Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Kicking off TLC 2.0

So a group of 9 English department students met yesterday in ECIT for the opening session of TLC (scroll down for the blurb). (On a side note, I thought it interesting that for the 9 "students" in the course that we have 5 instructor types. I guess Emory is trying to massage its student to instructor ratio or something.)

TLC is something that we are hoping we can role out to more of the graduate programs within Emory with a goal, of course, of providing the training in technologies that will be especially appropriate for the various teaching situations in each of the different disciplines. Doing this will hopefully facilitate discussions among the graduate students and faculty attending that will help everyone discover new methods for teaching materials--even if these methods have nothing to do with technology.

In light of this, I found it interesting how each of the 9 TLC participants already had ideas for how they want to use technology in courses they are or will be teaching in the near future or for specific technologies they want to learn more about:
  • Mapping the action in 24-hour novels
  • Hosting photos a class is taking of the community and podcasting
  • Blogging and building websites
  • Developing a wiki project for the class
  • Blogging and wikis
  • Dreamweaver and creating websites
  • Using technology collaboratively as a way to get them away from regular discussions
  • Using technology to bring people together and work collaboratively
Some of these goals/ideas are very similar, and I think it's interesting that most of them revolve around the idea of user-created content. These are obviously interesting technologies to people who want to help students take some of the control of their own learning processes.

It's also nice to see that ECIT will be able to help people with each of these projects. Mapping? Try Google Earth, which will allow you to customize layers very easily through XML. Wikis and blogging? You can use the new functionality in Blackboard 7.1 or you can find alternate solutions. Photo hosting? Flickr is just one of many options.

As always, the key remains knowing when to use a new technology and when to use an older one (pencil, paper, chalk, eraser). But it's exciting to see--even over a year's time from when I was doing TLC--how much easier the tools for accomplishing some of these projects have become.


Michael E. said...

I agree that it was interesting that so many students seem to have specific goals and technologies in mind. This seems to be different from last year, no?

Brian said...

I can't really remember what people's goals were last year. I know that I wanted to talk about wikis, but that's about it. In some ways I think this is reflective of people already being more accustomed to using technology in their teaching than I, for example, was in 2004-2005.

But I'm willing to think that it also has something to do with the department's emphasis on such things recently. People in TLC last year talked about what they learned with fellows. People have seen the growth of the blog, the wiki, and the calendar. They get a sense that the department is invested in making this a part of our education. And so they're stepping up.

Wayne said...

There does seem to be a vibe of participants coming to TLC with more concrete ideas about technology and teaching. Could the Google world be reaching into the classroom even farther?