Finding the time to invest in professional development is never an easy task but usually well worth the effort. Recently I carved out two days to attend the 2nd Annual Teaching with Technology Symposium hosted by Tufts University’s ESTS department. Invigorating discussions with colleagues are really the best part of these learning experiences and this time was no different. From sharing ideas on how to engage students using technology in class to the pro’s and con’s of MOOCs, there were a lot of people buzzing with the possibilities. Following are some takeaways that I found interesting and am going to suggest you consider adding to your teaching with technology toolkit:
Flipping the Classroom. Flipping the classroom is allowing more opportunities for students to learn from each other, where the faculty step aside and become more of a facilitator than a lecturer. It’s about giving up some of the control and creating more critical thinking opportunities. This was a heavily discussed topic because many faculty feel intimidated and aren’t sure how to teach in this environment.
Open and Free Resources. Why re-create the wheel? Build discussionsincorporating other viewpoints and find outside expert material such as blogs, videos or research. Bringing in diverse perspectives enhances 21st Century Skills. A great place to get started is using a video from TedEd.
Use the iPad. Help teach medical students how to build relationships with their patients by using the iPad to share medical information that is more of a personalized approach. An example might be breaking down detailed medical x-rays with a patient where students can use the white board writing tools to draw, circle and write out information that can be viewed together with the patient and printed out as a PDF. View video for other ways students use iPad.
IClickers in Large Classrooms. Using iClickers (or another student response system) to assess students and gauge understanding in real-time. A great way to try this and create a more intimate class experience is by first asking the entire class a question and viewing the answers together. Give more information as needed and ask them to break into groups and discuss. Ask the question again and compare answers.
Use a Blog. Engage students through blog discussions. More specifically, have students find a fellow student’s blog response that they agree with and have them expand the point by finding resources that support the position. They can finalize the process by writing a blog entry defending it.
Qualtrics Software Program. Use Qualtrics or a service like Survey Monkey to develop survey’s used as formative assessments throughout the course to edit and constantly improve teaching. It is a quick and easy way to hear feedback directly from students that allows continual editing and improving.