Office of Information Technology

TechFest showcases technology innovation for both higher education and research. Students, faculty, and staff are all invited to take part. Tech sessions and activities take place at the William Ransom Wood Campus Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, along with a few in Bunnell 319B.

Sessions  •   Geocache Scavenger Hunt  •  Gaming

Streaming will be available for Featured Speaker and Sessions in Wood Center E/F.
Click the link below to see the list of streamable sessions:

Stream TechFest Sessions via Mediasite

(In order to stream these sessions, you must have Microsoft Silverlight installed. It is free, and can be downloaded here:

The iOS version of the Mediasite Player is free and available from the iTunes Store:

There is not an Android app available.)

Featured Speakers

Virtualization of a University: A How-To From the IT Specialist Who Made it Happen at the Oregon State University College of Engineering.

Todd Shechter

Thursday, 10 October 2013
10:00 - 11:45 am
Woodcenter Ballroom

This session will explore the Virtualization Strategy currently in practice at the Oregon State University College of Engineering. We will discuss both the server and end-user vitualization solutions developed at OSU to take care of the increasingly mobile student, and supporting the theme of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).

Todd Shechter is Director of Information Technology at the Oregon State University College of Engineering in Corvallis, Oregon. As a proud Beaver graduate, Todd leads a team of 11 professional IT employees as well as a talented group of 35 student workers. Together, they take care of all IT needs (servers, desktops, laptops, networking, cloud integration) for the Engineering College’s 6,800 users. Todd is a native of Fairbanks, Alaska having graduated from West Valley High School then attending UAF before transferring to Oregon State. He has worked for Apple Computer as their Systems Engineer for K-12 education based out of Anchorage and is the lead network technician for the Alaska Society for Technology in Education (ASTE). Outside of work Todd is a member of Corvallis Mountain Rescue Unit and enjoys many outdoor activities with his wife Cori and dog Yukon.

The ds106 Files: Outbreaks of Infectious and Open Acts of Creativity

Alan Levine

Thursday, 10 October 2013
12:00 pm - 1:45 pm
Woodcenter Ballroom

While much of higher education seems hunkered down in crises of a broken system or MOOC takeover, reports are filtering in from the distal portions of the internet where open, spontaneous, volunteered acts of creative expression seem to be spreading at alarming rates. These reports have been traced to a loose federation of registered students, teachers, and openly participating individuals of all ages in something known as ds106, an open course in digital storytelling. Patient Zero has been traced to students at the University of Mary Washington, but activity has spread to multiple institutions,  K-12 schools, retirees, artists, and people of various affiliations across North America, Europe, Africa, and Australasia. The report highlights the manifestations of this creativity in individually managed internet domains and self-hosted blogs, demonstrated in visual, audio, video, and remixed media, extensively reflected upon. Intense activity has been spotted in blog comments, twitter, Google Plus, and social media platforms, including the current incarnation as a "headless" course. The most intense focus areas are around atypical course constructs of daily creative challenges, a web-based radio station, and an open assignment bank.

It is likely some of you will be affected by contact with this information and may end up devoting time to creating animated GIFs, remixed movie trailers, and radio shows.

Alan Levine explores the potential of new technologies for education. He hoisted a web server on the Maricopa Community Colleges network in 1993 and has not left the web since then. He has brought innovative ideas to his work with the New Media Consortium and the University of Mary Washington. An early proponent of blogs and RSS, Alan shares his ideas and discoveries at writing there since 2003. Alan works from home in Strawberry, Arizona where his current interests include digital storytelling, photography, bending WordPress to his whims, and randomly dipping into the infinite river of the internet.

The Move in K12 Education to High Access Computing

Dr. Robert E. Whicker

Friday, 11 October 2013
10:00 am - 11:45 am
Wood Center Ballroom

The use of computing devices (especially mobile devices) is on the rise in K12 education and is almost certain to continue.  Whether technology is provided by the school or through a "Bring Your Own Device" model, true integration of technology into instruction is a missed opportunity if teachers are not educated in pedagogy using technology.  Pre-service programs and continuing professional development have been shown to be effective in types of 2nd order change like one-to-one computing projects around the nation.  A bridge between K12 and Higher Ed could bring our education systems to a higher level of effectiveness and relevance.

Bob has been involved in Alaskan education over a span of 34 years teaching and working in varying positions of school leadership from principal to superintendent, and moved to the private sector as an education development executive for Apple, Inc., where he was selected as National Development Executive of the Year in 2006. Bob currently serves as director of the Association of Alaska School Boards Consortium for Digital Learning (CDL). He has been immersed in digital learning through one to one learning environments for the past decade. Involved with the CDL since its inception, Bob helped to plan its purpose and structure. Through the CDL, over 120 schools in 32 school districts have moved to one to one projects impacting over 12,500 users. Bob has degrees in business administration/physical education and school administration, recently completing a Ph.D. in Transformational Leadership in Technology at UAF studying the effects of 1:1 computing on K12 education in Alaska.

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