20 Years: A look back & beyond

20 Years of Teach-nology

By: Danna Wren, PhD

It was August 1999.  The color GameBoy, Polly Pockets and Pokemon were popular toys that year.  Also that month at MU, interim provost Lori Franz and CIO Ed Mahon created an eLearning support unit – Educational Technologies at Missouri (ET@MO).  ET@MO was created by combining the former Distance Learning Design Center and the MU Institute for Instructional Technology with the goal of assisting all Mizzou faculty members in teaching with technology. The new center worked with the cutting-edge learning technologies of the time, which were a chat client, individual web pages, word processing, and an electronic gradebook (EDOG) that could e-mail students with grades. There was no Canvas, no video streaming, no desktop video conferencing and Google was only three years old.

A lot has changed since then, and technology has also become ubiquitous throughout teaching and learning at MU.  While ET@MO originally set out to assist more with the technologies and pedagogies of online learning, it has grown over the years to serve all instructors, with all modes of course delivery. 

“We are fortunate to have the great team in ET@MO.  Their collective expertise has been critically important to our faculty’s ability to successfully adopt educational technologies as they have emerged.  The team has been instrumental in helping guide MU’s adoption and use of appropriate technologies to advance learning outcomes and student success at Mizzou.”

Dr. Jim Spain, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies
What we know about teaching and learning at MU, has also radically changed over the years.  Students now expect technology to be mobile and seamless – an integral, yet almost invisible part of their learning experience.  It is virtually impossible
for individual faculty members keep up with the plethora of learning theories, technology tools, instructional designs and processes available to help our students learn. But that’s where we come in.
In recognition of all of the changes in teaching and learning that has taken place over the years, we’re now officially changing our name to Course Design and Technology. The new name better encompasses how we work with instructors to create the best learning environment for students. We will still be the same –  friendly Canvas support and course design professionals working with you to help you engage your students.

Looking forward to seeing what the next 20 years brings!