First of all, we realize that starting a blog is not exactly cutting edge. If we claimed that we were breaking new ground by launching our blog then it would be fair to ask what year we think this is. Blogs have been a mainstay of the Internet for more than a decade now. Universities and teaching & learning offices have made good use of them as a way to distill information, share ideas and encourage communication between educators, bloggers and readers. In starting CTSI Focus, we are not here to reinvent what is already done well—why fix something that isn’t broken?—but to join in on the conversation.
CTSI Focus will look at all things teaching and learning related for the University of Toronto but we will also look beyond the campus and outside the confines of the classroom. Our focus is wide: learning, education, media (social and otherwise), academic technology, online worlds, offline practices, profiles of faculty and students, upcoming events, points of interest (books, articles, films, documentaries), and higher education’s place within the broader community. When we talk about learning beyond the classroom many look to online or blended courses or the use of social media within a course. While these are very real needs and concerns for most of us working in higher education, CTSI Focus’ aim is to open that discussion even further.
To be effective teachers, we must continue to be enthusiastic learners. It is as simple and as complicated as that sounds—very easy to write down as a sentence in a blog entry but possibly a bit more difficult in the day-to-day world of teaching. For CTSI (also known as the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation), supporting instructors in their efforts to engage students in learning is the priority. For CTSI Focus, sharing experiences, ideas, stories, insights, innovations and humour are ways we can achieve that goal. We hope that you will join us—comment, share your stories, offer suggestions for future entries—and help us make CTSI Focus a hub for learning.