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STUDENTS RATE TOOLS USED IN THE CLASSROOM

Submitted by BNCAdmin on Thu,09/26/2013-02:41

We’ve read about tools students use in college classrooms, about tools professors use while teaching, and about up-and-coming tools being created for the higher education world. But when it comes down to it, what tools actually help in the classroom? What tools, that is, do college students actually wish their instructors used in the classroom? The Educause Center for Analysis and Research collected data from over 100,000 students at several hundred higher ed institutions around the country to find out. A representative sample of 10,000 students was polled for this specific study, and is explained in this Chronicle graph (subscription only).

One of the top tools students wished their instructors used more? Lecture capture for the purpose of later use or review. Over 70% of students polled at more than 200 institutions said they wished they could have their lectures up online to go over on their own time. Despite the enthusiasm for online lectures, it’s difficult to determine whether this technology scores points because students would prefer a flipped classroom, would really go over lecture material on their own, or just want to engage in learning on their own time. Many, however, believe this technology in particular fails to engage the student and instead creates a passive learning environment.

Other popular tools students wish their instructors used more in class include online collaboration tools, integrated class use of students’ laptops, and course- or learning-management systems: Around 60% of students polled wished these technologies were more readily available during class. Using laptops for in-class learning was something most students wish for more of, while integrated use of tablets came in second, and smartphones last: Only about half the students polled wished to see their smartphones utilized more during class.

Coming in last place was the use of e-portfolios. About half the students polled preferred to use these less, though it’s hard to surmise exactly why. Could it be because students might be able to view and comment on each other’s work? Do students prefer paper organization versus the cloud? It’s hard to say, but while e-portfolios seemed to be lowest end of the spectrum, e-books, educational games, and online course content all scored average marks as well—students didn’t feel strongly for or against using these technologies in the classroom.

While it’s hard to determine which tools are best to use in the classroom, it does seem that asking students the what and why of tools to use could be helpful for everyone. Different tools will be useful for different types of classes; there’s no one-size-fits-all practice for the classroom. It takes true collaboration to challenge students while picking the technological tools that will best help them succeed.

STUDYING WITH TECHNOLOGY

Submitted by BNCAdmin on Fri,09/13/2013-16:01

In higher education institutions across the U.S., some professors have made large-scale changes to their teaching styles and classrooms using the most up-to-date technology; other classes have remained exactly the same. But no matter how the class is taught, one thing has changed without a doubt: the way students study.

While some students still take down lecture notes by hand and study with a textbook, gone are the universal, one-size-fits-all studying methods. With active visual learners, silent studiers, group collaborators, and more, students are different from one another—and now have a wide array of choices when it comes to studying. Many students in 2013 are choosing to study, learn, and take notes using the most current devices and programs. Learning that takes place outside the classroom is changing with available technology, and having that knowledge can only better help faculty understand what should go on during precious class time.

With the immense popularity of Google and Gmail, students and staff alike find Google Drive to be quite effortless to pick up. Students can offer up and edit ideas for class projects in real time, easily back up homework assignments, and even submit work online without worrying about Microsoft Word version compatibility—or harming a single tree. For those who want to go beyond Google Drive, Dropbox, and Evernote, plenty of options are available.

There are easy ways to video conference with someone across campus or across the globe, use social media for polling communities, or whip out personal tablets for helpful videos or websites professors have pointed out. Bubble.us helps groups brainstorm together and create mind maps, making the tool incredibly useful for studying and classroom collaboration alike. Interactive whiteboards are used most often by teachers, but for students making presentations, TAs, or postgraduate students, it can become a useful and interactive practice tool. Some schools are even switching the standard class-lecture/study-homework way of thought, and putting an emphasis on in-class collaboration. Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan, for example, puts lectures online before class so that actual class time can be spent with hands-on learning techniques, not passive listening.

However you teach in class, knowing how your students study will help you understand how their time is being used. Even better, knowing the technology your students are using will help you teach and communicate on a new level.

STUDYING WITH TECHNOLOGY

Submitted by BNCAdmin on Fri,09/13/2013-15:58

In higher education institutions across the U.S., some professors have made large-scale changes to their teaching styles and classrooms using the most up-to-date technology; other classes have remained exactly the same. But no matter how the class is taught, one thing has changed without a doubt: the way students study.

While some students still take down lecture notes by hand and study with a textbook, gone are the universal, one-size-fits-all studying methods. With active visual learners, silent studiers, group collaborators, and more, students are different from one another—and now have a wide array of choices when it comes to studying. Many students in 2013 are choosing to study, learn, and take notes using the most current devices and programs. Learning that takes place outside the classroom is changing with available technology, and having that knowledge can only better help faculty understand what should go on during precious class time.

With the immense popularity of Google and Gmail, students and staff alike find Google Drive to be quite effortless to pick up. Students can offer up and edit ideas for class projects in real time, easily back up homework assignments, and even submit work online without worrying about Microsoft Word version compatibility—or harming a single tree. For those who want to go beyond Google Drive, Dropbox, and Evernote, plenty of options are available.

There are easy ways to video conference with someone across campus or across the globe, use social media for polling communities, or whip out personal tablets for helpful videos or websites professors have pointed out. Bubble.us helps groups brainstorm together and create mind maps, making the tool incredibly useful for studying and classroom collaboration alike. Interactive whiteboards are used most often by teachers, but for students making presentations, TAs, or postgraduate students, it can become a useful and interactive practice tool. Some schools are even switching the standard class-lecture/study-homework way of thought, and putting an emphasis on in-class collaboration. Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan, for example, puts lectures online before class so that actual class time can be spent with hands-on learning techniques, not passive listening.

However you teach in class, knowing how your students study will help you understand how their time is being used. Even better, knowing the technology your students are using will help you teach and communicate on a new level.

 

 

 

 
 

MAPPING THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Submitted by BNCAdmin on Tue,09/03/2013-15:17

10 years ago, could any of us have imagined today’s digital classroom, an abundance of MOOCs, or the prevalence of tablets in colleges and universities? With classroom technology advancing nearly faster than we can keep up, we thought it would be interesting to look at higher ed’s possible technological future. This map, entitled “Envisioning the Future of Education Technology,” is an interesting guess at what may lie ahead. Created by Michell Zappa of the Brazilian tech research foundation Envisioning Tech, it visualizes emerging technologies and tries to imagine what the classroom of the future looks like.

  • There are terms we’re still familiar with at the moment, such as flipped classrooms, mobile learning platforms, and 3D printers. But will other ideas—eye tracking, student-developed apps, and assessment algorithms—become popular in higher ed? What about technology we haven’t yet become familiar with: Algo-generated lessons, reactive materials, and neuroinformatics?
  • Classrooms in nearly every country are becoming digitized, allowing for live global interaction. Students and faculty alike will have nearly endless opportunities to collaborate, whether that’s by studying together,  discussing points of view, or doing remote research.
  • Great strides are already being seen in virtual and physical studios. There’s Google Glass,  experimental retinal screens, and tools we haven’t even yet heard of that could make “going to class” a phrase in the virtual, not physical, space. This could very well happen in a decade or less.
  • This map guesses that between 2030 and 2040, instruction will become less based on traditional testing and more on project and portfolio achievements. Perhaps more interestingly, it estimates that in just a couple of decades, education could become an interconnected, ever-present effort—instead of the four-plus years we’re currently used to—that allows students and staff to understand and cope with a constantly changing, technologically advanced society.

What does the classroom of the future look like to you? Are desks actually interactive screens? Is paper itself interactive? Do classrooms even still exist? There’s no way to know for sure, but exciting changes lie ahead, and we’ll constantly work to stay a step ahead of the game.