Teaching and Learning Technologies

Blog for Teaching and Learning Technologies at William Jewell College

Archive for the tag “Ideation”

The technology is there – where are the innovators?

I am still struggling with beginning conversations with my faculty about how technology can be used in the classroom to enhance the learning environment.  My initial goal was to have multiple conversations for faculty to work with one another to develop new ideas.  I have not realized this particular aspect despite setting aside specific times for such dialogues.  Not that I am sitting in my office waiting for someone, anyone, to stop by for my assistance.  My days are full, not with groups of faculty, but requests for one-on-one discussions.

As I contemplate this particular direction of growth of my department, I am left wondering several things.  Is this because faculty discussion opportunities are available in other settings with this just being one of many choices? Possibly individual faculty are wanting to talk about new things but, like many of their students, are not willing to speak up in front of everyone thus exposing their discomfort with technology. Am I not noticing the right ‘problems’ that technology could help?  How should I approach this?

As one might guess, this has me working overtime in the ‘wonder if’ department. I am open to trying new things to stir up a little enthusiasm.  I wonder if I target a few innovators and personally invite them for a discussion with a couple of non-adopters, this may provide the spark I need.  One of my initiatives is flipping the classroom. I have three or four interested faculty and a provost that wants it to happen.  I am going to pinpoint a time to send a personal invitation to each, maybe even the provost may come.  (Everyone wants face time with the provost) .

I will let you know what comes of this latest idea – and invite anyone with suggestions to comment.  This is an open ended problem that needs to be solved.


Innovations In Teaching and Learning Symposium II

Amazing week of listening and learning about how we can be even greater.  We had three speakers on Tuesday help us through new ways of looking at how our students learn.

Dr. Lisa Spiro began our Symposium with a session on ‘Ideation’, a new concept for many of us.  She led us through exercises to examine our ways of leading our learners.  How can we bring fresh ideas into our teaching to connect with our learners.

Dr. William Rankin of Abilene Christian University helped us realize that technology to us is viewed as an extension of our students.  Our learners expect to use their devices to learn because they communicate with and through their devices. He inspired us with new ways of looking at our technology.

Dr. Bryan Alexander gave us a look at immersive learning techniques and resources.  Virtual worlds and augmented reality are only two of the ways we need to learn about to keep up with the world of our learners.

Day 2 of the Symposium was field trip day to experience how space and learning are connected.  We spent the day visiting sites that are embracing change as the norm.  Our first stop was Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) in the Blue Valley School District.  CAPS is an interesting study in how student led space configurations play a major role in some extraordinary learning experiences for high school students.  Next we visited a corporate site, Cerner Innovations Center.  Thoughtful consideration has been given to every aspect of how workers interact with their work space.  We were given a glimpse to how space can increase productivity and worker satisfaction. Not being adverse to changes in spaces and working conditions has helped make Cerner a major player in the local economy.

Dr. Dan Garvey gave our keynote on Thursday evening. His ideas helped bring the previous sessions and experiences together.  Our learners are wanting us to move forward with fresh thinking and experiences.

We took our two day ‘immersion’ into practice on Day 3.  We spread out around campus to examine how our classrooms, hallways, green spaces could be rethought into learning spaces. We came back with a new lens on our tasks ahead.

As we move beyond our Symposium, I am hoping for these new ways of thinking to stir some private contemplation and  percolate some conversations between colleagues.  We have exciting times ahead to embrace as refreshing challenges.  Change is not comfortable, but it can be invigorating.

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