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.
Teaching with Technology
While online discussion is generally deeper and more active than face-to-face discussion, even online discussions can eventually become a drudgery. Nobody likes reading long blocks of text online, yet discussion in an online classroom is text based.
By using Podcasts, vodcasts, and screen capture software to provide supplemental and remedial materials, instructors can focus on higher-order learning activities during class, says Dave Yearwood, associate professor and chair of the Technology Department at the University of North Dakota. In an email interview with The Teaching Professor, Dr. Yearwood shared some ideas for getting started.
At its best, the discussion board can be the heart and soul of the online classroom. But it’s not always easy getting students to make the type of contributions you expect. The comments can be rather flat, not very insightful, and more often than not, it feels like some students just fill the minimum number of posts stipulated in your syllabus.
FERPA is one of the most misunderstood regulations in education. It is commonly assumed that FERPA requires all student coursework to be kept private at all times, and thus prevents the use of social media in the classroom, but this is wrong. FERPA does not prevent instructors from assigning students to create public content as part of their course requirements. If it did, then video documentaries produced in a communications class and shown on TV or the Web, or public art shows of student work from an art class, would be illegal. As one higher education lawyer put it:
George Stanton, a professor emeritus of biology, recently expressed his disappointment with student response to social media elements in classes. He pointed out that students were less than active in using the tools, meanwhile a recent survey of first-year students at his institution found that the number one expectation for class was “to be entertained.”
Aristotle was wrong. He thought that knowledge was passed from person to person like water is transferred between vessels. Aristotle believed in education through reading great texts and listening to great teachers, with the knowledge filling the learner’s mind.
Social media has allowed anyone to become a video producer. The result is an explosion of high-quality teaching videos. Thirty years ago a teacher might show a PBS video in class every once in a while, mostly just as a break from the usual routine. But today there are thousands of videos from which to choose.
When considering the major advances in communication — from the printing press, to the telephone, to television — each medium shared the characteristic of allowing either one-to-one communication or one-to-many communication. But social media changed all that. For the first time in history “many” can speak to “many,” and this has radically changed our world.
Mobile learning is defined as any sort of learning that happens when the learner is not at a fixed, predetermined location, or learning that happens when the learner takes advantage of the learning opportunities offered by mobile technologies.