Blog #1

How Professors Can Bolster Inquiry in College Using K-12 Tech Tricks

site: http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/02/how-professors-can-bolster-inquiry-in-college-using-k-12-tech-tricks/

Part I – This article takes an example of a professor from a small college, talks about the small tactisc he uses in his classes to improve his students’ learning experience, and how he does that. The professor is a religion professor and while he may not be the most tech savvy professor there is, uses it to help make connections between images and what he is teaching. He uses tools like screen casting to see what the students think about the topic at hand, and can respond to their exact thoughts. He also uses this to help students who are more soft spoken in the class to share their ideas without having to speak in front of the entire class. Another really cool thing the professor does is assign different readings from experts in the field they are studying, and then Skype that professor into the class so they can ask the author direct questions on their readings. These stradegies help make the learning more personalized and give students the chance to enrich their knowledge what is being taught. During the normal class, the professor is a bit strict on what technology the student can use, restricting use of laptops for notes and such, but uses classroom Ipods to display what each student thinks in an active learning envirnoment. The trend in education these days is making strides to large on-line learning classrooms and the article hints at how these tactics can be used to ensure that students still learn all they need to, even if they aren’t face-to-face with the professor in class.

Part II – Questions and answers

Q1. What are the major perks of this teaching style?

A1. This teaching style gives the studetns opportunity to show exactly what they know and think about a certain subject and the professor the ability to respond directly to this information in a way that addresses the questions the students may have and not know they have. Not only does this make learning a personal process, but adds enrichment to their learning. Even though it may seem that the professor isn’t necessarily teaching his students directly, He still establishes that all grades are coming from him. The article made a reference to the professor intentionally undermining himself as an authority in the classroom so the students have a chance to make mistakes which he can correct instantaneously. Thee tactics help not only the students learn the content, but clearly gives the professor an image of where each student is at in understanding.

Q2. What can I take from this as a Teaching Student?a

A2. This article emphasizes not only making sure the students learn, but gives hints of the best ways to instruct. Going into Sepcial education, I realize that imagery will stick with my studetns more than oral instruction. THe professor in the article uses tools like Prezi to help connect imagery to what is being taught.  In my teaching career, if I am able to employ these stradegies in my classroom, I believe I will see a huge increase in student understanding, even if they are unable to vocalize it. Over time, I think being able to understand the subject will be more helpful to my students than just nknowing the face knowledge. Overall, it was a great article to read and I look forward to this trend goriwng in popularity in the College envirnoment, based on the success it has shown in the K-12 learning environment.

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