The number of technologies available to both higher education institutions and individual instructors seems to grow each day. With tools that promise to increase engagement, communication, interaction, efficiencies, and learning, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It’s also easy to make bad choices — choices that could result in wasted money, time, or learning opportunities, all the while causing undue frustration for students and faculty alike.
Teaching with Technology
I’ve long said that professors who want to explore teaching with technology should begin with a social media tool rather than a Learning Management System. Web 2.0 tools are simple to use, invite student collaboration, and are usually less administratively clunky and complex than an LMS.
Steven Johnson attributes much of the progress humanity made in science during the Enlightenment to the widespread practice at the time of “commonplacing.” People would carry around a notebook in which they would record interesting passages that they read, comments from others, or thoughts that they had (Johnson, 86).
How do you explain the learning objectives for your course, or each unit of your course? If you’re like most faculty, you probably put together a carefully crafted bulleted list of what you want students to learn. And, if you’re like most faculty, you probably know that most students give that list a cursory glance at best.
We want our students to develop original insights, and are often disappointed when discussion provides little in the way of original thought. But this is
Storytelling is the oldest form of education. The cave dwellers first taught their children lessons through stories. The Greeks picked up on the tradition by
When I heard a teacher tell me that they were creating recorded lectures for courses as homework assignments and spending classroom time on discussions and more active learning, I knew right then the value of the lecture capture tools.
Our student newspaper recently ran a story about students bringing their cell phones and computers to class. Not surprisingly, all of the teachers interviewed were against the practice on the grounds that these devices distracted students from class material. Some went so far as to forbid students from using them in class, although you have to wonder if they can really enforce such a rule.
Technology is everywhere. Some people are addicted to it and refuse to live without it. College students will say that their laptop, phone, and iPod are necessities comparable to food. So how can professors remove these technological items from the hands of the student and still keep them engaged in class discussions? Through another form of widely used technology: YouTube. Students view videos and upload them to experience visual content and to share the same. Visual tools create a connection between the content and viewer (McKenzie, 2008). Many videos on YouTube are academic and professional in nature and when used properly will reinforce classroom discussions and engage college students due to the images and audio used (Cardine, 2008).
Many teachers consider video games the antithesis of education. Boys especially are drawn in at the exclusion of all other interests (girls tend to be obsessed with social networking). But games can teach us a lot about learning. Why are games so captivating? Researchers have said that the appeal of games is that they provide two central elements: 1. achievable challenges, and 2. progressive rewards.