Teaching and Technology

I’m very sorry for the lack of posts the last couple of months. It has been an extremely crazy quarter–very busy and every time I think I’ll have time to post, I get something else dumped on my plate. However, here is finally a post for this month and it is about a topic I feel is quite important: teaching and technology, or teaching with technology. As more and more classes go online and students expect technology to be used in their classes, instructors need to become not only competent, but innovative, in their uses of technology. So here are a few links to get your brain juices flowing.

Really, everyone should read this article, “Students unimpressed with faculty use of ed tech”. Yes, faculty members should use technology, but it is almost worse to use technology poorly than to not use it at all. I think that we need to offer more opportunities for training faculty in how to use technology tools both from a nuts-and-bolts perspective and also from a pedagogical perspective. There are tons of great technology tools out there, but if you don’t use the right one for the job, it is kind of pointless.

And, if you need another instance of why being comfortable with technology is important, check out “Universities’ virtual campuses growing fast”. Many students are clamoring for online classes, especially when they are asynchronous, because of the convenience.

Speaking of cutting edge technology, check out Lifehacker’s article on Google Wave’s best use cases. If you haven’t gotten invited to Google Wave, try to get an invite because it looks very cool and I think will be really useful for online collaboration. Combining Google Wave with a class Google Site populated with Google Gadgets sounds like a pretty good way to create a dynamic and interactive online environment for teaching.

So get out there and try some new technology. Trust me, Twitter doesn’t hurt, Google Wave will not cause you to drown, and Ning is actually fun and useful. I’d love to hear about your favorite tools for teaching online.

I’ll hopefully be back relatively soon with another post on libraries, technology and other good stuff. Until then, have fun, read a lot, and, as the Vlogbrothers would say: Don’t forget to be awesome!

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