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Spreading Contagion April 11, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.
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grads   In a March 30 podcast, John Merrow interviewed Peter Likins, the outgoing president of our university. Merrow asked Likins about the influence of technology on learning and he admitted that it helped instruction but he did not elaborate.

When asked why his office did not simply train instructors and students to use advanced teaching technologies in their classes, Likins reminded the interviewer that his office does not impose any particular teaching philosophy on its faculty. He sees his role in this regard as spreading contagion.

That is my job as much as anything. I was afflicted with the technology bug years ago because it helped me in my role as a teacher, then as a department head, then as a researcher. At each turn in my career, some set of technological tools have assisted me, enhanced my work, broadened my reach, and infused excitement into whatever learning community within which I worked.

That said, Drs. Chalfant and Aleamoni of the Special Education department asked me to consider creating a course for doctoral students and what follows is the overview I gave them. My goal would be to tie the work the students are doing in their program to this course to help them lay the groundwork for the months of research and writing that lay before them.

– I want our students to be able to gather data effectively
– I want our students to be able to prepare their data for publication
– I want our students to be able to present their data clearly
– I want our students to be able to use technology to help them organize their writing
– I want our students to be able to use visualization tools to clarify difficult concepts
– I want our students to be able to control the digital video they will encounter
– I want our students to be well aware of assistive technologies that are available
– I want our students to understand the issues of using technology in their field
– I want our students to understand how to collaborate online

I will let you know if they want the same things.

PostScript:

It turns out they not only want these things for their students, they want them for themselves.

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Comments»

1. Zs - April 14, 2006

Yep, most times when we teachers want something for our students in fact we want for ourselves, we want to learn all those things… might be we are ashemed to tell it open :-)
But the good news is that if you teach the teacher then the students will benefit also!
That was one main reason I asked my students to use a blog for class purposes. This way at least I will not have anyone in my classes who never heard the “blog” word, or does not know if it is a food, drink, or object :-)
Since the M generation who are so multitasking, knows it all, the danger is that they will see their teachers as little naive, old fashion… The next generations comes like a wave and we need to keep up to date with them.


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