Department of Psychology professor Tanya Martini has watched the evolution of teaching unfold before her during her 18 years in post-secondary education.
Awarded a Distinguished Teaching Award at Brock in 2015, Martini admits she’s not the most technology-minded professor out there, but she also knows the important role it can play in effective teaching.
“I think technology can be helpful and useful. Do I think it’s absolutely necessary for learning to take place? No, but I find some of the tools, when you learn their ins and outs, can be very effective in helping things move in classrooms,” Martini said. “Overall, I feel like I’m pro technology.”
Martini said overheads were still the dominant tool of the trade when she started teaching at the University of Windsor in 1998. Then came PowerPoint, which is still largely in use.
Now there are interactive tools such as clicker devices that allow students to answer questions during a lecture and then see their marks immediately posted on a screen at the front of the room.
Martini, who has been teaching at Brock since 2003, now uses Microsoft’s OneNote, which allows for everything from course planning to a virtual collaborative space for students.
“It’s easy to set up discussion groups and it’s very user friendly. Students have started to use it for other things, like their own notes. It’s not a tool that’s governed by me,” said Martini.
It’s this type of technology use that will be highlighted at the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation’s EDTECH Showcase being held Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon in ST 103, 105 and 107.
The event will be a conversation about the benefits and challenges of using teaching technologies such as: classroom response systems; Office 365; online course evaluations; Sakai; social media; streaming video; and web authoring.
Among the specific Brock projects to be highlighted, History professor and chair, Daniel Samson will be showcasing elements of the newly created online course HIST2F90, designed and taught with Michael Driedger.
“Trying new educational technology tools has been productive for us as teachers,” said Samson. “It has encouraged us to rethink our philosophy and practice in small but significant ways.”
Other educational technology projects showcased will include the use of Open Educational Resources, where faculty supported by Brock’s eLearn initiative created open online textbooks to increase access and affordability for students. Earth Science professors Marie Shmidt, Frank Fueten and Rick Cheel collaborated for ERSC 1P94 Planetary Science.
Similarly, History also used the same platform for their open online textbook, HIST2F90: Money & Power in the Atlantic World.