Learning technology encompasses the full range of tools and media that can be used to facilitate teaching and learning. There are many ways that technology can enhance teaching and learning; an important thing to remember when exploring and choosing any technology is that it should be used in a way that furthers your teaching and learning goals.
The SAMR Model, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, can help you keep evaluate technology you currently use, or may use, in your class. It consists of four levels with Modification and Redefinition being the most powerful:
- Substitution: the technology substitutes for another technological tool, without a significant change in the tool's function.
- Augmentation: the technology replaces another technological tool, with significant functionality increase.
- Modification: the technology allows for the redesign of significant portions of a task to be executed.
- Redefinition: the technology allows for the creation of new tasks, inconceivable without the technology.
Ways to incorporate learning technologies
Courses and Workshops
Intro to Learning Technologies
Sessions that provide an introduction to a variety of learning technologies for the purpose of teaching and learning, including learning management systems such as Blackboard, blogs, podcasts, wikis and even Twitter.
Intro to Teaching Online
5 week, non-credit course provides instructors with information and ideas for teaching online or hybrid environment
Gwenna Moss hosts a number of events and workshops throughout the year on a variety of topics that touch on learning technologies.
Technologies on Campus
Every course has a corresponding Blackboard Learn (also named Course Tools) course associated with it. This is a good place to post the syllabus, assignments, notes and other learning resources. Copyright’s Fair Dealing allowances are extended to BBLearn as it is an online extension of your classroom.
Blackboard Learn has many additional features:
- online Assignment Submission tool
- online Grade Centre
- online Testing and Quizzing (multiple choice, true/false, short answer, more)
- online Discussion Boards
- Blackboard Collaborate virtual classroom and video-conferencing tool
- Open CourseWare (ocw.usask.ca) allows you to easily share your course materials with the general public
Student Response Systems
If you want to engage students in polling and questioning throughout class, you may use Top Hat to do this. Top Hat is a web-based tool that would allow students to respond to questions using their smartphones, laptops, and tablets at no additional cost. You are able to ask a variety of question types, including multiple choice, word answer, numeric answer, and click-on-target.
Instructors and students now have access to the Webex conferencing suite. It may be used for a variety of virtual events from one-on-one meetings to teaching classes. As an instructor you could use it for virtual office hours. You could also encourage your students to use it to help alleviate potential difficulties with getting together to work on group projects.
In most rooms on campus, you may have your classes automatically recorded and shared privately with your students. You can choose to include classroom audio, classroom video, or your slideshow in the recordings. Lecture capture is a great support tool for students and can support you in your own development as a teacher by allowing you to review your classes.
The university has recently instituted an ePortfolio system using the Mahara platform. Some departments and colleges have instituted portfolios as part of their programs.
Every instructor and student has access to his or her own personal Wordpress blog hosted by the university. Many instructors include blogging assignments as part of student course work.
Every instructor and student has access to university-supported wikis. Wikis allow you to share and collaboratively manage documentation and other information in easily editable online locations. The wikis can be public or private to the members. Instructors could set up a wiki space as a place for instructors and students to collaborate on and share resources.
Every instructor and student has access to individual file sharing and storage. This cloud service is similar to other private services (e.g., Dropbox, Google Drive) but with ownCloud your files are stored locally on University of Saskatchewan servers.
Every instructor and student has access to free and unlimited online training videos from Lynda.com. You can use this resource to learn various skills, such as how to use Excel or Photoshop. As an instructor you could direct students to it to learn necessary skills for your course.
Virtual Computer Lab
Instructors and students can access much of the computer lab licensed software (ie. SPSS, MATLAB, R) remotely from home or on campus.
Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning
Ryan Banow and Heather Ross in the GMCTL can provide consultation and advice if you would like to incorporate learning technologies into your teaching practice.
Information and Communication Technologies
ICT provides support for the various e-learning tools available on campus. Support is available for PAWS Course Tools, Blackboard, and Top Hat, as well as support for technologies related to quizzes, examinations and final grade entry, as well as course evaluations.
Offers effective and up-to-date technology training solutions for the entire campus community.