Monday, August 16, 2010

Subliminal Teaching with Technology

I don't think I have to spend even a few minutes trying to convince any educator that the use of technology in and out of the classroom provides numerous advantages. There are many success stories that have proven this point many times over, whether it is an elementary school using iPads in the classrooms or a college level course using clickers.

In this blog, I will attempt to elaborate on some of my experiences. Over the last 12 years, I have experimented with and implemented various solutions. Nearly all of these have been software solutions that had no cost associated with them in terms of real dollars. Of course, with some solutions the cost in time investment can be enormous, but by involving students in the implementation of these solutions can help soften the impact.

In the traditional teaching techniques, students' commitment is broken down into three main components:
  • Classwork
  • Homework
  • Assessment

First of all, this view has to be refined. One big advantage with technology is that it allows the educators access to a chunk of students' social time, providing the ability to conduct "subliminal teaching." While a student is socializing online via facebook, a diversion to a class page/group would fit neither classwork, homework, nor assessment, though there is a great opportunity to reinforce a few concepts. Similarly, twitter messages about course material would go under the subliminal teaching category. Technology provides other such opportunities to teach, solicit feedback, and get students involved in the learning process through implicit commitment.

In the future posts I will focus on various software tools and their applications.

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