Classroom Technologies

How much technology is the “right” amount?  How do we reconcile our traditional teaching practices with a digital world?  Here’s a list of common technologies available for the writing classroom and some links to help use them more effectively.

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Helping (convince) Students to Use Technology

It’s a common question: “How do I teach my students to use a technology that I don’t fully understand myself?” Or, more common still: “I use that technology all the time, but I just don’t feel comfortable teaching it.”  So here are some of the issues that arise with teaching technology, and some tips for addressing them.

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Group Projects: Online Collaboration Keeps Students Working

Online technologies allow for asynchronous, delocalized collaboration. This not only means your students can avoid those awkward group meetings where one person never shows up, but it also means that you can have direct evidence of which students are contributing the group’s efforts.

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In-Class Activities: STV 250 and Extending the Discussion

Sometimes, it’s good to be able to refer back on a previous discussion – this can not only help your students better reflect on what they’ve learned, but it can also help you use specific examples as you write teaching statements for future employment.

The technology in the STV 250 classroom offers unique opportunities for students to write records of their discussions. Plus, when discussions are shared online, students can continue the discussion beyond the classroom.  Here are some techniques and technologies I use to engage my students during class time.

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GoogleDocs – Online Collaboration to the Max

GoogleDocs provide the ability to easily edit your documents anywhere, from any computer.  Better still, multiple people can edit the same document at the same time.  This makes collaboration easy and natural.  I can write a paragraph, you can write a paragraph, someone else can leave a comment asking for clarification – and there’s no need to leave the dorm room.  This is ideal for students working on group projects, and it can be further developed for classroom discussions and assignment submissions.  Be sure to read on to see two helpful videos on using GoogleDocs.

You may also enjoy reading “The Paperless Classroom with GoogleDocs” by the North Canton City Schools, which is itself an excellent example of a well-organized GoogleDoc. Continue reading

Online Discussion Boards

A discussion board is a great way to maintain open lines of communication with your students. By providing a common space for students to ask questions, you’ll be able to give in-depth answers to each question rather than face the prospect of several e-mails all asking the same question. Additionally, most student’s aren’t quite sure what to ask – often, students receive important clarification from ongoing discussion which they would never seek out on their own.

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