Meet Lauren Barbeau!

We are excited to welcome, Dr. Lauren Barbeau who recently joined the Center for Teaching and Learning as the Assistant Director of Learning and Technology! Read the interview below and get to know the newest member of our team!

What is your role at CTL and what are you most excited about working on?

I’m the Assistant Director of Learning and Technology Initiatives. I’m still learning what my role means, but after seeing Vincent facilitate the Teaching with Technology Summer Institute, I can say I’m pretty excited about getting to design my own version, even though that’s a year away.

How did you get interested in learning and technology? What do you enjoy about it?

I sort of fell into the technology aspect of learning. All six years of grad school, I worked closely with the Teaching Center because teaching was my passion and I wanted to learn to do it well. At the end of my fourth year, the Teaching Center advertised the Liberman Fellowship for Teaching with Technology. Recipients trained faculty and grad students on how to use the new LMS as well as how to teach effectively using other technologies. Extra money never hurts as a grad student. I applied and got it. The following year, I was selected as the Senior Liberman Fellow, which meant I lead the Junior fellows in designing and delivering these workshops. I was preparing for the job market when I realized: this is what I love doing, and hey, other people do it as a full time job. Maybe I can too. I ended up getting my first educational development position at Georgia Southern University, where I was tasked with bringing together the faculty development and instructional design halves of the office. This meant I collaborated with both teams, becoming a pedagogy and technology expert.

I’ve branched in many different directions of educational development, but I always come back to the technology piece. I’m easily bored and ready for something new, but technology changes so constantly that I never have time to get bored! I love the challenge of learning to use a new technology and keeping up with new features. While there are some standing best practices when it comes to teaching with technology, it’s largely a new frontier because the technology changes so quickly. We’re always having to reassess and innovate best practices. That’s the sort of work that excites me. I love working with faculty to explore these frontiers.

What is a recommendation for a resource on teaching with technology you have for instructors at GT?

I’m a little biased because it’s taken up almost four years of my life, but my co-author and I just sent a draft (as of July 5th!) of our book, Critical Teaching Behaviors: A Faculty Guide to Defining, Documenting, and Discussing Good Teaching. The book is based on a six category framework of teaching behaviors we developed, which includes an “Integrate Technology” category. This is one of few holistic teaching frameworks to elevate teaching with technology to the same level of importance for good teaching as, say, alignment or engagement. The “Integrate Technology” chapter provides a literature review of research-based practices for teaching with technology as well as an overview of behaviors we can engage in aligned with these practices. It concludes with guidance on how to document your implementation of these behaviors as evidence of effective teaching. We expect Stylus Publishing to have it in print by January 2023.

What is a fun fact about yourself that you’d like to share?

I am a tea aficionado, and I never truly grew out of having tea parties. I enjoy inviting people over for afternoon tea so I can use the fancy china. I have a small collection of fascinators and hats, and I absolutely wear them to my own tea parties. People know this about me. It amuses me to no end that when friends want to do something special for me, they throw me a tea party. They definitely know the way to my heart!

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