Technology touches almost every part of our lives, it has become a staple in most homes and has been making its way into many classrooms. Using technology in the classroom should deepen and enhance the learning process, don’t add bells and whistles just for the sake of having them. Technology should support active engagement, collaboration, interactivity and feedback.
Sites like the Kahan Academy have changed the educational environment, offering alternatives to the traditional face-2-face classroom.
What can we do to develop the most effective formats for learning to better use classroom time and space? Faculty Focus offers great articles on teaching innovation.
“It’s not about technology, it’s about learning” —Stephen Anspacher
Today’s learners are not passive recipients of information, most prefer to be participants in collaborative environments. They have had the benefit of working and playing with people from around the world and they are used to levels of engagement, collaboration, interactivity, access, and instant feedback that could not have been imagined 20 or 30 years ago. If we want to embrace this new digital age of technology, we need to begin by becoming familiar with the elements and standards that produce a good online course. The design needs to be clear and engaging; this includes the visual, pedagogical, and organization of the information.
Therefore, before we begin our quest to create an online course, we should ask ourselves a few questions:
- Why am I putting this course online?
- How will creating an online version of this course improve learning?
- Is this the best alternative for my course?
- How would I like the class to work? (synchronous or asynchronous)
- Will all of my students have access to the required equipment for the course?
This blog will be a resource for anyone interested in teaching, learning and technology. I will post hot topics, things to think about and resources to help you transition into whatever you feel will benefit you and your students. Please feel free to comment, question and help me to build a resource for VCU faculty. –Elaine Reeder (Learning Systems)