Incorporating Technology in your Teaching

THE CERTIFICATION IN COLLEGE TEACHING OFFERED AT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY, seeks to build teaching competency in five areas. personal reflections follow.
Description

Technology offers a number of advantages in the classroom context – not limited to accessibility, distance learning, and ease of communication. Affordable technology has become a constant presence, offering another platform for engaging students in learning both within and outside the classroom. Audio and video recording, YouTube, and Twitter are just some of the means by which instructors have used technology as a teaching tool.

Sources

Summer 2017 Certification in College Teaching Institute

Artifacts and Rationales
  • My notes and materials from the workshop on Incorporating Technology in your Teaching from 2017 Certification in College Teaching Institute
    • Discussed in this workshop was Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (Mishra & Koehler 2006), which conceives of conveying content using technology pedagogically (Venn Diagram below).
    • Technology can be used to engage students in exploring and understanding “sticking points,” or threshold concepts that students have difficulty understanding.

    • Several examples were provided, including how instructors have incorporated Twitter into coursework. Students were required to use the social media platform to share content, apply analysis, and communicate comprehension. There was an added benefit of being able to interact with a variety of experts, an opportunity students may not encounter in the classroom. Another example of technology in the classroom is a project called “Hear my Home,” where students were tasked with recording the sounds of their homes and neighborhoods. It challenged all involved to really listen, drawing awareness to the diversity of students’ home experiences.
    • Beyond using iClicker devices, tools like “Poll Everywhere” can be used by students on their own devices, decreasing cost to students and increasing accessibility.
    • A number of resources at MSU and elsewhere were also shared in this workshop. The MSU Innovation Hub, Matrix Center for Digital Humanities, Digital Humanities (Library), and the Division of Teaching and Learning within the Technology Office at MSU are all within reach at MSU for instructors seeking support in technology integration in the classroom.
Reflection

In my experience, technology in the classroom involves using Clicker Questions and PowerPoints, which are valuable, but this workshop broadened my views of how much creativity is possible. I appreciated the incorporation of scholarship, examples, and time to consider what I would do to integrate technology with chemistry content in one of my courses.

Some “sticking points” I have identified in organic chemistry recitations I’ve taught include movement of electrons from electron rich functionalities of molecules to electron poor functionalities in reaction mechanisms. In laboratory, one of the biggest sticking points is acid/base extraction. I will consider how creative use of technology could be used to help students grapple with these common pitfalls and hope to apply them in the future.

References

Mishra, P.; Koehler, M. J. Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A Framework for Teacher Knowledge. Teach. Coll. Rec. 2006.

OMC Fall 2018