Sunday, March 29, 2015

Summary of Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies

Pacansky-Brock, Michelle (2012). Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies. Routledge. 

I love this book!  It is a very quick read with tons of great ideas.  I took Michelle Pacansky-Brock’s @ONE … course in 2011, and she is definitely a leader in technology in pedagogy. 

Here are some valuable points and interesting take-aways from the book:

The book encapsulates the paradigm shift from teaching (lecture-based) to learning (student-centered): don’t use class time to deliver passive lecture content; instead foster multisensory learning (flip the learning; use formative assessment results to inform in-class activities / use class time to actively work through the proficiencies students have not mastered) – technology NOT at core of flipped learning; foundation is clearly-structured instructional design model with content organized into learning modules, alignment with measurable SLOs, and focus on (modeling of) importance of community

Formal education needs to take into greater account the way the brain works.  See John Medina’s BrainRules: student mobile device use, sensory integration but visuals above all

Chapter 1 Building a Solid Foundation
Support student success by providing up front:
  • List of tools & reasons for using each
  • List of required supplemental equipment
  • Access expectations & Resources (frequency, campus access)
  • Necessary Software
  • Supplemental Mobile Apps
  • Examples (links, screenshots of learning environments in syllabus)
  • Student perspectives (testimonials, expectations)

Building Community:
  • Class Philosophy
  • Community Ground rules (pp. 26 – 27)
  • Empower Students to Prepare Prior to start of class: welcome video, syllabi (+ other ideas, see p. 28)

Chapter 2 A New Paradigm for a New Century

“Teaching with technology is, by nature, experimental, and failure is an important step in an experiment” (pp. 41-42).

Table with features of paradigm shift (p. 43):

Instructional Paradigm


Learning Paradigm

Transfer of Knowledge

Elicit discovery and construct knowledge

Cover material

Design learning environments


Facilitate learning environments

Achieve access for diverse groups

Achieve learning for diverse groups
Elements to consider when choosing tools:
  • Function – enhance communication, create online content, or create learning activity that integrates student-generated content and/or participatory learning
  • Who will use it? (students? Then provide how-to instructions, explain the purpose, and build in opportunities for student feedback and use the results to make improvements)
  • Workload
  • Accessibility
  • Learning curve
  • Cost
  • Authentication (account registration/password)
  • End product
  • Sharing options
  • Intellectual Property
  • Privacy

“If students spend their college years passively listening to live lectures in a brick and mortar room, there is little opportunity for new media literacies to be acquired. If professors are encouraged, inspired, and incentivized to teach with emerging technologies, the playing field will shift, and college will play a formative role in mastering necessary 21st Century Skills and encouraging students to develop a credible digital footprint , which will play an important role in an individual’s personal and professional success long after college” (p. 64).

Resource: “Our Space: Being a Responsible Citizen in the Digital World” by Harvard, MIT, and USC

Chapter 3 Essentials Toolkit

I already know about all these, but want to add the link to this professor’s Google site, whom I saw at last year’s (2014) Online Teaching Conference: The Human Touch: Increasing your Online Presence with Video

Dr. Douglas Hirsch, Santa Barbara City College, Human Presence Learning Environment

Chapter 4 Tools for Communication and Content Creation – Beyond Text!

I already know about all these tools except Smashwords for creating an e-book; I used to use Scribd but most recently have used Google drive and Slideshare (not just for PPT) for sharing docs online

Chapter 5 Backchannels and Tools for Participatory Learning

  • Twitter – for locating pre-curated Twitter lists to build PLN
Note to self: I want to learn how to embed a Twitter feed in Blackboard
  • HootCourse, Wiggio similar to Twitter – microblogging
  • BagTheWeb, (magazine-like collection of Web resources) – similar to Delicious, Diigo – social bookmarking
  • See Google Moderator (pp. 118-119)

*See great idea for Google presentation – collaborative ice breaker – students find slide with their name and enter info about selves (p.117)

Assessing Participatory Learning – use rubric (see pp. 126 and 128):
  • Criteria (aspects of performance)
  • Descriptors (characteristics associated with each dimension)
  • Performance Levels (rating scale)

See also The Eberly Center for Teaching and Learning at Carnegie Mellon for sample rubrics for a variety of projects & activities/disciplines

Chapter 6 Mobile and Beyond

For syllabus, rather than “no cell phones,” a statement such as “In this class you will be invited to use your phone for a variety of learning activities. If you need to use your phone for a reason that does not support your learning, please excuse yourself from the classroom” (p. 136).

  • Prosperous for mobile blogging
  • HiTell free app for voice-based messaging

“Educators today have the power to change the world.  The way we respond to the opportunities that emerging technologies hold will set the tone for the future of college learning” (p. 150).

Chapter 7 Online Resources

See Michelle’s Web site that accompanies the book and follow her on Twitter @brocansky or search for the book’s hashtag #bptet

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