Before 2023 concludes, we want to share our gratitude for the thousands of CSUN staff — many of them working behind the scenes — who help us achieve our goals on campus. You may be familiar with their work, but now it’s time to meet just a few of them.
Megan Duncan, Instructional and Media Technologist, Academic Technology
Canvas, Lecture Capture, Turnitin, Zoom…. Educational technology use has exploded. So how do CSUN faculty members keep up?
There is a resource on campus dedicated to helping professors do just that. It’s the Faculty Technology Center, which is a part of Academic Technology, where Megan Duncan works as an instructional and media technologist. She’s part of a team made up of professional staff members and students who teach the teachers to manage these new, technical tools.
“We help with the facilitation and administration of Canvas, which is our primary learning management system,” Duncan explained. “But we also spend time putting together workshops for faculty to introduce new or new-to-them technologies.”
Duncan started her time at CSUN in 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and jumped right in teaching Zoom to faculty members who’d never used it before. Academic Technology staff members in the Faculty Technology Center spent some 35,000 hours training professors on the video meeting platform.
Duncan noted that providing a safe space for people to learn and experiment with technology is at the heart of her instruction. She’s enthusiastic about helping faculty members learn to enhance their classroom presentations.
“[I can] offer best practices and introduce some new solutions, like ‘hey, I’ve always wanted my students to be able to submit a video project, but I don’t know how to coordinate that,’ Duncan said. “We have options in place that can simplify that process. Come and talk to us. Academic technology is so much more exciting than it sounds.”
In addition to providing technology instruction, Duncan also has the important job of helping produce CSUN’s multi-day commencement ceremonies, both behind the camera amidst the graduates and in the broadcast booth. Duncan said she had a similar job while studying technical theatre at Western Washington University.
“My involvement with commencement is a thrilling feature because I think of it as the big finale of anybody’s college pathway,” Duncan said. “I get to be there for everybody’s joy of walking that stage.”
In addition to those roles, the Seattle-native is also, once again, a student. Earlier this year, Duncan was accepted to the educational technology master’s program in the Michael D. Eisner College of Education. Her primary role of teaching and supporting technology inspired her to pursue an advanced degree.
“I don’t have a background in technology, aside from being a technically savvy individual,” Duncan explained. “So, the fee waiver program that CSUN provides actually got me thinking about how I could better fulfill the other duties and responsibilities for this role as well,” she said.
At this time of year, Duncan noted that she’s grateful for the CSUN community and the enthusiasm she finds among colleagues for the work that they do. She said she particularly enjoys the diversity she finds on campus.
“This institution is so exciting for me,” she said. “There are folks of all different paths of life, of all different ethnicities, genders, identifications, orientations, backgrounds, nationalities… And it’s just inspiring to see everybody working together.”