Currently I am enrolled in a course called Intro to Technology in Education at Red River College. I have encountered many new technologies that can be used in a variety of ways. Some of them could be used for specific learning outcomes, but others would be useful over the length of the courses. I will describe three of the latter:
1. Back Channel
A back channel, such as TodaysMeet, is a private chat room that students can interact with the teacher or fellow students without disturbing the whole class. This is also good for students who are too shy to ask questions in front of the class. I would instruct the students to use their student number instead of their name to ensure it is safe for everyone to use. Personal electronic devices are required for everyone to participate.
2. Course Website
A course website service, such as Wikispaces, is a necessity in today’s connected classroom. It provides a central location for all pertinent information that students need to be successful in a course. I would fill it with daily news items, course outlines, assessment details and dates, reminders, tutorials, and additional resources. There is no end to what information that can be included in a course website.
3. Online Video Database
An online video database, such as Youtube, is great for storing video tutorials or student animations. It is available anywhere there is an internet connection and it eliminates the need for local file storage. I would embed useful videos in my presentations, on my course websites and encourage students to do the same. I also won’t be able to resist using humorous videos for focusing events.
All three of these technologies would be used mostly for general purposes to aid in teaching. They may also serve to enhance specific learning outcomes, but I expect these to be staple resources throughout my teaching.