Instructional Technology: What’s Markers Got to Do With It?

This past November 2014 I delivered a brief 5 minute talk for my Graduate Student Instructor pedagogy course on instructional technology. It was the first time I was tasked with speaking concisely and convincingly about a topic that I am extremely passionate about (and can go days on end speaking and debating about technology in the classroom). After weeks of agonizing over how to win over all my peers with shiny digital things, eye opening new media theory, and youtube clips of cats, I decided to keep it simple and personal.

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In contrast to many of my classmates, I spoke about my experience when I tested out new activities with my students. What was I trying to achieve by using new platforms for presentation and collaboration? Was it cool? And how different is it from what I could do with markers and poster paper and a set of good instructions? Here is the video of the talk, and my slides that went with it. I was quite nervous, and unfortunately did not get to everything I wanted to discuss. The irony too was my purposeful (it really wasn’t…) demonstration of ‘technical difficulties’ in digital presentations. While that was definitely not intended, it was interesting to see how the audience perceived what I thought was a crash and burn moment in my presentation, but was actually a point where I grabbed their attention back to my words.

How do ‘digital’ activities compare to ‘analog’ activities in your classroom? What type of things are better off using one or the other, or both? Would love to know your thoughts, or your thoughts on my brief presentation!


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