By Cliff Foster
The educational toolbox still includes pen and paper, chalk and blackboards. But iPads, clickers and interactive whiteboards are increasingly taking their place next to the old standbys.
That’s one reason for Metro State’s first Symposium for Teaching and Learning with Technology on October 26. The program committee is calling on faculty members to submit proposals for presentation during the one-day event, which is open to all Metro State faculty and staff. The deadline for submissions is June 15.
Suggested topics include creating accessible course material; tools and technologies to enhance student learning; and maximizing social media in the classroom. The symposium will feature individual presentations, group discussions, workshops, project posters, outside speakers and vendor representatives.
“It’s a great opportunity for faculty…to be made aware of what is available and can be done and for others to share what they already are doing and how they’re using technology to enhance teaching and learning,” says Ben Zastrocky, director of the Educational Technology Center, a sponsor along with the Center for Faculty Development, Technology Services and the Faculty Senate Instructional Resources Committee.
“We’re not just looking at technology for the sake of making things easier or more efficient,” says Mark Potter, director of the Center for Faculty Development. “We’re looking at technology as a tool for getting students’ engagement increased and getting student learning outcomes strengthened.”
With that goal in mind, some Metro State professors have set up wikis where students can contribute content, take part in virtual conversations and then resume the discussion face-to-face in the classroom. Others use clickers—an electronic polling system—to collect, aggregate and display students’ responses to a question in real time. The idea is to couple this with a peer instruction model that encourages back-and-forth debate about the various answers.
Potter says the symposium is aimed at the tech-savvy as well as the beginner. “I expect there will be plenty of proposals for the novice and some proposals for people with a slightly greater comfort level with technology,” he says.
Faculty presenters may include their symposium presentation in their academic portfolios.
Authors of accepted proposals will receive a certificate of acceptance/presentation for documentation purposes, and “best of category” awards will be determined by a next-day vote of participants.
Questions about the symposium can to directed to Lisa Ortiz, chair, Faculty Senate Instructional Resources Committee; Ben Zastrocky; or Mark Potter.
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