Published as a letter to the editor in Inside UVa, 31 January 1997

To the Inside UVA Staff:

Thank you for publishing the generous article concerning my talk at the Teaching Resource Center's January Teaching Workshop. As the article noted, I developed a project with the invaluable support of the Teaching + Technology Initiative (TTI); however, I would like to point out an equally important contributor to the project: the Lilly Teaching Fellows program, now the University Teaching Fellows (UTF) program.

I was a Lilly fellow in the year preceding my TTI fellowship, and it was during that year that I developed many of the attitudes and perspectives that have shaped my work with information technology. As a Lilly fellow, I developed the courage to risk trying new things, plus some sense about what the good risks are and what to do when things go wrong. I think those attitudes are essential in using the Web to innovate rather than simply substitute for other technologies.

My Lilly colleague, Janet Horne, in the French department is a good example of someone who developed those attitudes as a teaching fellow and has gone on to take a leadership role in teaching with technology in her department. She has worked without the benefit of support from TTI or other external sources, but has been fueled by a desire to teach in a particular way: a way that happens to require technology. I think there are many others like Janet around Grounds: people who -- through the UTF program, teaching workshops, or their own will -- want to work in a way that requires them to go beyond the bounds of conventional methods. It is through their cumulative efforts and the continuing support of the TTI program that the University will be able to take a leadership position in the intelligent and appropriate use of information technology in scholarship.

Kirk Martini


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