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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Get To Know LATIS'S Ann Fandrey

Originally appeared on the CLA NOW blog on 3/31/2015
Name: Ann Fandrey
When did you start working at the U? January 2002

Current position? Educational Technologies Specialist

What brought you to your current job? Prior to applying to an instructional design position in CLA, I'd been working in the Medical School for 12 years. I wanted a different view of the University and some experience doing instructional design outside the context of a professional school.

What is your favorite aspect of your job? I love the intellectual challenge, curiosity, creativity and enthusiasm of the TEL team and other staff in LATIS.

What excites you about working at the U/LATIS? LATIS is uniquely positioned to be a technology and innovation partner to the CLA; I can't wait to see what interesting and impactful initiatives we're working on a year from now!

What is your favorite accomplishment with LATIS, so far?  I really loved working on the pilot curriculum for the digital literacy badge initiative; TEL team designed 5 modules as part of a curriculum on digital presentation design. It was written for undergraduates, but we've heard that graduate TAs, staff and instructors are appreciating it too. It's free and open for enrollment--check it out!

What advice do you have for LATIS constituents who are intimidated by technology? Rather than ask, "What new technology solutions should I be using?" we can ask, "What are the current problems that I have?" and then, "Is there a technology solution that can help?" Viewing technology as a tool rather than something that needs to constantly be kept up with can reframe it in a way that is perhaps less intimidating. And, technologies can be both digital and analog.

Is there a technology trend that you think constituents should embrace? What is it and how could it be used to make their work/person lives easier?  My work tends toward finding ways to use current and time-tested tools in better, more strategic ways--even moreso than prematurely adopting the latest tools and newest apps. To that end, I love working with instructors on the redesign of instructional materials such as PowerPoint slides, and I'm totally back-to-basics when it comes to Moodle course sites. See the CLA's reMoodle project to learn more.

What is your favorite place on campus? Pedicord Apartments at the Weisman

Your hometown and the first place you lived after leaving your hometown? I was born in beautiful Red Wing, MN, and moved to Decorah, IA, to do my undergrad.

What do you do for fun? I like watching lectures on YouTube and doing makeovers of the slides. (Yes, I'm being serious.)

Motto or personal mantra: If you don't scale the mountain, you can't see the view.

Have you had a mentor while at the U and what did you learn from them? I've been lucky to have had not 1 but 3 mentors over the years. From the first, I learned that volunteering on a project is a great way to get valuable experience. From the second, I learned the importance of being pleasant and fun to work with. From the third, that the best team members are those who are willing to do whatever it takes to support a group's efforts and goals. I hope I can pay it forward on mentorship; my mentors have helped me become a better team member and a better person.

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