Lately I have been doing a lot of walking and have used that time to catch up on a number of podcasts, including a recent episode of the TED Radio Hour titled Rethinking School. A couple of things in this episode really caught my attention and made me think about what we are doing here at DePaul—and how perhaps we can rethink our own practices.
“What if they find out who I really am?”
Every quarter, I meet a new group of (mostly) freshmen students in my First Year Writing courses, and every quarter, there’s one conversation I can’t wait to have. I always make sure that we have a discussion of “Discourse Communities” and what it means to become a “professional” within any of the fields the students might be studying.
As educators, we should always be looking to meet the needs of accommodating various learning styles. Often times, as instructors we tend to be creatures of habit, using the same content over and over again. Instructors should be open to using and selecting the appropriate tool that will help students achieve the learning objective. I recently had an instructor that wanted more information or training about how to select the best tool for a particular learning style. I imagine other instructors would have this same question. So here goes. Continue reading
Three months ago, I published a blog entry called “Summer Math Class with Khan Academy: A Case of ‘Manipulated’ Learning”. Ever since then, I have tried a few more rounds of manipulation on my IRB-free research objects—my two kids. As a proud mother of manipulation, I’d like to report on a couple of cases of manipulating learning—and behavior—with tools and rules.
I recently stumbled across a blog post about the 7 habits of highly ineffective developers and couldn’t help but see direct connections to the challenges people encounter when thinking about using educational technology. Like developers, instructors (and instructional designers) face all types of challenges. Understating yourself and being aware of these challenges can help make the most of your time, energy, and resources—as well as lead to better results.
Let me begin by saying that I have been a geek and technology freak for more years than I care to remember. In 1967, I wrote an undergraduate paper for a History of Mathematics class that dealt with computer generated music compositions. In the 80’s, I wrote for Nibble magazine (Apple II). I worked for Apple for 11 years. I always have the latest beta and bleeding edge software on my phone, watch and computer. My work involves helping faculty develop and deploy courses using technology. All that said, I worry about our students and if they are relying far too much on technology and less on critical thinking skills and the ability to estimate and solve problems.
Teaching—when you think about it—is a process of manipulation.
Dr. Tom Angelo made this point when he was wrapping up his keynote presentation at the DePaul Faculty Teaching and Learning Conference in May 2017. Since then the idea of “teaching by manipulating” kept popping up in my mind like a little bud seeking its opportunity to break through the ground.
It seems to me the best place to sow the seed of manipulation is my home. As I once heard a conference speaker joke, “Do you know why psychologists have kids? No IRB!”
IRB stands for Institutional Review Board, a committee that reviews and approves (or disapproves) studies that use human subjects. It is a hoop that researchers must jump through—well, unless they are dealing with the human subjects that they’ve produced themselves.
I recently attended EdMedia in Washington DC. I was excited for this conference because this was the first conference that I was attending completely on my own. There’s this tendency when you go to a conference with someone—at least for me—to follow their itinerary rather than come up with your own, so this was a true test for me to see how I could experience a conference completely by myself.
One thing that was really great about this conference was how it wasn’t that large attendee wise. There was a decent amount of people from different areas of the education field but there wasn’t an overwhelming amount of people everywhere, which I felt was a true benefit as it was easier to meet people.
Since this was my first time attending EdMedia, I attended the Newcomer Welcome meeting and they had us do something similar to speed dating where we had 3 minutes to talk to a person and get to know them. This was a great ice breaker, especially for someone who is typically more reserved and has a hard time approaching people.
DePaul University and the SUNY COIL Center have teamed up to offer the first-ever Global Learning Conference: Transcending Boundaries Through COIL. This don’t-miss event will be held October 30-31, 2017 in Chicago.
The Global Learning Conference illustrates best practices and innovation in collaborative online international learning (COIL). COIL is an approach to fostering 21st century student competencies through the development of multicultural learning environments that link university or college classes in different countries using online technologies. The conference invites faculty and lecturers, instructional technologists and designers, international education and study abroad managers, and anyone interested in the internationalization of higher education to attend and share knowledge with their peers in this growing field.
Do instructional designers secretly serve as change agents in higher education institutions? Change is a faint tremor that rarely erupts to alter the academic structure cemented in tradition and intricate policies. However, instructional designers have a unique role that gives them access to the three primary stakeholders at a university: faculty, administration, and students. Acting in a supportive, non-threatening role, instructional designers have the opportunity to create change without having to move the weighty levers of the academic machine. Taking a look at the five characteristics of change agents identified by George Couros, author of Innovative Mindset, provides a better understanding of why instructional designers may be the secret change agents in higher education institutions.