If you ended up in higher education, have you ever asked yourself where revolutions in the classroom come from? After I started at UOIT as a professor, full of enthusiasm and bursting with ideas, I have certainly pondered on this question for quite a bit, especially last year during my first semester teaching two university undergraduate classes. Of course, I have no definitive answer, but I wanted to share some of my experiences with technology in the classroom with you, starting with how I use Twitter in my courses.
Social Media and Twitter
One incentive to look into classroom technology is that UOIT is a laptop-based university. To quote Wikipedia: “All undergraduate programs require students to lease a Lenovo Thinkpad laptop PC from the university as a condition of enrollment, making it Ontario’s only laptop-based university” . This can be equally scary and exciting for a new professor. When I started teaching, I was mainly scared of the stories that I heard about students just dozing off on Facebook during class and not caring about anything I would say (I would later find out that imgur is actually more dangerous for student productivity). I thought, all this means is to integrate social media in my classroom and make it all really exciting, so that the students are engaged in class. Challenge accepted. However, I would soon find out that it is difficult to get social media right when not all people in the audience have the same interest in this form of participation. Read the rest of this entry »