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The Stylus is Mightier than the Sword

Let’s say you’re having one of those days where you bring in your tablet to class and nothing else. You think it is going to be alright- I mean, you have your textbook and notebook in that magical box right in front of you, so nothing can go wrong.

That is, until you feel that sense of nostalgia kicking into the pit of your stomach. The tapping and snapping of classmates’ pens around you make you feel the urge to join in on the sweet feel of the oh so vintage pen rubbing through your fingertips. You miss the smell of it’s ink, and even the marks they used to leave on the palm of your hand. But it’s too late, nothing can be done now as you have already made the transition into the modern world by purchasing your tablet.

That my friend, is where you are wrong. You are forgetting that modern companies have created the new modern pen: the stylus. While the stylus may not replicate the old pen in it’s entirety, the look and feel are irresistible.

Here are some stylus’ reviewers from the Verge thought were useful:

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Laptop Multitasking Hinders Users and Peers Alike

Laptops have been commonplace in college classrooms for many years now. Students bring their laptops to follow along with a lecture as well as to take notes; during that time it is not unusual for a student to multitask and check email or visit social media sites. What effects, if any, are these seemingly innocuous distractions having on student grades?

In a study conducted by Computers & Education and reported on by the Huffington Post, they take a deeper look into the repercussions laptops can have on student performance.

Read more!

Most Parents Still Value College

A very informative post was written recently by Sara Lipka for The Chronicle of Higher Education detailing statistical information about parents’ perceptions on the importance and value of a college education for their children, despite the rising and obvious financial costs.

Originally written by the Wall Street Journal, the survey shows some positive and negative viewpoints parents have about the value of their children’s college education when faced with sometimes daunting financial concerns. For example, almost 9/10 parents said that college was an important investment for their children’s future. On the other hand, while parents wanted their kids to go to college, 79% of parents expressed some worry and concern about having enough money to make that happen.

Percentages about how parents fund their children’s college education, the various types of loans available for students and parents to use, and even the common confusion and lack of knowledge parents have about loans were also discussed.

 

For more information about this article, please click here.

Research on Flipping Study Habits for Better Understanding

In a recent post written in the Computing Education Blog, two studies were presented discussing the benefits of changing, reversing, and/or flipping the classroom model in order to increase student comprehension. In these studies, data was collected on how well students understood concepts when they were tested on the materials before studying and how beneficial hands-on learning and experimentation was before individual studying took place.

The first article, written by Daniel Willingham (Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia), talks about how students gain a better understanding in what they are learning when they try to generate the answer on their own first before reading and learning about it in books and other resources. As a result, there is a higher chance that students will retain and better understand concepts when they invest some initial effort in solving the problem. In essence, students benefit more from experimenting and doing rather than just studying.

When students are interacting with materials and concepts in the classroom, there is a direct connection present between the student and the subject being taught. When reading from a book or studying individually, students have a more distant relationship with the concepts because the students are invested in reading about the subject and not actually doing the experimentation.

Read more!

“Successful Clicker Implementation” webinar

I “attended” the recent webinar entitled “Strategies for Successful Clicker Implementation and Growth” given by Cindy Albert and Matt Evans from University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire. Hosted by Campus Technology magazine, the webinar provided a case study for implementing clickers across a campus. (It was sponsored by iClickers, and it felt, at times, that it devolved into a commercial for that product. Most of the time it was fine though.)

I thought the content of the webinar (apart from the fact that it was a commercial for iClicker) was, overall, very good. The presenters gave clear and actionable tips that were relevant for any campus to consider.

Here were my main takeaways from a staff/admin perspective (farther down I talk about pedagogical implications):

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