Monday, 27 January 2014

BYOD4L: Connecting

This week I am dipping into the open bite-size course BYOD4L: Bring Your Own Device for Learning.

I can't promise that I'll keep up, especially since the History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education MOOC also starts today. But since it's only over 5 days, I might just manage.

The first topic is that of Connecting. There was quite a bit of connecting on the twitter chat this evening, under the hashtag #BYOD4Lchat. It was fast and furious.

But, back to the task at hand. I watched both videos embedded on the Resources page and decided to reflect on the second one, from the point of view of the teacher.

This is a scenario with which I am familiar, since I work in supporting teaching staff in their use of technology. A constant refrain is "I haven't got time", which, to be fair, is usually true.

Academics are, increasingly, very busy with many demands on their time. To start using a new technology (device, app, system, tool) for teaching, they need to be convinced of its value, the return on  investment. It's only worth investing the time and effort if you can guarantee results - some benefit to the teacher and/or an improvement in the learning of the students.

When it comes to connecting, academics do this all the time in research. They connect and form research groups and clusters, they go to research meetings and conferences, they write joint papers. But many teaching staff don't feel the need to do this for their teaching practice. They just don't see the value in it.

When encouraging staff to use twitter, I often suggest that they start following people from their own research area or discipline, and any professional/research bodies or journals that are of interest. This can be a good hook to get them started.

Most teaching staff do want to connect with their students, but they may not yet have realised how mobile devices and apps can facilitate that. Perhaps that's the hook we need to use?


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