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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Millennial Demands: Can Technology be of any Help?

Recently at the Harding University Pre-session Conference, the question of how to teach millennials was discussed. While there are many facets to this discussion, one thread was common to the discussion. A list

of seven characteristics of the millennial genre was provided. Those attending were broken into groups to discuss the issues.

Millennials

The group I had the pleasure to work with was comprised of a wide spectrum of generations; from of the ‘greatest generation’, some baby boomers, some Gen Xs and Ys and perhaps even a fringe millennial! This was enlightening. One of the conclusions reached was that really all these generation classifications are talking about people and the aspirations and temptations that face people are common to all generations. However, a telling observati

on that was made about millennials is that in their time one of the glaring differences is the technology. Not just what technology is available and what it can do, but also the rate at which it changes and advances.

This is perhaps our greatest challenge. Technology is, and will continue to change how we do what we do in the classroom, and outside of the classroom. It perhaps is a time where it is possible to foster more learning environments since the early days of one-on-one tutoring (well maybe just a hyperbolic!)

The technology also brings other challenges. During a panel discussion at the Pre-session conference, one panel member explored the idea of boundaries. Technology now makes us more accessible than ever. Where do we draw the boundary? When do I stop having consultation times? It is a serious concern. A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education interviewed current students seeking their thoughts about what they thought of faculty and how they used technology in there classes (PowerPoint did not rate highly!). One telling comment came from a student who liked his professor who allowed his students to Skype him at any time. Again the question, where is the boundary? This is perhaps what s behind a recent statement from Dr Benton, President of Pepperdine University when he said that the current students are “killing the faculty”. So many demands.

The temptation with all this is to point the finger at the technology and even to blame the technology. There is something to be said for that view, but is it helpful? Does it help us understand how to use technology in our classrooms if we simply proclaim technology as the problem? Perhaps a more constructive approach is to take the time to learn how to use it effectively. How to use the right technology to engage students in learning. To use technology to foster curiosity about academic discipline and knowledge. To use technology to balance our workload and time demands.

The Center for Learning with Technology is working to help achieve all of these aspects; use, academic curiosity, learning and balance. We will help weed through the thousands of apps and services to try and find then right one for your situation. If you want to use technology in a positive way to foster learning and balance your time, contact the Center for Learning with Technology at hulearn@harding.edu

Also, keep up to date what is happening at the Center by following the Twitter feed: @HULearnTech 

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Posted by on August 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Students arrived on Harding’s campus this week plugged-in, wired, connected, and equipped with smart phones, widgets, gadgets, tweets, blogs, and apps.   So how do we teach the tech savvy students, who expect to be digitally connected to one another and their instructors?   One possible innovative way, is to incorporate social media and Web 2.0 resources into the classroom.  If you are using Moodle as your course management system, then you are already making digital connections with your students.   

Using wikis, blogs, tweets, YouTube, Facebook and other social media outlets to connect with students is the first step.  But, we need to move beyond using social media as a passive way to deliver content.  Students need to be engaged with the contact in a dynamic way and as educators we need to “embrace more of a content creation model.” That means encouraging students to use new tools to express ideas in new ways, get them to share the results online and help them enter into a conversation about that content with peers as well as people outside the immediate classroom” ( Weisgerber , 2010).

If you are a Moodle user, you have access to Campus Pack, a social learning platform that incorporates Web 2.0 technologies (blogs, wikis, journals, and podcasts) and enhances traditional methods of teaching.  Campus pack provides you with additional ways to collaborate and communicate with your students on-line.   Campus Pack provides social media components into one package:  social assignment, social network and academic commons, e-portfolio, and personal development plans. 

You can access Campus Pack via Moodle, by selecting “Add an activity”.   Under Campus Pack you have the following options: blogs, wiki, podcast, journals, and content. For more information on Campus Pack follow this link http://www.learningobjects.com/campuspack.jsp or contact us at The Center for Learning with Technology (hulearn@harding.edu).

 

Reference

Weisgerber, C. (2010, May ). Social media in the college classroom: Professor Corinne Weisgerber talks about the educational value of new media.  Retrieved from http://education-portal.com/articles/Social_Media_in_the_College_Classroom_Professor_Corinne_Weisgerber_Talks_About_the_Educational_Value_of_New_Media.html

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

The 2011 Freshman Mindset…

The Chronicle of Higher Education

An article from The Chronicle of Higher Education was forwarded to you by:

kcronk@harding.edu


Message from the sender:

The Beloit College Mind-Set List Welcomes the ‘Internet Class’

The list’s authors present their annual look at the world that a new cohort of freshmen has always known. Most in the class entering this fall were born in 1993.

Most E-Mailed

The 2011 Mind-Set of Faculty (Born Before 1980)

The Beloit College Mind-Set List Welcomes the ‘Internet Class’

As Textbook Formats Multiply, New Services Help Students Compare Options

Academic Job Market for Sociologists Is On the Rise

The Common Sense of the Fair-Use Doctrine

Finding it hard to keep up with all that’s happening in academe?

The Chronicle keeps you up to date with award-winning reporting and

analysis of current events in higher education. We offer daily and

weekly e-mail newsletters that will keep you current. Go

to http://chronicle.com/myaccount/newsletters

to sign up.

(c) The Chronicle of Higher Education

1255 23rd Street NW

Washington, DC 20037

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Meeting with International Program Department

Working with the International Program department this week was a monumental step toward meeting the learning styles and preferences of students in the twenty-first century, not only for The Center for Learning with Technology but for Harding University as well. Never before have three separate programs assembled together for the common objective of exploring the integration of learning with technology for the central purpose of developing effective twenty-first century learning environments.   

The Center for Learning with Technology, the Library Media Specialist, and the International Programs explored together the technological opportunities and resources available to more effectively and efficiently support faculty members as they prepare to teach abroad in the seven overseas programs Harding offers.  Present at the meeting were Dr. Jeff Hopper, Dean of International Programs, Janis Ragsdale, International Programs Administrator, Ann Dixon, Director, Brackett Library, Lisa Burley, E-Learning, Instruction, & Special Collections Librarian, Paula Kirby, E-Learning & Multimedia Services, Director, Keith Cronk, Vice President for Information Systems & Technology, and Dr. Connie Elrod, Instructional Designer, Center for Learning with Technology.

Immediate and long term objectives of compiling appropriate technology resources to assist faculty as they teach abroad for the International Program were discussed.   One of our immediate objectives is to provide faculty, who will be teaching courses outside of their discipline, with pre-recorded classroom lectures by faculty members who are content experts in that particular course.  Dr. Pat Garner, Director of the Communication Studies Program, will video record his first few class meetings of COMO 101.  Video of his lectures will be provided to all faculty members teaching COMO 101 this fall.  

An additional short term objective is to establish a dialogue with Dr. Daniel Stockstill, Associate Dean of the College of Bible and Religion, regarding establishing appropriate technology resources for the new Faculty Resource Center for Bible courses that are taught overseas.   We look forward to working with Dr. Stockstill as the content manager for College of Bible and Religion.

Dr. Jeff Hopper will be our contact as the Center for Learning with Technology and the Brackett Library staff work to develop a repository of resources for the humanity courses taught overseas.
Long-term, our desire is to assemble and video record valuable insight from a panel of faculty members, whom have taught in our International Programs.  Videos of faculty members will be posted on-line in Moodle for future faculty members teaching overseas to help assimilate them to the new culture, living environment, and teaching experiences.

Our initial meeting was productive and a huge success.  We are excited about the new ventures of learning with technology.  Thank you for all who were assembled at Tuesday’s meeting.  This is what Harding University is all about, working as a team to provide a twenty-first-century learning experience where God is at the center.  

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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The first post – Welcome to the Center for Learning with Technology at Harding University.

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The first post for the Center for Learning with Technology at Harding University!

The Center was approved in May 2011. We quietly began organizing over the next few months. It is currently staffed by Dr Connie Elrod and Mr Carl Walker, with additional support from Mrs Paula Kirby and Mr Keith Cronk.

The Center was established under the assumption that we have reached a definitive point, a point where all we do is immersed in digital technologies. In a recent survey published in The Economist it was observed that “a notebook and pen may have formed the tool kit of prior generations; today’s students come to class armed with smart phones, laptops and iPods”. There is no longer a trend towards using technology in teaching and learning. It is the reality of where we are. It is the era of pervasive technology. Additionally, it is recognized that learning online in various forms and guises is gaining a firm and credible foothold in Universities and as such maybe soon inseparable from any teaching and learning strategy.

The Center has adopted a uiversity wide perspective to provide services, infrastructure, professional development and expertise to enhance learning and teacher support.

The Center will promote and provide services, tools and means to achieve excellence in learning and teaching in the technological times in which we work.

The Center will do this by:

  • keeping abreast of arising best practices, with a focus on using technology in the classroom
  • incorporating current best practices
  • undertaking continual and focused professional development
  • gaining peer recognition from the Harding and wider academic community
  • being fully engaged in using technology to its potential

The Center is organized in IS&T as shown below:

Center_structure

 

We are all excited about how we are going to serve the larger community and each and every member of the faculty!

The next blog post will outline our first project – working with the International Programs department to develop packages to prepare faculty teaching courses that they do not normally teach, when they are at one of our international programs.

Keep watching this space…

 

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2011 in Uncategorized