August 5, 2015

Educators Learn Innovative Ways of Teaching with Technology


Author Cliff Atkinson opens his presentation with some celestial images from space.

Aug. 4, 2015 | Cliff Atkinson took an audience of 185 educators “Beyon  d Bullet Points” in his keynote presentation at the ninth annual Teaching with Technology Symposium (TWT) on July 23rd at UAMS.


Kesha James, right, talks with some of the symposium attendees about and an informational poster about it.

The 136 symposium registrants were joined by about 50 additional UAMS faculty and staff for this presentation. The two-day symposium focused on software and tools for teaching and assisting educators to apply different teaching styles and techniques with educational technology

Atkinson spoke on “Making Your Ideas Stick: Tapping into the Hidden Power of Story.”  He discussed a wide range of communication methods for teaching, from when to use PowerPoint and when not to, the best ways to add visual components to a presentation and how to combine those with classic storytelling techniques.

Atkinson’s presentation explored ideas from his book, “Beyond Bullet Points,” an Amazon Book of the Year in 2007.


More than 180 people attended Atkinson’s keynote presentation.

“One of the key things to do is to figure out how to get into the worlds of your audiences, your learners, and look at things from their perspectives,” Atkinson said. “A great way to do that is to seek out case studies. Look for practical, defined ways that learners can engage the information. Another word for a case study is ‘story.’ It’s a terrific way to start a presentation.”

The symposium included 15 breakout sessions, two lightning sessions, and six workshops over a two-day period. Nine research and educational posters were displayed. Forty-three presenters came from UAMS, UALR, UA System/eVersity, Pulaski Tech, Arkansas State University, and other higher education institutions in Arkansas.

Topics included game-based learning, distance learning in higher education, technology facilitating collaborative learning and work on student projects, using Instagram to engage students, enhancing learning through new Web tools, and copyright and attribution in online teaching.

Michael Moore, UA System vice president for academic affairs, led a panel of eVersity faculty to discuss status of the new online venture. Mark Taylor led off the second day with “Meet Generation NeXt: Understanding, Teaching and Serving Today’s Students, Managing in the Multigenerational Workplace.”

The TWT Teaching Excellence Awards for 2015 were presented to Rosalind Penney, UAMS College of Public Health, and Adam Cherepski, Center for Distance Health at UAMS. 

“Each Teaching with Technology symposium has had its own personality,” said Jan Hart, TWT Committee executive director. “This year, the symposium had a casual, down-home feel that encouraged lots of interactions and networking.  Attendees often lingered after a presentation to talk and exchange their thoughts.”

Dave Wessinger, TWT Committee chair, Jan Hart, Kathy Boyle, Symposium Program Committee chair, and many members of the Committee worked throughout the year to organize this ninth symposium.  The symposium would not be possible without the professional and enthusiastic support by the IT Audiovisual Division.