Preparing for Class 9 Online Assignment: Using Technology to Support Teaching and Learning

The new heading – post class: three sections instead of one:

Section 1: The original assignment.

Section 2: Links to the slides and handouts from the in-class session.

Section 3: Your discussions and insights via the slides you created.

Section 1: The Original “Preparing for Class 9 Online Assignment”

PART I: Individual task – Each person needs to set up a Google+ account before class on Friday and adds their ID to the shared contact spreadsheet [link now taken down]. We will be using Hangouts in class.

PART II: Small group task – Each group is assigned the same readings and the same questions. However, each group will be using a different software interface when meeting to generating responses to the questions.  Before you meet for discussion read through this blog post and then

  1. Individually register with the appropriate web-conferencing service;
  2. Share that contact info with your group members via email ahead of your small group conversation – which you’ll conduct by using the platform you’ve been assigned; and
  3. Review the recommended short article, “Timeslicing in the classroom,” as a seed.

Here are the groups and their assigned tech tools:

Here are the discussion questions:

1. Develop a list of 4 questions that you could use to get to know your students’ familiarity, skills, and access to technology.  Example – Do you have Internet access in your home?

2.  Say your new teaching post requires use of an electronic platform to share / gather resources for students and-or foster discussion about course topics & ongoing feedback on assignments from students – a “learning management system” – in your face to face teaching. These LMS systems include Moodle, blogging platforms such as WordPress and Blogger, portals such as the one for our class, and Google suite products such as Google Drive and Google Plus.

  • How would you go about picking a platform?

3. What course materials will you make available to your students via completely open-access (i.e. available to the whole internet),  modified open access (open to all in a specific course, to all sections of a course, to a paired course at another location), or some version of closed access (closed to all but class, closed to all but members of a class team)? What factors might influence this?

  • Given your choice of LMS, what types of content will you post openly and what will be posted in a protected / course-specific way? What determines this?

4. List platforms we have used to get teaching/learning feedback and comment on assignments other than by handing in a sheet of printed-paper. What can you think of/discover as additional ways for students to share writing and offer feedback – with peers as well as teachers? Example – Have the students upload assigned writings to a course drop box.

As you work through the questions, do assign a group member to each of these basic roles –

  • recorder to capture ideas and share these as a reply to this blog post,
  • facilitator / time keeper so you really do use just 30 minutes and address all 4 questions,
  • document minder/researcher to make use of provided resources such as the UMemphis Guide to Teaching and Learning Tools or “Timeslicing” article.
  • NOTE: Should there be a technical hurdle (operating system, software crashes, someone doesn’t have a microphone to use with their computer), please do not stress about it. Be creative and feel free to employ whatever work-around you can come up with. It’s what your students in the future will do as well.

Finally: Recorders, remember to share a synthesis of your group’s responses as a reply to this blog post.

Section 2: Links to In-Class Materials

Michael’s presentation on course design and classroom discussion considerations when considering using technology to support learning and teaching is here – right now set up to share only with those in the GRAD8101 course.  Others will see – and are invited to complete – the request access option from GoogleDocuments.

A handout describing one mode for structured academic controversies is here, and it includes a link to a great overview article.

Section 3: Slides you created during the face-to-face segment of class

Round 1 – Pro / Con Assessment of Assigned Group Discussion Tools

Team Gangnam on Skype
Team Yes – Slide 1 on FaceFlow
Team Yes – Slide 2 on FaceFlow
Team Nice on Google+ / Google Hangouts

Team Yup on GoToMeeting

And from your discussion, here’s the synthesis of things you’d have future (and current) faculty think about in planning for using technologies to support learning and teaching in  courses we design and teach:

  • Think about the nature of intellectual property – your work and your students’ work – and how that will be addressed throughout the course of the class in order model academic integrity and academic sharing.
  • Establish guidelines and expectations of how technology is used in the classroom, beyond the classroom, in delivery of teaching and creation / delivery of learning objects / assignments.
  • Think about students’ wants and needs to have a consistent way to deliver materials electronically, and about ways in which your practices and policies regarding use of technology for learning are congruent with your philosophy of learning.
  • Deliver information.  Use technology for sharing and creating, teaching and learning.    Be conscientious of the role of the instructor in using technology and how they use it to facilitate learning
  • Set up clear guidelines and expectations for both students and teachers
  • Knowing one another (students among themselves and your interaction with them) – names (social dimension) as well as classroom input (cognitive & teaching dimensions).
  • Use the technology for a purpose, don’t just allow it to be used / in the room.