January 25, 2013
As I prepared for my research, I sought out a tool to help me electronically organize the journal articles I was reading. I wrote about that experience in Faculty Focus which published the article today.
September 10, 2012
I am always fascinated by brain research so I follow this particular blog. The latest entry is on fact retrieval vs. problem-solving in the brain. The following really concerns me, “The definitive conclusion is that no matter how “good” the teacher, typical students in a traditionally taught course are learning by rote, memorizing facts and recipes for problem solving; they are not gaining a true understanding.”
A friend of mine uses an interesting training technique to help K12 teachers learn to teach using an iPad by creating a food web (biology teachers) or geometric shapes (math teachers) and gathers the information in Educreations app. Following the brain research from the above blog, this is an excellent way to help educators and students learn a basic concept. Both activities are commonly taught but rarely in this way. The teachers had to discover and take pictures relating to the topic (food web or geometric shapes) and then display those in a manner others could understand.
As I continue to read, another favorite blogger takes on the place of the textbook in the classroom. Mark does a great job discussing how a book can play an important role in the learning process as evidenced by past learners who were free of technology. However, technology provides a way for learners to visualize differently. Through electronic books, learners can now interact with the text to discover the meaning of a particular word or jump to a previously linked concept for a recap, follow a footnote thread, watch an explaining video, take notes and see how others are taking notes. This changes the learning experience for e-texts but how will students relate to the printed text in this new environment? What is the role printed books now play in education? And yes, I still believe, like Mark, that printed books play a role.
There is so much information coming at us through technology today and no way for us to keep up with it all. This is just a quick sample of information that came to me within a 30 minute span. I will conclude with two other pieces of information. The first is a wonderful graphic about the problem with assessment in education. The second is a new process I plan on trying to continue, thus the 30 minute time span. Unfortunately, the article I am referring to is not available on the site but is message #1191 “Want to Publish More? Then Train Like and Athlete” by Rick Reis that recommends writing for 30 minutes each day.
So what are you reading and what connections are you making?
October 12, 2011
Faculty and the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT) are both highly engaged in remaining current in higher education technologies, and both are responsible for anticipating the impact of remaining current in a highly developing environment. However, the venues for formally researching technology dynamics, predicting the impact locally, and recommending particular paths is modestly invested by the faculty as a whole, has a relatively short-term lens, and there is little cross-talk between faculty and staff that would result in the fullest picture well in advance of critical decision points. This year the CTLT is establishing a pilot faculty learning community (FLC) that can study such areas as those highlighted in the annual NMC Horizon Report and that will make recommendations based on those pieces. The Center will facilitate for the FLC, with outcomes for each participant as well as for the overall group.
The FLC will meet a total of 5 times between the end of October 2011 and the end of April 2012. The community will meet October 26, 2011 at Noon for introductions, receiving equipment and planning FLC meetings. This meeting is required of all participants.
Each member chosen to participate in the FLC will receive an iPad 2 and a stipend of $500. The FLC will use the iPad for calendaring of meetings , sharing of documents, note taking and other tasks to eliminate the use of printed materials as well as create an efficient group workflow.
Each member of the community also will submit a report for what they learned through the FLC approach. This will be discussed further at the opening meeting in October.
The FLC also will prepare a way to share with the University community about the FLC process as well as what was learned through the FLC study.
Please complete the proposal to be considered for membership in the emerging technologies faculty learning community.
Link to the proposal form (this is an online form): http://tinyurl.com/FLCproposal
August 3, 2011
Inside the August issue of Learning@Richmond:
Beginning in the fall of 2011, three UR faculty will use Apple’s latest technology, the iPad2, in their classrooms. Learn more about how Dr. Ted Bunn, Dr. Jan French, and Dr. Tom Shields redesigned their courses to fully utilize the iPad2.
Teaching with Blackboard: One of the most essential aspects of getting your Blackboard course set-up is the Grade Center. Taking the time early to think through how you will collect grades and assignments from students will save you time and frustration.
Plus a word from the CTLT Director, the August CTLT Workshop Calendar, and what your CTLT liaisons have been up to this summer.
June 10, 2011
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Self, my students do not exist in the same world as me!” Well, you may not be far from the truth.
Our students live in a world saturated by social media. To some, their world IS social media. You may not think of magazines, movies, TV shows, and even many websites as social. But to your students, each of these media has evolved a unique social component. The same can be said for most of their daily lives. That is, except for their time in the classroom.
At this point you may be saying “Good riddance! My classroom is not the place for social media.”
Step back a moment, and ask yourself “Why not?”
Is there a place for social media in the classroom?
Our answer is yes!
Let’s examine one very specific form of social media your students are familiar with… Twitter.
Twitter is a microblogging site that allows users to share their thoughts, photos, links, and lives, all in 140 characters or less. These microblogs, or “tweets” often come with a “hashtag” in order to identify the topic of their fascination. For instance, Jon recently attended a workshop on social media in higher education where the hashtag was #smhec. (Feel free to search for that tag to see what was tweeted during the event.)
Twitter is a free service that allows users to follow people or topics they are interested in as well as contribute to the conversation through the use of hashtags. Tweeters can be followed if others deem their content acceptable or worthwhile. It is very easy to setup an account. Head on over to twitter.com to begin.
The question remains, why use Twitter in your classroom? Twitter can be used to share articles, sites, and your thoughts with your students throughout the week and outside of the classroom. In this scenario, your students follow you, the professor.
Another meaningful way to use Twitter would be to ask students to look for outside information and share that with the class throughout the week. Here, the students and professor would follow each other. Students could use it to pose questions to the professor or class for further insight/help. Here, each student would tag their post with a particular hashtag and other students or the professor would follow a particular hashtag and provide answers or clarifying thoughts.
Your next question is probably, “How does Twitter affect student engagement and success?”
Dr. Rey Junco, Associate Professor and Director of Disability Services in the Department of Academic Development and counseling at Lock Haven University, is at the helm of a study to answer that very question.
“We conducted a controlled study of the effects of integrating Twitter into a first year seminar course on student engagement. We found that the experimental group had significantly increased engagement and significantly higher semester GPA’s than the control group.”
To view his early findings check out the YouTube clip: Rey Junco on Twitter in the College Classroom
These are simply the beginnings of how Twitter could be used in the classroom! How would you use this technology in the class? Have you used Twitter already? Please share your insights with us.
June 2, 2011
I am currently preparing for a class on social media. I am looking everywhere for resources supporting the use of social media but also questioning the value. One such book is “Digital Shock” by Herve Fischer (translated by Rhonda Mullins). In the prologue, he writes,
“…a book does not belong on the internet. The two media are in opposition. …A book is a comfortable recliner in which to rest the body and awaken the soul. Books require reflection and the critical questioning that freezing a word (like freezing a film frame) allows.”
This is fascinating to me because I am reading articles and books on several electronic devices that allow me to reflect, take notes, mark-up and do what I typically did with a book. The author wrote this in 2006 so there have been changes to ereaders and digital reading but the premise that books do not belong to the internet seems wrong to me. The Internet is an ever-changing, dynamic environment that allows consumers to become producers, editors, co-creators of works, who join the conversation.
I am concerned by statements like this at the beginning of a book and will need to continue to read in order to get the full argument. I am sure that my bias as a technologist is filtering what I am reading but it doesn’t stop me from asking questions of the text.
It also brings me to the point of this post: Where are you with the future of the book in your classroom? Do you feel, as this author, that books need to be published on paper, stored on a shelf waiting for checkout? Can the same book be electronic? Are you currently using e-books in your course?
I would love to hear from you and I promise to write a new post after I complete the book!
March 22, 2011
Here are some helpful links to guide you on your way to becoming a pro on your Mac. The first section covers settings and shortcuts while the second focuses on applications.
Settings and Shortcuts
Applications and Actions
How to map to netfiles:
- In Finder mode, click Go > Connect to Server
- Type in: smb://netfiles.richmond.edu/users/<first letter of netid>/<netid>
August 27, 2010
The CTLT has several kits of Turning Point clickers available for classroom check-out for faculty.
What can you do with clickers? Read more
May 17, 2010
It’s been a great semester! Your students were at the top of their game, and you were at the top of yours. Now for the summer break. The time when students earn extra money and faculty plan for the fall.
Now is the perfect time to consider the role of technology in your courses. The first question you might consider is how are you using technology currently? Do you use Blackboard, email, netfiles or PowerPoint? If so, how are you using those technologies?
April 5, 2010
When approaching the challenge of integrating new technological devices into classroom instruction, consideration has to be given to the content that is being taught, the instructional method or pedagogy that will be utilized and the affordances and considerations of the new device. Teaching requires complex skills to integrate multiple types of knowledge within a short amount of time and “…in an ill-structured, dynamic environment” (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). Therefore, frameworks assist educators in the integration of multiple bodies of knowledge. Read more