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Chen Chen

Tech Policy?

2 min read

We will be reading some articles from Hybrid Pedagogy, which is a wonderful online journal focusing on digital pedagogy that also has a podcast affiliated to it. This piece is related to some of the readings we read for this week's class. I especially love the first tweet included where the professor suggested we include a tech policy for pencil as well if we require it for laptops. I wholeheartedly agree that we need to evaluate our use of technology according to how well they enhance student learning. And we need to broad our understanding or technologies. A pencil is a piece of technology as much as a laptop; both can be distracting in different ways. I consider myself having used technology in class today when I asked students to design a mockup of an advertisement for an airline company in groups. Students were very serious about the task and spent a lot of time sketching out their ideas. They were very much engaged and were enacting the rhetorical concepts we have learned in class. I wonder how Clay Shirky is teaching about social media when he's not allowing students to use laptops in the classroom. Students will always get distracted because that's human nature. But if we engage the assemblage of human and nonhuman components in the classroom, we can minimize the distraction and even learn from our behaviors when we do get distracted.

Chandra Maldonado

Classroom Assessment and Technology

1 min read


This is an interesting article on the ways that technology use can help the instructor make classroom assessments. A study in the article suggests that that tracking simple activities like how many times a student opens a textbook will predict the student’s success in the classroom. Another example is a study that was done to predict success rates through studying the amount of time spent watching online lectures. Results showed that, not surprisingly, that the study of student time spent on online course material was a poor tool of measurement. The article also provides additional studies of assessment technology to track engagement and knowledge and skill with both promising and unpromising prediction results.


Helpful note: The article links to all the different assessment studies.


Joel Schneier

Eddie Lohmeyer

Making and Production as a Means to Foster Inclusiveness?

2 min read

This is actually more of a springboard response to Melissa's post to the notion of "cultural responsiveness" because I see the act of being culturally responsive as bound to methods of inclusion too, particularly in the way an instructor creates a learning environment in which students of different ethnicities, race, religion, etc., might use creative expression as a means to bring cultural biases to the attention of classmates through their work. This works particularly well with audio/video production because students of different backgrounds can be urged to explore their own ethnic, religious, gender, diasporic identities through production. WIth teaching audio production, I've seen this to great success particularly with international students who would call another country home. I can remember at least one Turkish student who recreated a beautiful panoramic, ambient soundscape comprised of a collage of sounds that reminded her of her home and visiting family there over the years. The soundscape itself became an aural equvalent for her own cultural, diasporic identity as a Muslim woman living in the US. When she shared her project during a critiquing session, I defininately felt that there was more of a cultural awareness to perhaps the underlying anxieties (and excitement) or learning abroad as an international student. Anyway, food for thought.

Jay Kirby

Why we use technology

2 min read

In this article, "Amish Hackers," by former Wired editor Kevin Kelly, the author attempts to show that Amish are not "luddites" but rather—he argues—"hackers." They do not reject technology solely because it is technology. Rather, Amish people analyze technology to see whether it furthers their goals of promoting community and family.

Amish use of cell phones is an interesting example that Kelly uses. According to the article, Amish do not fully reject cell phones (or not the Amish Kelly speaks with). Many own cell phones and use them. They were valuable. When traveling or out working, the Amish could call family for help or other needs. But, the Amish also found that the cell phones could be isolating; people go away from the community to talk to someone outside. Rather than rejecting the technology totally, though, they looked for compromises. Some groups only keep cell phones in vehicles. This way, they can take advantage of the communication opportunities (especially in emergencies) of cell phones while removing the individualistic uses of the phones.

I think this same mindset is valuable for technology in the classroom, and I think we've approached this in class. The question of technology in a classroom is not yes/no. In fact, it's probably not "the question." The question, rather, is likely not even about technology. I would argue that the question is what we want out of a classroom. Only then can we analyze new technologies and put them to use. Further, as the Amish show with cell phones, we don't necessarily have to use the technology the "right" way. We can instead use the technology differently in the way that best maximizes the goals of our classroom.

Melissa Adams

Culturally Responsive Teaching and Technology?

1 min read

I've been thinking about how to be culturally responsive in the classroom recently and revisiting some readings on diversity and inclusion (bell hooks, Paulo Friere) but wonder how we might be able to use technology to foster this effort. Are there some creative pedogogies we might undertake to help counter some of the inherent cultural biases we have to become better teachers? I don't have any answers currently, but I've found the Civilschools videos helpful to watch as I think through this even though they don't directly address the use of technology. Here is one video by Jamie Utt that covers some of the foundational lit of this pedagogy - hope you all find it helpful as well.


Sarah Evans

U.S. government wants ANSWERS!

1 min read

The deadline is tommorow (today if we read this in class on 9/3) but if you have an idea for evaluating educational technology, the government wants YOUR help! This is a pretty interesting initiative because it shows that although we've been using various educational technologies in the classroom since pretty much forever, no one (especially the government) is even sure if they actually do anything better. Will the results of this in 2017 change the ways we implement tech in the classroom? Probably not! But it will be interesting to follow.


Geoffrey Luurs

This is a pretty cool article showing how being innovative with technology can allow us to manage ever increasing pressure from administrators to go digital to up our class enrollments. This guy took on over 2,600 students in one class section by letting the tools do the menial work for him and focusing on engaging students and current events.

Clearly, this model won't work for every class, but this could translate directly to lower level intro to popular media type classes without much difficulty, no?

Jessica Handloff

Is the Digital Divide really a "thing"?

1 min read

An AP-NORC study says...not really. Of course, their study is US-based, so this doesn't address international issues of access. Additionally, this article, and apparently this study, mainly focused on access to news and information via social media. Are there still concerns for the classroom when we talk about incorporating new technologies?

Chandra Maldonado

This might be a silly question but can we depend on the classroom population being the same every semester? If not, how can we vary our teaching tools/ strategies to allow for effective teaching every semester? Should we do course prep every semester to cater to the student even though it’s the same course?

Now for a platform question... What is the difference between status update and a post?