Lightning Ideas: Technology
Three engaging presentations address how instructors can use online services, apps and other technologies to foster dynamic and inclusive conversation in the classroom.
Make Discussions that Don't Suck
Students may complain of having too many discussions, but at the same time, discussions are essential in building interaction, contextualizing information, and developing self-regulation. Creating an authentic social dialogue can ensure all students feel supported and welcomed (especially in an online environment). This presentation will demonstrate a few exciting tools that have helped build student voice, make interacting with material and peers fun, and create a strong community of learners in the process. In addition, it will show how various discussion “protocols” were implemented in a course to build more dynamic discussions than the boring “post and reply to X peers” setup. Make your awkward, forced discussions not suck!
Teaching with Twitter and Slack: Meaningful Interactions at Scale
Slack and Twitter can be used to leverage increasing class sizes, and should be seen as an advantage instead of a hindrance. In my courses, students on Slack ask more questions and answer each others' questions (with sporadic correction from me). Twitter allows them to better connect course concepts to their everyday lives and news of the day. These tools are helping me facilitate thriving alternative learning communities that complement my plans in the traditional (and online) classroom. They give a strong voice to students who don't want to raise their hands, and connect them to experts in the field in both planned and unplanned ways. I will share how I'm crafting my tweets, how I use Slack instead of Carmen for course communication, give some examples of how students are engaging, and go through a hands-on exercise for the audience to practice tweeting.
Engaging Students with Anonymous Technology: The Battle of Fake News
Creating an inclusive learning environment can be difficult if there is an invisible wall of subtle biases that you and your students may be working to get over. But it’s easy to level the playing field with anonymous—yet controlled—participatory technology. This, combined with simple techniques to get full class participation, creates low stakes chances for greater student success and instant feedback. This presentation will provide an introduction to free web services for polling and data gathering, give an overview of how to incorporate these active learning methods into a course, and offer strategies for using these tools in an anonymous way that encourages discussion.