Collaboration, Learning Community, Learning Technologies, Professional Development

Supporting Learning & Teaching

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I was introduced to the Lecture Series from KMDI at the University of Toronto from my former U of T colleague.  This series is free and open for live events to the viewing public by creating a log-in ID and password.  The other option would be to check out the Recently Published Events on the ePresence Presentation Portal.

Yesterday’s 2-hour lecture series was on the topic of  “Supporting Learning & Teaching.”  Three Curriculum Learning and Teaching presenters from OISE discussed various topics around this main idea for the viewers.  Here are the presentation topics and a few few notes/thoughts/questions that I had for each:

  1. New Ways of Teaching & Learning with Technology, by Jim Slotta
  2. Digital communication technologies: educational and social practices, by Claire Brett
  3. Technologies for Higher Education, by Jim Hewitt

 Here are some notes & references made during the webcast that caught my ear/eye:

  • The challenges to using technology in education is the evolution and perspective of social online resources.
  • Check out the WISE Project: http://wise.berkeley.edu/
  • Values in Education (Terry Anderson, 2008): Presence, notification, cooperative learning, student modelling, documenting and sharing
  • Technology & learning is understanding HOW to best utilize & embedd these technology resources into education and courses.
  • How do you reconcile the difference between education and cultural purposes of these tools??
  • Social vs. Technical integration; the GRAIL model: GRaduate Student Academic Identity on-Line – to help students see how their research and training is connected to their broader academic experience and relevance to their social life.
  • Higher education learning with powerpoint, clickers, podcasts & wiki:
  • Do students skip class if the lecture is available on podcast?
  • Havard study says NO; students use podcasts for key points in lectures, or could podcasts be used to replace lectures and use the lecture time for more in-depth review of matrial 
  • Clickers: “gateway” technology to expose more lecturers to the great uses of technology in their teaching practice. 
  • Clickers promote learning by: questioning, encourage peer to peer learning, take a vote/poll & discuss results with peers in the class
  • Clicker Results: Increased performance on test, decreased dropout rates & reduced failure rates (10-12% is now down to 4%)
  • Higher education needs to consider utilizing peer instruction/learning instead o f traditional teaching practices
  • MIT are going the way of Blackboard: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/13/us/13physics.html

Overall, these lectures provided a few insights and it is interesting to see what colleagues elsewhere are thinking about learing & teaching with technology.

A few technical notes, that you should keep in mind if you are to partake in these lecture series:

  • distance viewers are able to engage in online chat & questions
  • ensure you have a strong wireless connection for streaming video
  • attach  good set of speakers as the sound quality was low 
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