I read this blog this morning and thought it really reflected what we’ve been saying in our meetings. As we’ve been talking about potential PD that we would like to see or offer, we’ve addressed the fact that PD should go further than just showing what tools are out there. While it is important to showcase tools that others may not know about, the key is to show how these tools are used to enhance student learning. Ideally, we would show this in reference to specific courses so faculty leave with something they can use right away.
I’ve occasionally found myself drawing a blank when asked what technology I use in teaching. After some thought, I can talk about using screencasting or audio tools but the fact is, I don’t think in terms of a list of technology that I’ve used. I think of what I’ve done to help students learn. Students were having trouble navigating WebCT, so I made videos to help them. Students wanted more verbal instructions in their online course, so I’ve started creating audio clip introductions to each module. Yes, I found the appropriate technology to do these things, but the technology was just the tool that allowed me to improve the students’ experience.
The author of the blog post, Krista Moroder, really sums this up well,
“The basic work of teaching has not changed. Teachers still collaborate, still communicate, still find and share resources, still manage student behavior, still deliver content, and still assess students.
The difference is that we now have more tools and resources to improve our efficiency.”
I hope we can continue to keep the goal of student success at the forefront as we explore the different tools that can improve the work we do.