Sunday, December 10, 2017

Reflective Practice

When reflecting on the educational technology that was explored this semester in SFCP 604, the information that I gleaned falls into three main categories: the stuff that can be used in-class in synchronous learning environments, the technology that is utilized in an online environment (purely asynchronous), and the great stuff in-between that is used to augment face-to-face (F2F) environments.  The latter is described as blended learning and can refer to offering online components within the F2F class, such as; flipping teaching, so that students watch the lecture as homework in advance, and then come to class prepared to work on an assignment; or whole group rotation.  I see a lot of benefit to using blended learning in teaching as it allows students to work at their own pace, and the instructor is available every step of the way to assist with the learning, ensure understanding, and build foundational skills.

Other key takeaways this semester include tools that can be used to strengthen the material that you share with students.  Here are a few of my favourite tips:

  • use the snipping tool to cleanly crop and copy images into your PowerPoint presentation
  • use a dark background on your slides, so that you as the presenter have more contrast than your presentation
  • use images and a minimum of text to support your presentation (i.e.: your audience did not come to read your slides)
  • use Kahoot! or Poll Everywhere for instantaneous formative feedback
As a librarian, I use technology everyday.   When I prepare an instructional session, I rely on online databases to showcase academic research.  When I answer reference questions, the majority of the time the student is asking about citing and referencing and in turn, I am checking online sources to ensure that I am providing the student with the correct information.  When I participate in meetings, my colleagues and I use Skype for Business, to share our screens, collaborate on projects and to discuss ideas.  I order books by searching online sources and then emailing our acquisitions clerk.  And finally, I organize my life and all of my tasks using Outlook. 

As I look to the future, I am hopeful that technology will continue to enhance my teaching.  That I will always be curious, and that I will always be learning.  With that in mind, I created a PowToons video for this final assignment.  I have used PowToons before to create a short video, and decided to use it again for the animation options and the professional look and feel of their video production suite.  I had not realized until it was too late that there was a five minute limit on the free version of their software.  I was too invested to start over from scratch, so I used it as an opportunity to learn, to grow, to take a risk and to be creative.  So without further ado, here is a link to my final project:

List of images used in my presentation that were found outside of PowToons:

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