Monday, December 10, 2007

Penn part 2

I've just received an email from John MacDermott, Director for Instructional Technology at Penn's School of Arts and Sciences (SAS). He indicates that currently the only course the specifically considers how to use technology for teaching was developed in the Romance Languages and German departments. This cross-listed course (GRMN 517 / ROML 691), developed and taught by Profs. Kathryn McMahon and Christina Frei, "focuses on the evaluation, design, and development of multimedia in foreign language teaching." Students in the class learn how to use video-, image-, and sound-editing software and read about current trends in education. All students create an online teaching portfolio and a multimedia instructional project. Profs. Frei and McMahon have assistance in teaching the class from Ed Dixon, who is the SAS's Foreign Language Support Specialist.

This sounds like an exciting class, and I know that Emory's language faculty make frequent use of instructional technologies in their work in conjunction with our Language Lab. But I'm not sure to what extent the graduate students who teach languages are given formal instruction in the lab or have the opportunity for it. This warrants more investigation on my part.

John indicates that Frei and McMahon's class wasn't developed as part of a larger push to introduce technology into graduate student teaching and that it has not yet inspired the development of similar courses in other departments in the SAS. He did, however, suggest that I I check Penn's Graduate School of Education (GSE). It appears that the GSE offers a Masters in Education in "Learning Technologies in Education." More and more schools appear to be offering degrees like this. The downside is that graduate students in something like Penn's School of Arts and Sciences are not likely to take (or be permitted to take) courses that are taught in the School of Education. What's more, the content in the latter will not necessarily address the specific needs of those teaching in college and university classrooms.

I'm glad to have more information about Penn's offerings to their students. Hopefully I'll hear more soon from Columbia and Brown--the other two schools that were (rightly or wrongly) underrepresented in my findings thus far.

No comments: