Timeless Placeless – Then & Now

Opening note by Amanda Thomas, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs

Welcome back! I hope that each of you had a restful break and are looking forward to a productive spring semester. Rest from work is necessary to keep both energy and productivity high, so I encourage each of us to think of ways of scheduling such time in our calendars. Faculty Friday is not only a break from teaching and scholarly writing, it is a good opportunity for great conversation with colleagues. Dates for Faculty Friday (all 3-5pm in the Hug Lounge) are:

  • Friday, February 16
  • Friday, April 6
  • Tuesday, May 1 (Study Day)

Thanks to all those involved in our spring teaching workshop, a wonderful opening to the semester. Our focus was digital pedagogy and Bob Kenyon is here to give some highlights and resources. Whether you have taught online before or are just beginning to use technology in your face-to-face classes, there is something new for you that has the potential to enhance the learning of our students.

By Robert S. Kenyon Ed.D., Interim Director of Digital Teaching & Learning

It was with great pleasure that I was able to share my thoughts for the January Teaching Enhancement Workshop. The plenary talk was entitled “Timeless Placeless.” We discussed how in the past we were programmed to promptly position ourselves in front of the television to see Walter Cronkite on the NBC Nightly News at exactly 6:30 p.m.  Silence was required since the news was available only once, could not be recorded, paused or replayed at a later time. Shopping and banking could likewise only be done at a certain time and place. Today we deposit checks, watch Netflix and make purchases online anytime anywhere. We are flooded with twenty-four hour a day news.

Black and white photo of old American classroom
American classrooms a hundred years ago were not only segregated, they provided only one way for students to access course material. All that has changed with new digital tools.

We then reflected on the classroom of 100 years ago where students sat in rows with paper books – at the same place, same time. A view of today’s typical classroom looks strangely similar. How could we avail ourselves of today’s technology and make learning more effective? Using web conferencing software, students can learn from any location as demonstrated by the world map of our students who studied databases from several continents last summer. Recorded lectures allow students to learn from any time zone. Both obvious and profound, we discussed how student who were able to pause, play and review the recorded lecture actually received higher grades and enjoyed the experience.

The newly formed Office of Digital Teaching & Learning stands ready to assist faculty with implementing these new technologies to facilitate more effective learning, anywhere, anytime. Please visit the ODTL website for more information.

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