Collaborating to build a technology-enhanced course
Most of us are unaware how our phones, computers and other technologies structure and affect our daily lives and can even impact our learning and teaching. To explore this topic and how technology tools can support learning, Professor Sandra Lawrence of Psychology and Education and Mary Glackin, Library, Information and Technology Services (LITS) Liaison, have collaboratively taught a first-year seminar, Learning in a Digital Age. The seminar combines readings examining evolving pedagogy with an exploration of individual student's usage of technology to support their learning, communication, and recreational needs. Classroom sessions center on discussions, reflections, writing, and activities to explore digital literacy and the use of technologies to enhance learning. Among the goals of the course is to help students better understand their use of technology while they are developing a deeper understanding of pedagogy and improving their writing and use of reflective practices.
Students build a personal learning network on Twitter, follow educators teaching with technology, and share their readings and discoveries with their classmates via their own tweets and class presentations. Mary Glackin teaches a library instruction session, prepares a library guide, and writes a course-associated blog to introduce additional technology tools. At mid-term, each student chooses, from their own research, an educational application, demonstrates, and critiques it for the class.
Each student takes a one-day sabbatical from all their technology, keeps a journal of this experience, uses their self-observations to inform classroom discussions, and writes an essay on the impact of technology on their lives as students. Students also spend a class session observing students at The Gorse Children's Center, including their use of iPads for digital play and learning. These observations inform class discussions and written essays on some effects technology may have on learning.
For their final capstone assignment, students each produce a multimedia project which explores the scholarly literature evaluating the use and effectiveness of an educational technology or program of their own selection. This project is highly structured with the submission of a topic, an annotated bibliography, and an oral presentation of the draft project scheduled throughout the term.
The material and approaches in this first-year seminar were expanded and refocused on teaching for a 200 level Educational Studies course, taught in spring 2017.
Interested in trying some of these approaches with your students? Contact your LITS Liaison.