by Elizabeth Dobler
During a recent conversation with a university colleague, the topic turned to the integration of technology into teaching. We were discussing Matt Miller’s free e-book, 101 Practical Ways to Ditch That Textbook,and my colleague wondered if it was a resource for classroom teachers or for university teachers.
In the past, there has been some distinction between the teaching methods used by teachers at various levels of education. Classroom teachers, especially those who work with younger students, were known to use more hands-on, active teaching methods while college instructors typically relied on lecture and large group discussions to share information. This dichotomy is changing. New university students are often more experienced with using mobile devices. Whether it’s accessing digital textbooks, reading novels, or creating content for class assignments, many of these college students have experienced the opportunity to have resources at their fingertips. Imagine their consternation upon entering a traditional college class held in a lecture hall where students are expected to sit passively and take notes.
University faculty are beginning to rethink their teaching methods in response to the motivation and technological experience of their students. It is becoming clear that technology resources are effective tools for all ages. The process and basic technology knowledge is similar, although the content will be more complex as students gain more knowledge and experience.
Essentially we are all teachers, no matter the age level of our students. We all face challenges with keeping students motivated and engaged whether it’s helping students collaborate through Google Docs or create a multimedia presentation using iMovie. We share the common need to continually learn about technology devices and tools so we can effectively prepare our students for today’s technological world.