findings, published in the journal Economics of Education Review in a paper, based on an analysis of the grades of about 5,600 students at a private US liberal arts college, found that using a laptop appeared to harm the grades of male and low-performing students most significantly.
While the authors were unable to definitively say why laptop use caused a “significant negative effect in grades”, the authors believe that classroom “cyber-slacking” plays a major role in lower achievement, with wi-fi-enabled computers providing numerous distractions for students.
When we learn something outside the comfort zone, we attempt to acquire knowledge or skills in an area where we’re lacking. Part of the discomfort derives from learning something we anticipate will be difficult. We have no idea how to do it, or we think it requires abilities we don’t have or have in meager amounts. Moreover, poor performance or outright failure lurk as likely possibilities.
I wonder if learning outside the comfort zone isn’t especially difficult for faculty. Theoretically, it shouldn’t be. We’ve devoted years to learning, but most of what we know resides in one area. We’re experts at learning more about what we already know and love. And we’re used to having our learning expertise recognized—by students, colleagues, and sometimes even at home. However, plop us down in a discipline unlike our own, task us with learning a skill we don’t have, and suddenly, we look and act exactly like our students. And that’s the very reason this kind of learning has all sorts of positive implications for teaching. It’s good every now and then to be reacquainted with feeling stupid.
My note. Eventually, I had to tell a [already departured] library director: it is better to throw stones in the swamp of mediocrity then to sink slowly into it. To the objection of my colleague that throwing stones does NOT improve the situation, I could only say: making ripples until someone more diplomatic will draw the attention means more then just slowing sinking into the swamp of mediocrity. That swamp is determined by the inability / unwillingness of faculty the leave their comfort zone.
In regard to the teacher, who has students memorize and recite a poem – I will never forget Herr Klenske, who made us memorize in 10th grade of high school “Erlkoening” (http://ingeb.org/Lieder/werreite.html). It made us hate him as much, as now I, at least, appreciate his unique approach to fostering to high school students persistence and will.
there’s a long-standing and still fairly widely held belief that the teaching needed for a particular kind of content is unique. Unless you know the content, you can’t know how to teach it.
What and how we teach are linked, but there are other connections besides those between method and material, and those connections aren’t all unique to the discipline. All (well, almost all) teachers want students engaged, and student engagement in physics and philosophy doesn’t look all that different. All teachers are concerned with classroom management issues. If students are dealing more with their phones than the material, the content is irrelevant. All teachers have a responsibility to prevent cheating. All teachers aspire to use fair and equitable grading practices. Course design principles transcend disciplines. The features of a good multiple-choice question are not discipline specific. And then there are those student characteristics that challenge teachers in every field: passivity, lack of motivation, low self-esteem, less than adequate study skills, and excessive grade-orientation start the list.
Business does have something to teach educators, but it’s neither the saving power of competition nor flashy ideas like disruptive innovation.
While technology can be put to good use by talented teachers, they, and not the futurists, must take the lead. The process of teaching and learning is an intimate act that neither computers nor markets can hope to replicate. Small wonder, then, that the business model hasn’t worked in reforming the schools — there is simply no substitute for the personal element.
Use quotation marks: If you’re looking for a specific term, put it in quotation marks to get better results.
Twithority: With Twithority, you’ll find Twitter search results with authority.
Use hashtags: If you come across a useful hashtag, click on it to see what else you’ll find.
Subscribe: Keep up with useful keywords and hashtags by setting up an RSS subscription for them.
Pay attention to trends: Stay on top of the latest in your field by seeking out and participating in trending topics. For instance, students enrolled in political science degree programs may want to follow trending topics related to upcoming local and state elections.
Retweetist: Retweetist shares popular trends, topics, and people using retweets on Twitter.
Tweet Volume: With this tool, you can find out if your keywords are popular on Twitter or not.
Tweetmeme: Check out Tweetmeme to learn about retweeting stats for articles on Twitter.
Twitt(url)y: Find out about hot news with this tool that sorts URLs by how frequently they are mentioned in tweets.
Twackle: With this aggregator, you’ll be able to find news and more in a single destination.
Actually complete your bio. You’ll get more mileage out of your Twitter account if you actually create a profile that says something about you, offering potential followers information about your interests, professional or otherwise.
Learn the basics. Learn the basic terminology for Twitter and the major functions it can perform by doing a little reading on helpful social media blogs beforehand. You’ll thank yourself later.
Get some style. Before you send out your first tweet, decide what kind of tweeter you want to be. The London School of Economics and Political Science offers up three major styles here so you can learn more about the subject.
Learn from others. One of the best ways to learn how to use Twitter is to spend some time seeing how others have set up and been using their accounts. Luckily, there are tons of other academics on Twitter to learn from.
Don’t be mean. The Internet is full of people who are all too happy to say some pretty harsh things, but just because they’re incredibly tactless doesn’t mean you have to be. Never say anything on Twitter you wouldn’t want people to find out about, or wouldn’t say in any other situation. If people are hassling you, ignore them and move on.
Announce that you’ll be joining a hashtag chat or conference. If you’re going to be tweeting more than usual, let your followers know in advance so they can choose to tune out if they’re not interested in your live tweeting or chatting.
Actually respond in a reasonable amount of time. If someone asks you a question or directs a tweet your way, respond as soon as you can, just like with email or any other digital communication, especially if you’re using Twitter in your courses.
Be gracious and say thank you. A little bit of gratitude goes a long way on Twitter. If someone helps you out or shares your research, don’t forget to say thanks.
Make mistakes. No one is perfect, and if you’re new to Twitter you’re probably going to have a few gaffes along the way as you learn the ropes. That’s OK! Don’t let it slow your enthusiasm for using the social site.
Start your own hashtag chat. Twitter chats have exploded in popularity in recent months, so get in on the trend while the getting’s good. Start your own chat on an academic topic, or chime in on other bigger existing chats for a chance to network.
Find and use some hashtags. You’ll make it easier for others to find your tweets if you add a few relevant hashtags here and there.
Do ‘Follow Friday’. Every Friday, Twitter explodes with suggestions on who to follow. Offer up your own and you may just end up in someone else’s suggestions.
Share the stuff you’re reading. Reading a story on a site like Edudemic? Found an amazing article in pop-science about your research field? Share it! If it’s interesting, it’ll probably get retweeted and passed around, and you might just interest a student or two to boot.
Reach out and connect with someone. Not everyone you connect with on Twitter has to be in your field or even in academia. In fact, you might enrich your research and your professional life by reaching out to other fields and professions.
Do some backchannel talks. Whether you have students post to Twitter during class or ask them to share comments during a presentation, these backchannel talks can help facilitate conversation and provide a record of a shared learning experience.
Create your own classroom hashtag. One way to keep classroom tweets organized is by having a shared hashtag that all students use. Just make sure no one else is using it!
Connect Twitter to Moodle or Blackboard. You can help push students to interact using Twitter by adding a Twitter widget to your Blackboard or Moodle site for the class. Follow the instructions here to get started.
Don’t mandate your students follow you on Twitter. Don’t force students to follow you on Twitter unless it’s part of the course. Let them decide to follow or not.
Be happy (see #5 above). You don’t have to be super serious on Twitter to earn students’ respect. In fact, loosening up could just help improve your rapport with your students.
Live-tweet a conference or event (see #6). Share your conference-going experience by tweeting updates about it throughout the day to your followers.
Share some of your lesson plans. Educators and academics can come together to share and collaborate on lesson plans quite easily using Twitter.
Collaborate with other teachers / parents / students. If you find you have similar interests with another academic, use Twitter to work together on research ideas, classroom solutions, and other topics.
Collaborate with other classrooms in your school, district, or another country.Why work alone when you can connect with other college classrooms? That’s just what many college classes are doing these days.
Host reading discussions. Holding a reading discussion over Twitter gives everyone a chance to chime in, even shy students who might not otherwise speak up.
Actually use Twitter for writing assignments. Want to teach your students the art of brevity? Assign them poetry or prose to be written on Twitter.
The Teacher’s Guide To Twitter Hashtags
Are you looking to figure out exactly which Twitter hashtag is the right one to follow? There’s no shortage of options and it can feel overwhelming. Sure, there’s the popular #edchat and #edtech hashtags most of us follow. But what about the more focused tags that you’re missing out on?
I’d suggest using this rather than the longer #elearning
chat platform for flipped classroom educators. See here.
platform for those interested in the flipped classroom.
Obsolete. Use the shorter #flipclass. All about the flipped classroom
Good for finding global collaboration / connections, sharing #globaled practice. Official chats run monthly over 3 days. Click here for schedule
I prefer the student-centered approach, however, where the teacher is more a guide-on-the-side rather than sage-on-the-stage.
Others, too, agree that the trick is to become invisible; active but invisible!
SPIEGEL: But you also said that lists can establish order. So, do both order and anarchy apply? That would make the Internet, and the lists that the search engine Google creates, prefect for you.
Eco: Yes, in the case of Google, both things do converge. Google makes a list, but the minute I look at my Google-generated list, it has already changed. These lists can be dangerous — not for old people like me, who have acquired their knowledge in another way, but for young people, for whom Google is a tragedy. Schools ought to teach the high art of how to be discriminating.
SPIEGEL: Are you saying that teachers should instruct students on the difference between good and bad? If so, how should they do that?
Eco: Education should return to the way it was in the workshops of the Renaissance. There, the masters may not necessarily have been able to explain to their students why a painting was good in theoretical terms, but they did so in more practical ways. Look, this is what your finger can look like, and this is what it has to look like. Look, this is a good mixing of colors. The same approach should be used in school when dealing with the Internet. The teacher should say: “Choose any old subject, whether it be German history or the life of ants. Search 25 different Web pages and, by comparing them, try to figure out which one has good information.” If 10 pages describe the same thing, it can be a sign that the information printed there is correct. But it can also be a sign that some sites merely copied the others’ mistakes.
SPIEGEL: You yourself are more likely to work with books, and you have a library of 30,000 volumes. It probably doesn’t work without a list or catalogue.
Eco: I’m afraid that, by now, it might actually be 50,000 books. When my secretary wanted to catalogue them, I asked her not to. My interests change constantly, and so does my library. By the way, if you constantly change your interests, your library will constantly be saying something different about you. Besides, even without a catalogue, I’m forced to remember my books. I have a hallway for literature that’s 70 meters long. I walk through it several times a day, and I feel good when I do. Culture isn’t knowing when Napoleon died. Culture means knowing how I can find out in two minutes. Of course, nowadays I can find this kind of information on the Internet in no time. But, as I said, you never know with the Internet.