With so many of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s programs incorporating technology into their courses, the Division of Professional Studies knew they needed a specialist to guide this process.
Enter Tim Bank.
As a Learning Experience Developer for the division, Bank researches tools and software, ultimately making recommendations for instructional designers and faculty to consider trying in their courses. One of the advancements he is most excited about is virtual reality and its potential educational applications.
“The systems that I work with are high-performance six degree of freedom systems that allow the user to not just look around their environments, but actually move within them and interact with the environments with their hands,” Bank said. “I love the reaction people have after taking off the Head Mounted Display. It is an expression of wonder commonly followed with a ‘WOW!’ and ‘It was as if I was really there!’”
His desire to teach and help others learn extends beyond the university, however. He has been a martial artists for almost 40 years and has earned five black belts and two World Champion titles along the way. Even after all this time though, he said the part he enjoys most is teaching and learning from others.
“Even the newest student can teach you something — maybe about yourself, maybe about how you are teaching, or maybe they are that one insight that gives you that “a-ha” moment,” Bank said. “When you think you know it all, that is when you stop learning and stop growing. So it is important to be humble and to be open to new ideas and ways of doing things.”
Additionally, Bank also serves as a paid on call firefighter for the city of Fitchburg, Wisconsin. He is called in when the on-duty crew needs assistance and occasionally works overnight shifts to help support his department He also finds ways to use his technological experience to benefit the firehouse, such as creating a 360-degree video climbing the 100-foot aerial ladder to help residents of Fitchburg better understand the work they do.
While his talents and interests may be diverse, they all come back to one thing: helping others. According to Bank, this is a common theme he shares with his colleagues at UW-Platteville.
“I love how everyone supports each other and is personally invested in making the experience for the students about the students and their success. It is great to be surrounded by so many compassionate people with a common goal,” Bank said.
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