Educational Technology Decision Making
“She walked up to the StarBoard with a banana and just started writing. She said, ‘Let’s say you were doing a health unit. Bring out a banana. Let’s say you were doing a unit on pumpkins. Bring out a pumpkin. You can write on this interactive whiteboard with anything.’ I thought: Kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, I mean even 8th graders would think that was cool.”
Yep. Writing with fruit and gourds. That’s solid pedagogy and clearly 8th graders find writing with bananas to be really “cool.” I’m sure I can find some research to back that up . . .
I had, at least from my point of view, a pretty satisfying class the other night. I teach a 7:00PM – 9:40PM class for career switchers through the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Richmond. The focus on the class is technology integration and I end up with a really wide range of ages, experiences, and technology skills. So you can imagine how excited people are to work their normal jobs and then come into a nice 3 hour night class. Sometimes things go well, sometimes they go poorly. Here’s something that seemed to work well last Wednesday. Step One- I started off the class with some audio clips from student interviews. It was some good stuff (content wise- even if the audio quality was pretty poor). The students were saying things about how all they do is take notes and take tests. They complained of boredom etc. etc. I figured that would get their attention because no one wants to be thought of that way- especially if you haven’t started teaching yet. Step Two-I had a Google form for them to use. The task was just to list the things you’d like students to say about your class if they were interviewed. This form was embedded in the post I use each class to organize the material […]
As part of the gen ed seminar I pulled the rampages.us user signup data for Kristina Anthony. It was just a straight export from the wp_users table and stripped of everything but the date. She pulled it into Excel and used a pivot table to make it manageable. Which is awesome. So I pulled it down and pushed it back up into Google Docs so that I could embed the chart in this post. It makes me feel better to look at the growth over what amounts to around a year of actual use. I tend to focus on places for improvement (and there are many) but it’s worth looking at what ALT Lab has managed to achieve in a fairly short period of time.In the higher ed dimension a year is equivalent to 6 mins in other dimensions. So this was really, really fast. The July to February jump of about 6000 users is pretty insane. I have every expectation that we’ll add another 6000 or so users next year. Things will certainly only get more interesting. This has been done without huge student training initiatives. For the most part faculty members are able to support their own students. We have some of that filter up and we deal with some troubleshooting online but there’s no dedicated person(s) to […]
Imagine all your life you’ve only eaten cold dog food. Day in, day out, that’s what you’ve come to know and expect. One day, someone comes along and gives you some warm dog food. It is quite an improvement. Warm dog food seems great. The bar is low. Your expectations are low. Education gets served a lot of cold dog food and, occasionally, when we get some warm dog food it seems great because we’re comparing it to the poor quality products and services usually categorized as “educationalI think this is why whacky fonts and clipart are seen as such great options to improve crappy worksheets/ppts..” Think about educational videos, ppts, educational video games, the LMS etcI’m sure you can add some more.. The bar is set amazingly low. When we see bad, but not bottom of the barrel, it seems decent. It is education after all. What can we expect? They did warm the dog food up for us. We need to start comparing our products to things people use and participate in when they are not coerced and when they feel they have options. Things involved with learning don’t have to be of poor quality. We see people learning and enjoying themselves in real life all the time. We know what good media is. We don’t have to […]