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About your host, Shirantha Beddage

Shirantha Beddage is a baritone saxophonist, composer, and faculty member in the Bachelor of Music program. He has released three critically acclaimed albums as leader, including the JUNO-nominated recordings “Identity” and “Momentum”. His compositional skills have won him accolades from the Montreal Jazz Festival and placements in the Emmy-winning TV series “Fargo”. In the Bachelor of Music program, Shirantha teaches courses in Music Theory and Large Ensemble. His innovative teaching methods have earned him national recognition as an Apple Distinguished Educator. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Studies from the Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from William Paterson University, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Humber.

As a secondee with Humber Innovative Learning, Shirantha loves to help faculty use technology more effectively by creating Panopto videos, facilitating conversations with teachers, and hosting the Staff Lounge.

Getting in Touch

Do you have a theme or a guest idea for our show? Let us know! Contact: elisabeth.springate@humber.ca


Season 2: Episode 12 - Perspectives: What We've Learned

On May 27 and 28, 2022 Humber College hosts the annual Part-Time Teachers’ Conference virtually for all Ontario part-time post-secondary faculty. In this episode Professor Shirantha Beddage explores the theme of the conference “Perspectives: What We’ve Learned” with two of Humber’s part-time faculty. Dr. Betsy Moss and Professor Carri-Ann Scott reflect on how the pandemic impacted their lives and their teaching practice. What valuable lessons did they learn while teaching remotely? As we return to campus, how will their teaching practices adapt? Are they inspired to bring any new-found methodologies back to the classroom?

Part-Time Teachers’ Conference

Humber College – Innovative Learning

The Circled Square

Shirantha Beddage

Season 2: Episode 11 - Virtual Success - Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Looking to create a unique, real world experience for students? Could interdisciplinary collaboration be the solution?

In this episode Professor Shirantha Beddage chats with FMCA Professors Eva Ziemsen, Umer Noor and Matthew Mazza about their award winning collaboration that brings together Film and Multiplatform Storytelling students with Game Programming students. Professors Ziemsen, Noor and Mazza discuss how the interdisciplinary collaboration evolved into a successful and exciting learning experience for faculty and learners.

This innovative project introduced creative film students to game programmers, and challenged them to collaborate on a virtual production. A true first for all involved. We hear how the project took the professors’ teaching practice to another level, and what faculty members learned from each other along the way. This collaboration is a powerful example of what makes Humber an innovative leader in Higher Education.

Portfolio Website Showcasing all Films Produced in the Collaboration between FMST and Game Programmers

Unreal Engine—A Game Engine for Virtual Production


Shirantha Beddage’s Website

Season 2: Episode 10 - The Magic Ingredient - Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Perfecting the recipe for student success? Could interdisciplinary collaboration be the magic ingredient?

In this episode Professor Shirantha Beddage chats with Bakery and Culinary Arts Professor Kenneth Ku and Web Design and Interactive Technology Professor David Neumann about their exciting professional collaboration that brings together Culinary and Media students. Professors Ku and Neumann share how they created a successful interdisciplinary collaboration that’s created an exciting and professionally rewarding learning experience for faculty and learners.

This episode celebrates how Humber faculty are working together, moving out of their professional silos and creating key professional partnerships. This perfect pairing is a powerful example of what makes Humber an innovative leader in Higher Education.

Season 2: Episode 9 - Celebrating International Women's Day, 2022

Women have made great gains in terms of education and schooling over the past few decades. On International Women’s Day we celebrate these successes. Despite all that, certain challenges persist: women’s employment earnings are on average still lower than men’s, and leadership roles can seem elusive.
While acknowledging the gains and successes, what remain our greatest challenges for women in leadership roles? We chat to Dawn Macaulay, Humber College’s Dean of Innovative Learning, to discuss what more we can do to support and promote women’s ambitions for leadership roles.
For faculty at Humber – who are teaching women who may be just starting out on their careers – what role does mentoring play?
What advice is there for women in academic positions with ambitions for leadership roles? And how is leadership being supported?

We’ve heard about the glass ceiling—the invisible barrier to women in business. Ella L.J. Bell Smith coined the phrase– the concrete wall – a different kind of barrier for women of colour where nobody sees you and limits the capacity to learn and understand what’s happening on the other side.

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Season 2: Episode 8 - Confronting Anti - Black Racism In The Classroom

February is Black History Month and Black History is everyone’s history. To recognize and honour the legacy and contributions of Black Canadians and to learn more about how Humber is acknowledging and celebrating Black History Month, our host, Shirantha Beddage, met with Morris Beckford, Manager, Education & Training in the Centre for Human Rights, Equity & Inclusion.

In this honest and thought provoking conversation, we reflect on how deeply entrenched anti-Black racism is in education and how individual faculty members and educational institutions can respond to anti-Black racism and create a more just and honest educational system.

References from this Episode:
Assassination of the Black Male Image by Earl Hutchinson
Critical Theory: Pathway From Dichotomous to Integrated Social Work Practice by Lorraine Moya Salas, Soma Sen, & Elizabeth A. Segal
Black Skin, White Mask by Franz Fanon

More Resources on Confronting Anti-Black Racism:

Black History | Heritage 365 Events

Humber Centre for Human Rights Equity & Diversity

“Black History is Everybody’s History: Did you know?”

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Season 2: Episode 7 - Back to Class? How to Navigate Change

Transitions can be tricky, especially now, in these times of rapid and frequent change. As we approach the long anticipated shift back to in-person teaching, we chat to Innovative Learning secondees Nicole Chuchmach and David Vazquez-Abrams and ask how they are preparing for the classroom. What did they learn from the online experience? Are there valuable lessons to take back to face-to-face teaching? We hear about the continued need for flexibility and compassion.

Zoom Focus Mode

Dr. Trust

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Season 2: Episode 6 - Humanizing The Online Learning Experience

The LMS is now an indispensable tool in higher education. But how do we maintain a human centered approach to pedagogy?
Cynthia Young and Mark-Anthony Karam explore strategies to ensure that your LMS design reflects your teaching philosophy and process.

Apple Podcasts: Mark-Anthony Karam – How’d We Get Here?

Cynthia Young – Humber Galleries

2021 Humber Innovation of the Year Winners

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Season 2: Episode 5 - LMS And The Move To Ultra

With the astonishing rise of the Learning Management System in higher education, what does this mean for faculty? How has this impacted our teaching practice? As we move to Blackboard Ultra, how can faculty leverage the LMS to increase accessibility and maximize inclusivity? Faculty support digital specialist, Donna Sparkes and Nicole Chuchmach interrogate the latest LMS and share their insights into how to make the most of the new features.

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Season 2: Episode 4 - Sustainability Solutions

COP26, the United Nations climate change conference, is fast approaching. This international conference allows world leaders to address the pressing issues of climate change and consider solutions. As the climate emergency becomes an increasingly urgent issue, we ask how Humber can be part of the solution. We talk to faculty members Vidya Rampersad, Rossie Kadiyska, Vladimira Steffek and discover how they embed sustainability into their teaching practices. Jennifer Ball introduces the En-ROADS climate simulation tool; an interactive, role-playing tool perfect for use in the classroom. Devon Fernandes chats about Humber’s innovative approach to sustainability.
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Season 2: Episode 3 - Two-Eyed Seeing And Learning From The Land

As we mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, 2021, we honour the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.

In reflection, we talk to Louise Zimanyi and Lynn Short about Humber’s new Early Childhood Education (ECE) initiative, that focuses on teaching students, educators and the community to co-learn from the land using Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives. The initiative is grounded in the principles of Etuaptmumk/Two-Eyed Seeing (in the Mi’kmaq language).

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Season 2: Episode 2 - Perfect First Day

What makes a perfect first day back? Shirantha chats with Catherine Mitro, Dave Neill, Mark Promane to hear their experiences of how to make the most of your first day back in class. We chat about how to approach your first day and explore helpful strategies for day one, especially if you’re a new instructor. Shirantha shares a valuable teaching tip on lesson planning for the first day of class.

Shirantha’s video: “Creating Effective Lesson Plans with OmniOutliner” (note: requires a Humber log-in to access)

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Kicking off Season 2! Meet our ED-Venture Days Keynote Speaker, Anthony McLean

Meet Anthony McLean, keynote speaker at Humber’s ED-Venture Days this Fall. The Staff Lounge producer, Fiona Tudor Price, chats with Anthony about his early school experiences, hip hop and creating a safe environment to learn.
To hear more, register for Anthony McLean’s Keynote Address at Humber College’s orientation week:

Humber Faculty Orientation Week 

Innovative Learning Website

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Reflecting On The Year - LIVE From Showcase

Recorded live at Humber College’s end-of-year Showcase celebration – we reconnect with previous guests and reflect upon their previous year of teaching; a truly unique time during the pandemic. Colleagues share their poignant or amusing stories from an unprecedented year of teaching experiences.
Shirantha Beddage chats with Kelsley Grant, Peter Cook and Lisa Martinelli of Humber College’s Faculty of Media and Creative Arts. And Teaching and Learning secondees Nicole Chuchmach, Mike Wells and Catherine Dunn.

Episode 9 - Achieving Wellness in the Workplace

Teaching and learning can be stressful for students and teachers. As some of us head into the summer season, we discuss easy ways to incorporate activity into our lives, how to establish healthy routines especially as we work remotely, and how noticing nature can be a useful remedy for stress.

Innovative Learning Website

Humber Arboretum Website

All Trails Website

Birds Canada Website

Toronto Bird Celebration Website

My Wellness School Website

Episode 8 - Digging Deeper Into The Scholarship Of Teaching and Learning - SoTL Projects

What does it mean to teach well? Want to try something new in the classroom? In conversation with Laura Page and Senay Habtu, we discover how Humber’s SoTL team can provide ongoing guidance and support for faculty research projects.
Anne Zbitnew and Nicola Winstanley have collaborated on multiple research projects at Humber. Their SoTL projects have, over time, transformed the way they teach.

SoTL projects

Episode 7 - What Is UDL And Why Do We Need It?

Many of us have heard of UDL, but what exactly is Universal Design for Learning, and why do we need it? In conversation with Katie Billard, UDL expert in Humber College’s Teaching and Learning Dept., we discover the benefits of UDL to both the student and the teacher. Can it really save you time? We chat to Megan Primeau and Mackenzie Ketchall and hear how they successfully integrated UDL into their teaching.

Episode 6 - EdTech Highlights From Ed - Venture Days

EdTech tools – which are the most useful for you? Listen to EdTech highlights from Humber College’s professional development week, Ed-Venture Week and the Part-Time Teachers’ Conference. We’ve distilled insights and use-cases from sessions on: Miro, Lumen 5, Powtoon, MindMeister, Infographics and TextExpander. Powerful problem solving tech tools.
For links to watch each of the hour long webinars please visit

Innovative Learning website

Ed-Venture Days Recorded Sessions

Episode 5 - Dive Into Ed-Venture Days and The Part-Time Teachers' Conference

Want a a sneak peek into Humber College’s professional development week?
We talk to Flower Darby, the keynote speaker presenting at the Part-Time Teacher’s Conference 2021 on the topic of “Regeneration”.

Innovative Learning

Ed-Venture Days: March 22-25, 2021

Part-Time Teachers’ Conference: March 26, 2021


ThinkDUL podcast interview

Planning a Great Online Class Through Roundabout Design

Episode 4 - Integrating Integrity - Embedding Academic Integrity In Your Course

With so much information readily available with a quick “search”, academic integrity can be a hot button topic for some faculty. Could it be that the way a course is designed may lead to a better outcome? We discuss strategies to integrate integrity into your course, and how this can affect attitudes in the work place long after students graduate.

Episode 3 - Group Work

Group work among students can be a powerful tool for learning, but how best to make it work? We explore group work with Humber College’s Teaching and Learning secondees Nicole Chuchmach, Mike Wells and Catherine Dunn. Colin Bartley shares strategies to avoid the pitfalls of becoming Judge Judy!

 RISE Model

Episode 2 - Reassessing Assessment

Moving to an online teaching environment has forced many to rethink the way we assess student learning. What are the most effective ways to assess? We hear ingenious and, importantly, time saving ideas from Humber’s T+L secondees.

 How to Make Breakout Rooms Work Better (The Chronicle)

 RISE Model

Shirantha’s Panopto video: Assessing Creative Projects in Blackboard 9.1 

Episode 1 - Building Community Online

How to build community while learning remotely? Host Shirantha Beddage chats with Humber faculty to hear their strategies and success stories of engaging with students in an online environment.

Introducing The Staff Lounge

Welcome to The Staff Lounge, a place to reflect and connect with staff from Humber College, Toronto, Canada. We bring you interviews, panel discussions and tips from local and global educators, providing a platform to explore best teaching practices.