The “flipped” classroom concept has been the leading innovative approach to redesigning the classroom for more effective teaching and learning. Since then, many people, including Pamela E. Barnett, associate vice provost and director of the Teaching & Learning Center at Temple University, have questioned the actual value and effectiveness of “flipped” classroom structures. Barnett offers her own reinterpretation of the “flipped” classroom with the “scrambled” or “mixed” classroom.
For Isaac Sweeney, an assistant professor of English at Richard Bland College in Virginia, a simple revision of his syllabus proved to illustrate an important change of direction for his classroom. The change from having two separate policies about cellphones and e-mail, to just having one “Technology” policy, showed an acceptance and honesty about how his classroom, similar to many classrooms around the country, needs to “catch up” to the present trend in education: technology as an educational tool in the classroom.
Writing for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sweeney talks about his firsthand experience letting students use their cellphones for class activities. Even though this may seem like blasphemy, the change in policy allows students to be empowered to use their cellphones as a tool for their own learning.
Following up on a previous tutorial, here is another way to enhance PowerPoint Presentation with annotations in conjunction with Tegrity to create a more interactive online course recording for students to view. In this example we use a Wacom Bamboo drawing tablet which lets instructors easily annotate, hand write, and draw in applications such as Photoshop or PowerPoint using a stylus. This is useful for courses that are math-heavy with lots of equations or where natural hand motions present a superior figure to using the mouse such as in an art class.
The video below goes through the basics of using the Wacom Tablet as well as some possible uses for instructors. Before getting started, you will need a Wacom Tablet which is available for checkout in the Learning Tech Studio.
In a recently published paper by the University of Minnesota, researchers looked at how different designs and implementations of distance education courses affected student learning and satisfaction in these courses. The study involved identifying three different types of interaction in these courses: Student-Student, Student-Teacher, and Student Contact.
Student-Student (SS) interaction consists of individual students or groups of students working together in both dynamic technologies such as video conferencing or static technologies such as discussion boards.
Student-Teacher (ST) interaction also uses many of the same technologies involved in SS interaction in distance learning. Face-to-face interaction is also observed under both SS and ST.
Student-Content (SC) interaction is defined as “reading informational texts, using study guides,watching videos, interacting with computer-based multimedia, using simulations, or usingcognitive support software (e.g. statistical software), searching for information, completing assignments, and working on projects”.
A recent article published by Campus Technology describes how higher ed institutions nationwide are upgrading to provide faculty with the latest technologies to use for teaching and learning. These technologies include hardware such as clickers, tablets, and video recording equipment along with software and web tools such as Google Apps. However, while many of these initiatives to bring the latest technology in to the classroom are ambitious and designed to enhance learning, what can occur instead is that the technology ends up sitting in a storage closet as faculty who are often willing to try new hardware and software are frustrated with not knowing how to use these tools effectively.
The article outlines five strategies to help faculty use technology tools effectively so that they don’t end up gathering dust:
- Create Peer Training Groups – “Instead of equipping classrooms with technology and expecting faculty members to use it, Shackelford said, the university trained a small group of “ambassadors” who help other professors get onboard with the new equipment, software, and applications. Facebook, for example, was introduced not only as a social networking platform for students but also as a communication tool for professors to use with one another and with their students. “
- Carve out time for Professional Development – New technology initiatives can be fast and furious as IT departments collaborate with campus academic divisions, network groups, and other entities to meet deployment deadlines. Faculty members can get swept up in the excitement and wind up with classrooms full of technology that they don’t know how to use.
- Align IT with academic instructional departments – “We can’t do what we want to do on the development side if we don’t have the IT support,” said Spataro, who often bounces ideas off the IT team.
- Create a link between technological innovation and pedagogical effectiveness. If professors know that the time they’re putting into professional development will ultimately help them teach better, then the odds that they will participate and be engaged will be that much higher.
- Finally, involve faculty members in the planning process. Getting professors to integrate smart classroom technologies into their lessons, lectures, assignments, and projects can be as simple as opening up the lines of communication early between those instructors and their IT and instructional technology departments.
Read more at Campus Technology: Tactics for the Smart Classroom: Getting Smarter About Faculty Involvement