Educational Technology Showcases

This series highlights faculty who have integrated educational technology innovations into their curriculum.

Past events

Virtual Reality in Higher Education

Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Stuart Inglis
Pathology and Anatomical Sciences
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

The Virtual Anatomy Lab: A Pilot Project

While cadaver dissection remains the gold standard for learning human anatomy, the learning experience can be supplemented through virtual reality technology. Virtual reality may provide students with a more efficient method of review, as the time necessary to commute to and from campus and the need to bathe after visiting the lab serve as obstacles to visiting the lab outside of scheduled dissection time. A virtual review of human anatomy may also be a preferred form of review prior to tests, as crowded laboratories in the days leading up to an exam can be distractive and create anxiety for some students.

The cost involved with maintaining an anatomy lab is also restrictive for many institutions, and a virtual cadaver laboratory experience may be a more permissive means of learning anatomy.  Educational specialists at UB are partnering with digital media companies to develop a virtual anatomy learning experience as a pilot project to explore the feasibility of this learning experience in a classroom setting.

Margarete A. Jadamec
Assistant professor
Department of Geology
Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering Program
College of Arts and Sciences

The influx of digital data, unprecedented high-performance computing resources, and advances in visualization algorithms are driving a paradigm shift in how scientists work with information in the modern computational landscape. Here I show examples of 3D immersive virtual reality (VR) facilitating scientific discovery in the Earth Sciences. This approach is applied using larger infrastructure CAVES to portable VR platforms such as 3D TVs or the HTC VIVE, with hardware for the portable 3DVR systems demonstrated.

Intrinsic for the successful communication of research done with these emerging technologies is some medium to bring the audience into the 3DVR experience without the extensive hardware. Movie recordings panning through 3D data and simulation output can be one way to convey the depth and 3D complexity. In this way, university sponsored streaming and storage sites, such as university institutional repositories, may provide a critical link in moving this new technology forward and redefining approaches to scientific research.

Richard Lamb
Associate professor
Learning and Instruction
Graduate School of Education

This is meant as a training simulator for pre-service and in-service teachers to garner experience in dealing with situations such as difficult student behaviors, teaching methods, classroom management in general and other activities as needed. So when the teaching student steps into the classroom, they have some idea of what to do.

Crosswater Digital Media is a Buffalo-based creative production center specializing in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI) and cross reality (XR) for education and training. The company's immersive product, Navigator┬«, delivers "real-life experiences learned immersively" and produces exceptional educational and training results utilizing the emotive power of audio, music and sound design within immersive media, AI and games.

3D Printing

3D Printing

Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

3D Printing's Dirty Little Secret

Andrew Olewnik
Director of experiential learning programs
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Thought about incorporating 3D printing into your courses? Allured by the promise of low-cost plug-and-play systems? Me too! Before you make the leap, let me tell you tell you about 3D Printing’s Dirty Little Secret. In this short talk, I’ll describe the challenges, how I’m working to turn it into a relevant professional experience in Engineering, and how I hope to foster wide interdisciplinary collaboration.

The e-NABLE Project

Jon Schull
Founder of e-NABLE

e-NABLE is a global network of volunteers that uses 3D technologies to make free, open-source 3D-printed prosthetics for children and underserved populations. Since its founding five years ago, e-NABLE has been featured in major new programs, magazines and websites, and there are now over a hundred e-NABLE chapters around the world. A social and business entrepreneur, inventor, human-computer interaction researcher and digital community organizer, Schull is the author of 19 patents, most of them informed by his theoretical work in complex adaptive systems and his PhD in biological psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jon Schull with a child trying on a 3-D printed prosthetic.

Schull and his collaborators pioneer solutions for "Connected Humanitarians" and their beneficiary-partners around the world. An entertaining and inspiring public speaker, Schull is a veteran keynoter at business, technology, educational and medical conferences.

Innovative Uses of Clickers

Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Alan Lesse
Associate professor and vice chair for education
Department of Medicine, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Lesse will discuss his use of TurningPoint for review questions in the classroom environment where he frequently sets up the exercise and allows students to self-select teams using TurningPoint’s Team Assignment option. The gamification of the review adds some excitement, and the software's wager options increase the potential for teams to change positions more rapidly. Both aspects appear to increase student interest and participation.

Representatives from Top Hat and Turning Technologies, two vendors that provide classroom response systems at UB, will offer overviews of their products and be available to answer your questions.

Turning Technologies

Susie Liebschner and Stephanie Adams from Turning Technologies have created a short survey and video about their upcoming on-site visit.

> Take the survey

> Watch the video


Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019 , 2 to 4 p.m.
Faculty Collaboration Studio, 6 Norton Hall, North Campus

Carl Alphonce, co-director of undergraduate studies, teaching associate professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Rick Siger, head of university engagement, Piazza

Piazza is an online collaboration platform that improves learning outcomes and boosts participation among students—particularly women and underrepresented minorities. Piazza facilitates interaction among students and instructors in an efficient and intuitive manner, helping students who are stuck on homework problems work through them with the help of their classmates, TAs and professors.

Google for Education

Thursday, March 7, 2019, 1 to 3 p.m.

Chris Tursellino from Google will be leading our second showcase that will cover Google's G Suite as well as augmented and virtual reality tools, with an emphasis on practical use cases in higher education. 

Participants will learn best practices for using Google solutions for immersive learning, improving collaboration, streamlining communication and optimizing their workflows. This showcase will cover a number of new initiatives, ranging from using Google’s virtual and augmented reality platforms that provide students access to new experiences to the latest productivity and collaboration tools that promote interactive learning and improve student engagement. 

This event will be interactive, and attendees are encouraged to bring devices so they can participate.

Products covered include G Suite (including newer products like Course Kit, Jamboard, Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet) and Tour Creator, a tool that allows anyone to create an immersive virtual reality experience.