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CBS People: Kalli-Ann Binkowski

This CBS staffer puts technology in the classroom.

What do you do here?
I am the Academic Technology Coordinator in Research and Learning Technologies (RLT). 

Kalli Binkowski

How long have you been at the U?
Five and a half months.

What is something interesting or unusual about your work here?
I get to work with people that build baboon-proof hard drives! And when they speak of things like raspberry pie, lollipops, and gingerbread they aren't talking about food. It turns out, when people in technology use those words they are talking about computer operating systems and miniature computers. CBS-RLT is currently programming those mini computers to collect data during experiments for CBS researchers.

How did you get into academic technology?
During my first year as a teacher, I begged for a grading program that I could pilot because I couldn't imagine writing scores into a red gradebook by hand. I was teaching high school biology, AP biology, and introductory science back then. In just a few years I was training all my colleagues to use grading software and writing technical instructions for the many updates and replacement programs. I continued to use and share new technology throughout my 18-year teaching career. In my final year I taught a "flipped" chemistry course in which every student had an iPad and my YouTube channel (scibink) had more than 70 videos. Now, I get to use that experience to help our faculty use technology to teach. Technology in the classroom is a great tool for improving the learning experiences of students. It can motivate students and widen their perspectives, and even occasionally lessen the workload of the instructor. I believe technology is used most successfully when it begins with this question: “How can I teach this so my students will understand it better?”

crotchet lionborder terrierWhat do you like to do in your free time?
I take my border terrier, Grizzie, for walks, meet with my book club, crochet and knit, and binge on BBC mysteries. I actually listen to most of the books I read, and right now I’m deep into Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch. Once it is warm, I plant perennials in my garden and avoid looking at the weeds. I’m also an avid cook. My favorite recipes are panzanella, potato leek soup, and grandma’s chicken noodle soup from scratch.