Monday, February 9, 2015

Winter Week 3: Technology in the Classroom

This week we had an informal discussion about technology use in the classroom, intentional and unintentional.  We talked about types of tech we had seen used, what worked, what didn’t work, and where we see value in different strategies.  Some of the topics we discussed:

Value in Novelty? Are we using technology in the classroom only because it is new and cool, or is there value simply in the novelty of the technology and that in itself can grab students’ attention and be of value.  Maybe the best technologies would be able to accomplish both.

Some types of technology we had seen used frequently:
*Clickers
·         What are they?
o   Purchased from bookstore
o   Used for taking attendance
o   Quizzes
o   Checking understanding
o   Promote understanding by using voting on a question and then again after discussion
·         *Top Hat
o   Clicker alternative that students use with their phones
o   Less cost for students
·         Participation points, but if you are reliant on the clicker can be an impediment
·         Technology needs to complement lesson

 *Group discussion with computers
·         Can be distracting
·         Get on internet to look something up quickly to catch up
·         Teach research methods in real time

 *Smartsite – what do people use it for? How does it work?
·         Good for students to track their own progress
·         Post course materials
·         Upload papers and share among TAs to calibrate grading
·         Weekly quizzes
·         Wiki feature to update progress
o   Students can be tentative with this
·         General class resources – this is the expectation of students now, similar to the expectation of powerpoint presentations

 *Ipads provided to students
·         Checked out to students
·         Plan lessons around ipad, training students on how to use and do those activities
·         Seems to be more common in high school than in college (!)

-Common question from students is “How do I study for this?”  If my methods are not digital (because I’m old J) how do I translate them for students who do most stuff on computers?
·         Bloom’s Taxonomy – levels of learning: retaining/repeating to synthesizing, students are accessing different levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy
o   Teachers need to offer some of these learning skills in class as practice

-Technology in Tests
·         Take tests at the computer – having a different keyboard can be off-putting
·         Stepped questions/adaptive tests – e.g. GRE, next question depends on what you did on the previous question
Good implementations of Technology you have seen?
·         Clickers used effectively
·         A lot of planning goes into effective use of technology
o   Ex: spending time putting together handout with embedded links
·         Use of internet to get students excited about topic
o   Internet pitfalls – having your personal info come up during class for all to see

-Student distraction because of technology (using facebook instead of following lecture)
·         Ban computers and devices
·         Don’t worry about it because it’s the new sleeping/daydreaming in class
·         Have a class discussion about how students think they should be participating


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