CTLT Dialogues

The Blog of the Center for Teaching & Learning with Technology

Archive for May, 2010

Preparing Our Students for a Digital Nation

Posted by ctlt on May 21, 2010

The Keynote Address for this year’s TNT Institute was delivered by Steve Maher, formerly a social studies teacher and now a supervisor at Chatham High School. Steve was interviewed by film makers from the PBS series Frontline for two recent documentaries broadcast by PBS. Steve is a long time observer of student use of computer-based or smart technology, especially handheld devices, and he’s been a practitioner of integrating IT and new media into his teaching for several years.

Steve reflected on his sense that people generally acknowledge that information technology keeps evolving, but that they don’t fully grasp how dramatic a change new forms of communication and interaction represent. Steve offered as a prompt to our imaginations the situation of a high school teacher in 1973 being offered a classroom with both an LCD projector and a computer with access to the Internet. How would a teacher from 1973 react to the availability such resources? Students today are coming of age in an environment rich in possibilities, and teachers should take into consideration how new patterns of media interaction may shape their sense of who they are and their future professional lives.

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Seven Principles for Good Practice Game

Posted by ctlt on May 21, 2010

The Seventh Annual TNT Institute began Thursday morning in Dickinson Hall, on the Metro campus of FDU. After registration and welcome remarks by Catherine Kelley and Sandra Selick, we played a problem-solving game called “Seven Principles for Good Practice.” This activity was based on the article “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education,” by Arthur Chickering and Zelda Gamson, which appeared in the AAHE Bulletin in 1987.

The game consisted of a scoring sheet and the presentation of short video clips from a number of vintage (?) popular films. The activity asked participants to identify which principle for good practice in undergraduate education could best be discussed using that video clip as an example for discussion. In other words, the underlying task was to interpret how a particular video clip could be a good example of good practice, and thus lead to a better understanding of the seven principles.

Chickering and Gamson’s paper inspired a subsequent article by Chickering and Stephen Ehrmann, “Implementing the Seven Principles: Technology as Lever,” which focused on integrating technology into the educational practices that the earlier research report presented. Chickering and Ehrmann point out that technology is not a substitute for good teaching; rather, it is a means to supplement or extend effective teaching practices.

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