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Teaching with Technology

Updated: Jul 29, 2021


It is so important to thinking critically about utilizing technologies in our university courses in order to support student learning objectives and reinforce course content. In my experience, it has added greatly to my courses and ensures that students have a variety of ways they can absorb information. Teaching with technology was something I was initially introduced to at the University of Florida and Santa Fe College Center for Academic Technologies, where I learned about various way to enhance teaching practices with educational technology. I will describe my favorite technology tools below!


Learning Management Systems

In my nine years of experience in university teaching, I have used multiple learning management systems to teach face-to-face, hybrid, mixed-mode, and online courses. I have used Canvas, Blackboard, and Desire2Learn's online platform Brightspace, which I have to say, Canvas is my very favorite. I have built out various courses in Canvas and it is such a fantastic and comprehensive learning management system that always delivers. Within Canvas, you can outline your Announcements, Syllabus, Modules, Course Assignments, Gradebook, Rubrics, Attendance, Discussions, Quizzes and Collaborations in a seemless way and I recommend it for those searching for an intuitive LMS.


UCF Materia Widgets

The University of Central Florida offers many amazing resources to incorporate technology into the classroom. Materia is an open source project built by the University of Central Florida's CDL team (Center for Distributed Learning) and it encompasses amazing tools for teaching and learning. Most of all, they are incredibly fun! They have widgets such as Hangman, This or That, Choose Your Own Adventure, Flashcards, and so much more! I have found that by integrating these widgets into my webcourses, my students have the chance to reinforce the course content in a fun and exciting manner.


UCF Obojobo Learning Modules

Another great teaching tool at UCF is the Obojobo learning modules at the library that outline the steps for conducting academic research, peer-reviewed journals, finding and evaluating credible sources, and writing a literature review. Obojobo was designed by developers at the Center for Distributed Learning (CDL) and it is another great tool to incorporate technology into your class. I know with my own experience, these modules help my students learn how to approach academic research in a systematic and organized fashion. It also includes an assessment and it is easily integrated into UCF's online courses. Another great feature is that student assessment scores can also be easily inetgrated into the Canvas grade book. I see great value in the UCF library's Information Literacy Modules.


Content Delivery

In terms of content delivery, my favorite technology tools for classroom presentations are PowerPoint and Prezi. I also love using Mayers' 12 principles of multimedia learning to design my presentations as well, to make sure my visuals complement my lecture. I have always enjoyed building training materials and classroom presentations with PowerPoint due to its familiar format and new features such as the embedded images and design suggestions. In my experience using Adobe Captivate or Articulate 360, I have found that having a strong foundation in PowerPoint is very advantageous.


Mayer's 12 Principles of Multimedia Learning


Mayer's 12 principles of multimedia learning ensures your instructor-led PowerPoint presentations will be an effective learning resource for your students. As I have built out my multimedia learning experiences, I always reference this guide as a checklist to develop my projects.

Multimedia is defined as a form of computer-aided instruction that uses two modalities at the same time, which means creating a learning experience through the use of visuals through pictures, animations, text, and videos as well as audio. Richard Mayer wrote a book, titled Multimedia Learning, where he explains his research on how best to structure multimedia learning experiences to maximize learner comprehension. I highly recommend his book, especially to new teachers, as they gain the skills they need to build out engaging presentations.

Panopto Lecture Capture

When I co-taught the Career Professionalism Series courses in the UCF College of Business, I utilized the Panopto Lecture Capture technology to stream the GEB Career Development courses live to hundreds of UCF students in real time. I was so impressed by this technology! Panopto is one of the leading video lecture capture technologies available within educational technology. It is used for the GEB College of Business courses since they have a much larger class size and classes are recorded for students to access at their convenience within the semester.


Poll Everywhere

Poll everywhere captures audience feedback through live online polling, surveys, Q&As, quizzes, word clouds, and more. With Poll everywhere, you can even create engaging activities and choose from a variety of activity types that let you visualize responses in real time, such as open-ended Q&As, multiple choice, and word clouds. The great thing about using Poll Everywhere is that you can encourage your students to participate and you can immediately collect their feedback during a lesson. You can also import rosters from your LMS. My favorite thing about using this form of technology is that I can keep the class focused with dynamic activities while increasing engagement. Poll everywhere also has great features such as exporting attendance, participation, and engagement results right into your LMS's gradebook, which is extremely convenient.


Gamification: Kahoot!


For years, I have used my favorite gamification tool; Kahoot! I absolutely LOVE Kahoot and typically, I use it to assist my students in preparing for their Midterms and Finals as a review session. Kahoot truly makes instruction much more fun and engaging. You can easily design your own personalized Kahoot games and import your own questions and answers. The inuitive platform lets you combine quizzes, polls, word clouds and other question types with slides to instruct in a more engaging manner. At Global UCF, we use Kahoot to design cultural games for the students and to test their knowledge about different cultural norms, geography, cultural traditions and much more. One thing I enjoy about Kahoot is that it gives you the opportunity to recap on the most important content for the day and it makes the act of preparing for an exam fun for students. .

Gamification: Jeopardy!

JeopardyLabs is an online technology tool that I use almost every semester! With this technology tool, you can create a customized jeopardy template for your class without using PowerPoint. I use this game often in my SLS 1501 Startegies for Succes in College courses to prepare for midterms and finals. Building your own jeopardy template is unbelievably easy and just requires you to add in your course content right into the editor. This is always a huge hit with the students and the collaborative element of team competition makes them more engaged as it reinforces course content before an exam.


Clickers


Clickers are communication technologies that can enhance student engagement and learning in large classes and facilitate classroom discussions. In my experience, I have used the iClicker to create dynamic lessons that include polling and quizzing in real time. This is a fantatsic strategy if you want conduct knowledge-checks, quiz your students, or gather their opinions on a subject. Clickers keep students engaged and it is proven to increase student grades at the end of the semester.


Open Educational Resources (OER)

I am a huge fan of Open Educational Resources (OER) and currently, I use etextbooks within my Leadership Studies and Global Citizenship courses. OER's are free, accessible, openly licensed, text and media that are used for teaching and learning. These resources are typically publicly accessible materials and everyone can use them for educational purposes. Similarly, MOOCs, Massive Open Online Courses, are free online courses available to anyone, anywhere. Some examples of companies that offer MOOC's are edX, Coursera, Lynda, Khan Academy, Udacity, Udemy, and many more. MOOCs provide an affordable and flexible way to learn new skills while you prepare for your career, advance your career development, or learn entirely new skill sets.

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