Education technology is rapidly moving, sometimes divisive and always interesting, especially to us working in Higher Education. Every week, we share and comment upon a selection of interesting articles, posts and websites relating to education and technology we stumbled upon during the week. Do comment, recommend and share!
Teaching lecturers to teach – Graham Gibbs
“Whether lecturers should be required to have formal teacher training has been a subject of much debate in recent years.”
Let’s consider how this reads if we replace the job titles with other professions:
Whether dentists should be required to have formal dental training has been a subject of much debate in recent years.”
To read this sentence in a journal of dentistry would be utterly extraordinary (and worrying for the state of our health care system). Despite all efforts, we still inhabit a strange world of work in Higher Education – a world in which not just learning technology, but learning and teaching in general deserve increased attention.
Can technology make us smarter? – David Robson
Let’s question the claim that technology is making us too lazy to think and learn. Regardless of whether the claim that even average students can reach the top 2% of a class is accurate or not, adapting to different learning styles is likely to have a positive impact on thinking and learning. If technology can help us to do so (whether now or in the future), it might not make us smarter by itself, but it offers possibilities that we should make use of.
The latest trend at US colleges – Yik Yak
This latest app to spread across US college campuses provides users with a location-based live chat. While the idea of a “hyper-local forum” is certainly innovative, the combination of being anonymous and location-based throws up issues around bullying, trolling and institutional reputation that users, institutions and the provider itself will have to address. Initial proposals have included banning the app in schools, but it would be unfortunate if the only way to manage the service is by shutting it down altogether.
The rules of learning technology – Peter Condon
“Remember that for e-learning technology is the means to the end, not the end in itself. Unless we see technology as a tool, we will not question its effect upon our learning and our learners.”
This blog posts presents us with a good opportunity to revisit our earlier blog post on what learning technologists do (and don’t do). At the same time, it also serves as a reminder to everybody working in education not to lose sight of our most important objective: to improve teaching and learning.
Scarf vets happy – What3Words
We are not aware of LSE turning into a veterinary college, but those are the three words assigned to LSE on What3Words. What3Words divides the earth into 3x3m squares, assigning three random words to each square. The result replaces unmemorable number coordinates with, well, 3 words – maybe a useful tool for those of us teaching and studying geography?