional Technology all tailored toward Higher Education.

How did you initially find this conference? What drew you toward it?

Google, of course! I was drawn initially to UBTech because it was a higher ed conference for audio/visual professionals. Since I was new to the audio/visual higher ed game, I wanted to go to a conference that could boost those skills.

When you were looking over the schedule and making your plans, what were you most intrigued by before the conference?

Well, it wasn’t all audio/visual. There were many different tracks that seemed beneficial to myself and the Center for Teaching & Learning, so I sent the schedule to our team just to see what they would find helpful as well.

Once you were actually at the conference, what stood out to you or surprised you?

It was cool to see some of the K-12 theories and practices that were permeating that market when I was a part of it finally making their way up the Higher Ed chain. A lot of new, innovative ideas are making their way up. Also, I was surprised at how big ESports is becoming. I mean, there are a ton of schools that are now offering ESports as an extracurricular activity and giving scholarships, etc to students. There are some schools that are building arenas to house their program. One school mentioned building one that’s 12,000 square feet.

That’s interesting how the K-12 theories and practices are making their way into higher ed. Do you have a favorite K-12 theory/practice from when you were in that market that’s now making its way into higher ed?

It’s great to see collaboration making its way up. It’s always been present in certain higher ed disciplines (engineering, for example) but it always felt forced in others. Or limited to just a group presentation/project. Now, it’s being integrated across disciplines to spark authentic learning and discussion. And it’s being used not as an end assessment but as a means of instruction. Higher ed is starting to see the value of allowing students to learn at their own pace and in their own style, and not relying on lectures and slides to get them there. There is still a long road ahead, but it’s exciting to see some small steps.

What’s your biggest takeaway from the conference?

Higher Ed students currently are made up of two different generations, and it’s time to adapt the way education has been done for decades to meet the needs of those students. There are many simple ways of doing it that I think could be done on our campus with just a little bit of effort up front.

Oh, that’s awesome. Can you share a couple of ways that could be done?

Flexible classrooms (no longer the “generic classroom” format), informal learning spaces, and lots of collaboration. I mean, lots of collaboration. Research shows that these generations of learners are natural collaborators. Both digital and face-to-face. They want to get together to learn.

What was the best conference snack/food there?

The hotel cafe made a really good Iced Americano.

Now, for a completely random question: what’s your favorite bridge?


Want to never miss a post? Subscribe here!

Subscribe to Blog

Enter your email address to receive email notification of new posts.

Leave a Reply