I teach a yearly Professional Development class, in which I often implore students to put their phones to work for them. I warn students that smart phones can be a terrible master if they allow it. I am not alone with this claim. Recent research from the University of Texas found:
“It didn’t matter whether a person’s smartphone was turned on or off, or whether it was lying face up or face down on a desk. Having a smartphone within sight or within easy reach reduces a person’s ability to focus and perform tasks because part of their brain is actively working to not pick up or use the phone.
Flipgrid is a remarkable video capture app, which is particularly useful in an online classroom. I first tried Flipgrid in fall 2017 with my face to face classes. It went well, but I was not inspired to sing its praises until after my recent experience this summer when I taught online. What was the difference, you ask? In a face to face class, you easily have the ability to assess student learning through standard means (class discussions, written assessments, etc.). However, in an online setting, the assurance of learning is not as simple. You can proctor an online exam, set up classroom discussions,
During the weekend of October 6 - 8, I attended Magna’s Teaching with Technology conference in Baltimore, MD. My expectations were to acquire additional information and resources that I could immediately take into the classroom for a more productive and exciting classroom experience. I am always concerned about the quality of my teaching, ways to better prepare my students for success, and how technology can serve as a tool to accomplish both goals.
The conference did not disappoint. The highlight was the pre-conference workshop conducted by Barbi Honeycutt (@barbihoneycutt) and Sarah Glova (@chirpsbysarah) on the topic of “Tools to Engage Students in Flipped, Blended, and Online Courses”. I anticipate using the skills and resources acquired in their workshop for years to come.
Much has been said about how students should prepare for the start of the school year. For college students, there is now an exciting amount of anticipation in the air. As students ponder friendships, coursework, the quality of their teachers, residency arrangements, and myriad other quality of life concerns, there should be some amount of thought regrading the digital organizational tools they'll employ which ultimately allow a healthy balance of work and life. In today's tech-driven age, students have unparalleled access to business-facing tools that can truly lead to an impressive degree of productivity. The skills of productivity learned now will not only provide a less stressful four year experience, but also translate into career-building applications down the road.