Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Learning Technologies Projects

I spent a very pleasant evening yesterday listening to the presentations being given by our students on the Learning Technologies module of our Postgraduate Diploma in Academic Practice. The students are all academic staff members, with busy teaching and administrative workloads, and we have spent the last number of months looking at the use of various technologies in teaching and learning. The project was to consider the use of a technology in their own context. Since each student started the module with a different level of competence in using technologies, the aim of the project was to push each individual beyond their comfort zone.

So, yesterday evening we had a wonderful range of technology use. Projects included:
  • Social Networks: using Ning to support Irish language learning; using in project work in Botany to promote and support peer-learning; using Blackboard tools to support a research group in Microbiology.
  • Video: a Microbiology lecturer has created some short videos to demonstrate skills in the laboratory; a lecturer in Occupational Therapy recorded in a nursing home, in association with the HSE, to create self-instructional videos showing the correct use of wheelchairs.
  • Second Life: we were given a fantastic overview of Second Life and shown plans for how students of Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship will have projects based in the virtual world in the next academic year.
  • Reflective Logs: students of Speech and Language Therapy will, in future, submit their reflective logs using blogging tools on Blackboard instead of the current practice where they have to travel to the campus to submit paper based versions.
  • Blended Learning: although she couldn't be there, one lecturer from Nursing recorded her presentation on lessons learned from moving to a blended learning environment, using a participatory group narrative.
It is great to see how each of these students has moved on and really embedded the use of their chosen technology in their teaching practice. I'm looking forward to the project reports, which are due to be submitted at the end of next week.

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