Hit an early morning panel on Communities of Inquiry, which turned out to be little more than a panel on instrument validation, and not at all what I thought/hoped it would be, which was a demonstration of practical employment of the Communities of Inquiry model.
Now, I am off to a panel I am really looking forward to- “Multiple Applications of Podcasting: Supporting Student Learning in Online, Hybrid, and F2F Courses.” One of the things that is consistently disconcerting and depressing is that much of the use of the new technology of the past few years has been to continue bad teaching practices, but in an online environment (IE- the vendors all have fancy new ways to broadcast a video feed of you talking from the classroom podium for two hours- can you think of anything that you, a student, would like to do less with a laptop with internet access than that?). I think this podcasting panel might be useful (and I am hoping they haven’t done what I just described).
BTW- the new buzzword this year appears to be “iteration.” For some reason, every panel I have been to, the word has been used several times.
Also, I had never seen them before, but Gateway apparently has some laptop with a touch-screen/stylus set-up, and it appears to be very popular with people I normally would assume would be toting around an Apple.
*** Update ***
Nope. Not what I wanted. Ducking out early to a panel on Blogging and the Classroom.
Talking from a podium can be damn effective in small doses — see almost any TED Talk — but 2 hours? Ick. The longest demo/lecture I ever gave online was 45 minutes tops, and I would have capped it at 20 minutes if I had my way.
One of my TED faves: why can’t we grow new body parts? with Alan Russell. Works damn well even on an iPod.
Unless you broke your talk up with supplemental media, an activity, or something, you might as well have, because your students were not listening anyway.
I kept it as interactive as possible — demoing the software, taking questions throughout, providing live demo in response to questions, etc., but I still felt it was a lot to take in during an employee lunch hour. The employees didn’t have individual computers in the room and couldn’t do much more than watch, listen, and ask questions through the mediator. Nonetheless, the client wanted a full 45 minute demo versus a short lecture/demo that wouldn’t cover all the major features of the software.
Results were exactly as predicted: snooze city, poor adoption.
The client then hired someone local to teach it, but evals were so bad that thy flew me out within 2 days to teach the rest of the courses in the classroom. Lesson learned.
If none of the presenters bring up instant feedback using a clicker-type system then you should ask for your money back. I’m not kidding.
The basic idea is that every student has a little Wii remote-type thing with a couple of buttons on it. A couple of times per class the teacher will a quiz-type question with two or three answers coded to buttons on the remote, and software projects the poll resuts live. It is an excellent way to instantly evaluate student learning with a 100% representative sample, keep students engaged and avoid the emotional issues of calling on random students. In smaller classes, which is my forte, handing out red and black playing cards works just fine. I heard about it a couple of years ago, apparently since then it has become the thing to do.
If I defended my master’s thesis in 2001 with an advisor attending from Ireland via NetMeeting then integrating this tech into an online class ought to be ludicrously easy.
“the teacher will ask a quiz-type question…”
That sounds pretty cool, Tim. Hmm — how long before someone develops a hack that allows students to lightly shock the teacher whenever s/he bores them? Talk about incentives.
How does the playing card routine work?
One of my current Master’s students is working on a project to integrate note-taking (on the student side) with lecture presentation (on the instructor side). It poses some interesting problems for human-computer interaction, in both cases. (The project has also turned out to be really interdisciplinary, requiring knowledge far beyond what’s commonly studied in computer science, my field.)
One low-tech thing I’ve found effective for feedback is to pass around a notebook in which students could comment on what was working and not working in any given class. Of course, it’s not as immediate or dynamic as a computer-based solution.
Every student gets a red card and a black card. It limits you two questions with two possible answers, but since the cards can only be read from one direction it has the same anonymity advantage as the clicker.
If you liveblog it, the semantic recursiveness could collapse the universe.
I am looking for asynchronous uses- the technology exists to do live exercises and the like, but I was hoping for a best practices expose of podcasting. Surely there has to be more that can be done with podcasting than just dumping lectures on the web for students to download?
That was a terrible pun. I love it.
Here’s a good example of idiocy associated with new tech and education. I went to undergrad at a small (9,000) person college in the upper-midwest. The townspeople hated students. The students had nothing to do but get drunk which led to increasing numbers of sexual assault and violence situations.
They decided introduce a new mandatory anti-drinking course for Freshman the fall after I graduated. The course would be worth 1 credit…. but it was online only. You would watch videos and answer questions. Needless to say that the while the videos ran the students were doing other things.
A few of course, were getting drunk WHILE watching the videos which was a good way to sum up the effect of thing I thought.
Yes. Having it done by some podunk prof teaching some worthless “media study” or “sociology of the masses” class from some Tier 3 school….like, say, West Virginia.
As an instructor, I find this “emotional issues” crap ridiculous (no offense, Tim). Selective didactic interaction only reinforces the confidence of those the most fearless, not always those who need it the most. It biases the responses to only those extroverted few. I’ve learned to randomly call on everyone, reading facial clues as to the level of anxiety and/or frustration of the student, and offering some assistance accordingly.
I opine that students should be selected at random to respond, not vice-versa. This uncertainty keeps them alert and attentive, negating whatever residual anxiety this protocol generates.
Research One, punk. But I concur. It is terrible use of technology.
You mean like law school that teaches based on public humiliation?
1. Gateway sucks. They have always sucked, and they probably always will. I’d put money down that within six months, those laptops will be expensive doorstops.
2. There’s an interesting project called Sakai. It’s “Community Source”, meaning that universities pay $10,000 to join the project, and then each school works on a part of the application. It’s intended to combine interactive and collaborative learning with course management.
It’s…well, it has some serious issues. But the idea is a good one, and it has potential if it’s ever fully developed.
I am glad someone appreciates my hard work.
The s(t)(h?)ock market is gettin killed. Again. Can’t wait to see my 401K and mutfund. So what happenz if/when China just goes full-on “fuck you” and instead of threatening to go Euro on our ass…actually does it?
Do we nuke them pre-emptively, or post-sale? Can we nuke Yer’up, too, and collect all that free charred money?