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Teaching with Technology

I am always keen to incorporate technologies into my classes in new and interesting ways. Not only can technologies expand the range of what students and I can do in classes, but it ensures that my students will leave my classes knowing how to learn technologies they may not be familiar with. Also, as many of my students are future teachers, having classes that utilize current technologies allows students to reflect on how they might incorporate various technologies in their own classes.

Her are a few technologies I have used in classes to good effect:

Screencast Videos: With increasing frequency, I find myself incorporating screencast videos in my classes. (Screencasts are videos recorded on a computer capturing the computer screen video and my spoken audio.) Sometimes, I record screencasts for students to view at home, which breaks the routine of "textbook" reading assignments, and frees up class time for more interaction and discussion. I also record screencasts that give students feedback on assignments that require more than writing comments on paper (like website projects). I am excited about the potential of screencast videos to supplement and enhance classroom interaction, and look forward to diversifying and improving my use of screencast videos in my classrooms.

Google Drive/Docs: Google Drive and Google Docs (Google's online cloud storage system and word processor) are great classroom tools. I use Google Docs mostly for its "share" and collaboration features, allowing two or more individual to work on the same document (in real time). Thus, when students write interactive journals
(either with another student or with me), it is easy for each party to take turns responding to each other; no e-mailing a document back and forth. I also use Google Drive to share large files (video feedback of student work, for instance) with individual students.

Google Sites: Google websites are relatively easy to create and powerful places to store instructional information in an interactive way. My colleague, Mathieu Plourde, and I have created a Google Site in order to supplement a seminar we gave to the University of Delaware teaching community, allowing attendees to access more material (in an interactive way) on the seminar's topic. I have also incorporated Google Sites into my undergraduate teaching, creating a group assignment where student groups created webpages for an interactive website exploring Supreme Court cases touching on education.

Open Educational Resources: Open educational resources are freely available educational tools (usually created under a Creative Commons copyright), ranging from podcasts and Youtube videos to openly available online texts. I have increasingly incorporated OER's into my teaching, supplementing classroom instruction with video clips, course readings
with podcasts, and using online texts as resources for students. I am drawn to the idea of communities of people who create and share information in a way that allows others to benefit from their expertise. Not only does exposing students to OER's increase the number of voices they are exposed to (through podcasts, TEDtalks, etc.), but it exposes them to how they can go on to use (or create) OER's in their own teaching and learning. (I should note that I maintain a Youtube page of OER's I have created, from Google Site "how to" videos, to brief philosophy podcasts.)