Thursday, 5 June 2008

Brief feedback from CiCS session on new technologies in learning and teaching

This was a session organised by Chris Attwell, of the Innovative Communications group, to bring together people interested in using new technologies to support learning and teaching. The primary focus was on blogs and wikis, although clearly went much further, and there was a good range of opinion represented. While I was, by a country mile, the least geeky person in the room, it was great to hear exchanges of knowledge and experiences, and picking up of useful tips; for example, that you can get RSS feeds from blogs into MOLE (through the Media Library, maybe; it seemed such an obvious thing that no-one else required detailed explanation). There were also debates about aligning the technology not just with forms of assessment, but with assessment criteria within that; one thing that has proved successful in some contexts is having participation as a criterion, rather than explicitly judging the content of their contributions. This creates a good atmosphere for sharing ideas and getting discussion going, which in turn leads to higher-level contributions elsewhere in the teaching.

The thing that wasn't quite the elephant in the room - it was mentioned, but not explored in anywhere enough detail - was finding the why of these technologies. What would they add to teaching and learning that couldn't be achieved by other means? This is certainly a question to address with TASH, and maybe foreground in early project team discussions. We're not looking at technologies anywhere near as fancy as some of those discussed today, but to ensure the widest possible engagement from staff (in particular) and students, we need to explain why the technology is necessary, not just what it will do.


Paulw said...

I am not sure who told you that the RSS was through the Media Library but it isn't. The Rss tool is available from Add Content Link.

Just spending a very tiny amount of time catching up with your project.

Looking good. Well done seems to be coming together well

Tim said...

All tiny amounts of time appreciated, as are the explanations of MOLE and RSS feeds - it's almost certainly my mistake. Thanks for dropping by!