In some of our year one lectures we encourage students to send text messages as a means of asking questions. We have also used text messaging for in class voting. Text messages sent by students may be forwarded to the academic’s email account for ease of access and to avoid having to log in to a separate system to read messages. However, in trying to cope with incoming messages during a lecture session this requires a separate laptop to access email or to have an email programme active on the presentation PC. This presents its own problems as the content of messages might be shown to the entire class albeit inadvertently thus compromising confidentiality.
The mail feature on the iPod Touch / iPhone provides a lightweight and discreet solution to this problem. Staff can have email literally in the palm of their hand and quickly monitor for incoming messages as the lecture proceeds. This of course relies on wireless internet access within the lecture theatre for the system to work optimally and should be checked out before implementing a major exercise using mobile technology.
Email is something we are all to familiar with but I would be interested to hear if others are putting email to more “interesting” uses.
Last week the University of Ulster’s Centre for Higher Education Practice published the first edition of its journal Perspectives on Pedagogy and Practice. The jounal highlights some of the excellent practice in teaching and learning taking place within the University with contributions from staff, external collaborators and visiting academics.
In the first edition there are articles on teaching anatomy using art, user-generated video, origami as a teaching tool, attendance and attainment, tools to help students adjust to university life, peer assisted learning and assessment strategies.
The Centre plans to produce the first issue in the current academic year, with two issues in subsequent years.
The purpose of the publication is to share practice in teaching and learning across the University, through articles and case studies provided by internal and external contributors, and also to offer colleagues who may be relatively new to pedagogic research an opportunity to present their work to the wider University community. Source.
Currently the journal is available in print format, however if an electronic version is available a link will be posted here.
The following quote from Michael (2001) was circulated at the Variety in Chemistry Education 2010 conference today. I though it was worthwhile to share!
We would never dream of going into the research lab without knowing the latest methodologies and without knowing what those other “experts” out there are thinking about. But we routinely do just that when we go into the classroom. So, we need to teach the way we do research. We need to start by educating ourselves through faculty development programs, through our own reading…and by attending teaching sessions at professional meetings… The list of possibilities is a long one.
And we need to approach the phenomena that occur in our classrooms, what works and what doesn’t work, what helps our students to learn and what doesn’t seem to help them, with the same attitude of inquiry with which we approach interesting phenomena in the laboratory. We must be prepared to “experiment,” to make changes in what we do and how we do it when we observe that things aren’t working or when we learn about better ways to accomplish whatever we seek to accomplish. If nothing else, such an approach to teaching makes teaching a more intellectually stimulating activity and, as a bonus, a lot more fun!
Joel Michael “In Pursuit of Meaningful Learning” Advances in Physiology Education 25: 145-158 2001 (Extract from page 156).
Sir Ken Robinson leads the charge for reform in education. This is a great sequel to his 2006 TED video on creativity in education.