Enjoying the ProfHacker Carnival

I always enjoy reading ProfHacker from The Chronicle of Higher Education.  The quick insights into triumphs and challenges other educators encounter as they teach and use technology is almost always timely and useful.  Today’s post is more like the Tips and Tricks session at a conference — there is going to be at least one thing that is useful.  Visit the Teaching Carnival!  If there is something there that perks you up, let us know!  Maybe you will become a frequent visitor to ProfHacker too?

Models and Best Practices for Using Clickers

i>clicker inventor, Tim Stelzer, presents “Models and Best Practices for Using Clickers” at the University of Michigan on September 1, 2010.

Twitter in the Classroom?

To further the conversation on social tools like Twitter and their involvement in academia, here is an interesting little article from Mashable.com that details how a couple of courses at the University of Texas at Dallas and Purdue University have incorporated Twitter as a means of interacting with students despite the large enrollment numbers.  While audience response systems are very effective for receiving feedback from students on what they may or may not know, they generally lack the ability for participants to submit questions of their own, and often students are too nervous to raise their hand and ask.

What I found most interesting about this article was the following blurb:

The first thing I noticed when the class started using Twitter was how conversations continued inside and outside of class,” [David Parry, Professor of Emerging Media at the University of Texa] wrote. “Once students started Twittering I think they developed a sense of each other as people beyond the classroom space, rather than just students they saw twice a week for an hour and a half.” As a result, classroom conversation became more productive as “people were more willing to talk, and [be] more respectful of others.”

I think that being able to engage students about a particular subject long after they’ve left the classroom is extremely important and often very difficult to do and that, combined with the increased sense of community that is developed, makes this particular approach worth considering.

Read the full article here on Mashable.

A Twitter + teaching skeptic (me) reconsiders

This evening a friend posted a tweet about tips for Twitter academic users.  Although I am a Twitter user, and have personal and professional friends with whom I twitter, I have had a difficult time envisioning how Twitter can be used effectively in most classes.  For maintaining simple communications across the country, following a conference through someone else’s experience or picking up interesting tips, Twitter has been a simple tool to use.  But some good educational examples were harder for me to perceive.

Then Judi Franz, a friend from UC-Irvine, posted a tweet link to Jill Gordon’s 100 Serious Twitter Tips for Academics.  Because it is a topic soon to be broached in a meeting, I thought I should approach the ideas with an open mind.  Gordon provides some real and appropriate suggestions for using the technology.  The article is not a simple list, but rather is divided into useful, focused sections such as Twitter Etiquette, Assignments Using Twitter or Finding People in Academia to Follow and contains myriad links.

Check it out and suggest it to another skeptic too.  If you have ideas for using Twitter in the learning process, please post a comment here so that others (and I) can benefit from your knowledge and creativity!

Is 7 your lucky number?

If it is, and especially if it isn’t (!) the “Seven Things You Should Know About …” series by Educause Learning Initiatives is well worth a look.  Each  3-page brief on various instructional technology topics provides an overview of the topic, such as geolocation or citizen journalism, its pros, cons, implications, and examples of how it is actually used in teaching in higher education.  Is your new interest in digital storytelling?  data visualization? twitter?  There are currently 51 briefs available and more are added regularly. Check it out at http://www.educause.edu/ELI/ELIResources/7ThingsYouShouldKnowAbout/7495.

And, since UM is a member of Educause, while you are looking at the 7 Things series, check out the other wonderful resources available to you at the Educause Learning Initiatives site http://www.educause.edu/eli.  It is an impressive resource!

The Use of Blogging as a Reflection Tool

ML, Copyright and Fair Use Presentation