TESS 2018 in Review

05.12.2018 - 2 min. Read

The theme of the 2018 Technology Enabled Showcase + Seminar (TESS) was The Empowered Educator, which was derived from Simon Bates’ model (2014) of the 21st Century Educator for post-secondary education. In this model, educators are encouraged to embrace student-centred principles and practices as a teacher for learning. They also take a wider view of their role as experimenters, technologists, collaborators, curators, and scholars.

At the two-day TESS conference, located at the Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto, over 80 presenters from 25 different Ontario universities and colleges gave peer-reviewed presentations. Each of the concurrent session tracks aligned with 1 of the 6 tracks described by Bates’ model. Nearly every publicly funded higher education institution in Ontario was represented by the 250 attendees at TESS.

On Day 1, Simon Bates (UBC) delivered the opening keynote, entitled “The Anatomy of a 21st Century Educator: Pathways to institutional support,” followed by concurrent sessions and a networking reception.

On Day 2, Robin DeRosa delivered a keynote, entitled “Empowering Tech: On Oxymorons, Objectives, and Open Education,” and moderated a panel of students participating in eCampusOntario’s Student Design Lab (SXD) members. Following all concurrent sessions, Lena Patterson delivered Inspiration Awards to 6 presentation teams, and David Porter gave closing remarks.

Remote participants engaged in TESS 2018 events. A live Twitter Wall during the main sessions provided real-time discussion (#TESS18 trended both days!) Also, Virtually Connecting hosted four real-time online conversations with keynotes, students, and eCampusOntario’s 6 OE Fellows: Helen DeWaard, Lakehead University; Maureen Glynn, Ryerson University; Aaron Langille, Laurentian University, Laura Killam, Cambrian College, Jessica O’Reilly, Cambrian College, and James Skidmore, University of Waterloo.

In their feedback attendees said they most appreciated the keynotes and panelists, the many opportunities to connect and engage with others, and the inspiring stories and variety of topics presented in concurrent sessions. One return TESS attendee stated, “The event was professional yet fun, informative, and inspiring. A great event in a wonderful venue.” Another attendee wrote, “Fantastically well organized, great speakers all around. It was my first TESS but would definitely go again.”

For more information and recordings of events at TESS, see the following links: