1: In the Classroom
A recent Chronicle of Higher Education poll showed that 12 percent of professors surveyed said they used blogs in teaching; 12 percent had tried videoconferencing; and 13 percent gave interactive quizzes using “clickers” or remote-like devices. The most commonly used technology was course management websites (72 percent have used them) used mostly for course “housekeeping”: distributing readings, keeping track of grades, and making announcements.
Technology is not only shaping the scholarly research questions we ask and the methods we use to answer them; it is also transforming the way we convey information in the classroom and facilitate learning.
Professors of all generations have readily embraced PowerPoint, a technology that has seamlessly replaced overhead projectors in enhancing lectures. But Powerpoint is not radically new on a pedagogical level, and may, in the wrong hands, do presentations great harm. We’ve all seen a PowerPoint presentation go terribly wrong.
A variety of new technologies offer teachers and students opportunities to experiment with various methods of learning. Students might, for example, be asked to post comments on a Wiki or blog. A number of teachers are experimenting with Google Docs in the classroom. The technology allows documents to be stored on a cloud server where multiple users can access the same document, allowing teachers to comment on drafts, or students to work in groups and comment on each others’ work.
Omeka is an open-source program that allows teachers and students to create and share galleries of images, documents, narratives, and commentary. Some professors have used the program to provide a common set of materials to students, who can then analyze the materials on their own and create their own stories based off the same sources.