Use of Technology
I attempt to creatively use technology in the classroom to the degree made possible without sacrificing good pedagogy. On the one hand I believe we will continue to see an increased presence of technology and work hard to stay as up-to-date as I can. On the other, I find it critical that we choose carefully what forms and how we allow technology into the classroom. Consequently, while it is rare that I conduct a class session without the use of technology, I likewise ban the use of laptops and mobile devices except during times of extended examination of a course text. Not only does this cut out technological “noise” and distraction, current consensus research shows that handwritten notes are more pedagogically effective (at least until note-taking software is improved and widely distributed).
I’ve also learned the lesson that “digital natives” are less native than the reputation we’ve created for them. Consequently, I take the time in class to demonstrate for students exactly how to use any of our course technology tools. For example, I walk students through WordPress, showing them how to build and post their assignments on an electronic personal portfolio. I then give them practice time so that they are comfortable doing so before assignments are due.
The following are common uses that have enhanced my classrooms:
Chalk or dry erase markers
iClickers & other mobile polling techniques
Canvas and Blackboard
Zoom and other videoconferencing tools
Videos & internet tools
Electronic course reserves