Jane Van Galen, the founding director of the University of Washington Bothell’s education program, received the 2018 UW Distinguished Teaching Award for Innovation with Technology.
This is the second straight year the award has gone to UW Bothell faculty, following the 2017 award to Jody Early in the School of Nursing & Health Studies. The award was created in 2013 to recognize a faculty member from the Seattle, Tacoma or Bothell campuses who improves student learning by leveraging technology.
Van Galen focuses on ways to critically consume and create digital media. Many of her students are teachers earning their master’s degree. Part of her work is thinking about how to teach her students’ students in elementary school and high school to be critical consumers of information.
“That is essentially the challenge we face — whether people are deliberately lying to us or whether it’s hard to get complete information when we’re getting information from so many sources,” she said in a press release.
Van Galen has taught digital storytelling and helped students create multimedia projects “in which they can advocate for themselves and be more visible in the world.” She has specifically supported first-generation college students through her First in Our Families project. She started UW Bothell’s graduate certificate program in digital teaching and learning. She conducts workshops around the country, hauling a case of iPads through airports.
What you do with technology, not technology itself, is the learning goal, she said.
“It’s about the creativity and the connections and the collaborations and the critical consumption of information,” Van Galen said in a press release. “Those are the things that tech supports.”