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TLC Educational Technology Discussion Group

This year I have been able to do a little more work with the Teaching and Learning Center as their library liaison. This has been fun for me, and a good chance to look for opportunities where the library and the TLC can work together on projects that help both organizations with our missions.

Today kicked off one of these projects, and one I’ve been looking forward to for a few semesters.

Every month, on the third Tuesday at 11:00 am, we’re holding an informal Educational Technology Discussion Group. This morning the TLC provided coffee, cookies, and chairs, and a group of 16 got together to discuss the use of educational technology. About half the group were teaching faculty, and the other half were ITGs.

This morning’s conversations focused on the uses of blogs and wikis to enhance out-of-class learning, multimedia projects, clickers, Sakai, and a number of other less widely-used tools. I was thrilled to hear that so many library hosted blogs and wikis have been positive experiences for the faculty in attendance, and glad to know that our willingness to go into classrooms to teach the nuts and bolts of these tools, along with multimedia and podcasting projects, has meant that faculty are more at ease using these tools in their classes.

We also talked about issues that I think of as intimately related to information literacy. The discussion touched on privacy issues, publishing in a Web 2.0 world, finding and creating information on the Internet, and information life skills (such as how to find information to teach oneself how to use a new technology). I tried to pipe up as much as was reasonable on these issues, because as far as I’m concerned, they’re all information literacy related.

Towards the end of the session we discussed how to get more faculty involved in doing these types of projects and joining the group. Two refrains I heard were to (1) help faculty realize that it really is easy to integrate these tools (2) help faculty realize that, if structured correctly, the use of some of these tools will actually save time in teaching/grading the course. These, to me, come down to instructional design issues, so now I’m mulling over how to make this case more effectively, and to a larger audience at the University.

I would love to see more library teachers there next time. I know we’re doing some amazing things with educational technologies in a number of our classes, and this would be a great venue to share ideas, get new ones, and let people know how the library can support this type of work. If you’re interested, here is the next meeting information:

EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY DISCUSSION GROUP MONTHLY MEETINGS
Date: Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Time: 11:00 A.M.
Location: Teaching and Learning Center, Room 330, ZSR Library

4 Comments on ’TLC Educational Technology Discussion Group‘

  1. Erik

    Sounds like a very energetic meeting!

  2. Lynn

    The most encouraging thing I’ve read in a long time!

  3. Beth

    Lauren, your first ‘refrain’ seems redundant to what the ITG group already does with their faculty.

  4. Lauren Pressley

    Hi Beth, you’re right, this is an area where ITGs play a key role. The faculty members that mentioned it suggested that some faculty believe technology is hard and therefore don’t want to use it in their classes (and therefore don’t have any reason to come to a discussion group focused on educational technology). It might be that the faculty members they were describing know they can approach an ITG for help if they need it, but don’t believe that it is easy to use without that help.