Pennsylvania State University
This section is here to help you understand some of the ways technology can be used to take your courses into the 21st Century, whether you teach face-to-face or through blended learning delivery formats.
Currently there are many forms of educational technology that you can implement into your classroom. Whether your students are adult students, or traditional college level learners, the use of technology can be used for multiple reasons. Using technology engages and motivates learners, provides a source of information, allows learners to collaborate and share knowledge, and is an excellent form of communication. Technology also addresses the variety of learning styles in your classroom.
A Student Centered Approach
What are you looking to do?
|Using Technology for Preparing Your Course||Using Technology for Designing Your Course||Using Technology for Assessment|
|Teach my courses [partially] online.||Make it easier for students to communicate with myself and each other.||Create online quizzes and exams.|
|Augment my face-to-face courses with technology.||Share pictures with my students.||Find an easier gradebook tool.|
|Publish my syllabus online for my students.||Share videos with my students.||An easy way to create polls for my students.|
|Learn more about educational technology.||Publish materials online easily and quickly.||Compare technologies that are available.|
|Save time by working online.||Meet with students online.||Raise awareness about plagiarism and use online tools to identify when it happens.|
|Meet others to develop and share ideas about courses.||Allow students to work online.|
|Record my lectures for online access.|
|Use high-quality videoconferencing to teach to classes across the Commonwealth.|
|Create or access a virtual world for exploring your teaching content in new ways.|
|Use games to enhance the learning process.|
Below you will find some common educational technologies. This information will help you identify whether or not that specific tool is appropriate for your course and learners. Also, for new 'techies,' we have provided links for tutorials and suggestions on how to use the educational technology. PSU also has an account for lynda.com which contains tutorials on these Web 2.0 technologies listed below, in addition to several others.
Defining Web 2.0 Technologies
What is a Blog?
"A blog is a simple to use tool that empowers you to publish online quickly and easily. Simply stated, it is a website that you can easily update and contribute to from anywhere you have an Internet connection. A blog is a place for personal reflection, a place to take notes, share pictures, publish your movies, and anything else that you can dream. It belongs to you and you have the power to make it whatever you choose."
Resource: Blogs at Penn State
What is a Wiki?
"A wiki is a tool which allows a group of users to edit a set of Web documents from a browser without needing to use a separate HTML editor.
Many people use wikis as a home page editor, but others use it to build jointly created documents. In many respects, a wiki is similar to a content management system like Plone or Drupal."
Resource: Penn State Learning Design Community Hub
What is a Podcast?
"Podcasts are simply audio and video content that you can subscribe to. Subscribing ensures you are notified when new content is available. Podcasts are easy to create and are an effective means of distributing rich educational materials.
Podcasts are an effective educational tool for two reasons. First, people learn better when they experience information with multiple senses. Supplementing text with audio and video will help your audience remember your message.
Second, platforms like Penn State on iTunes U and Blogs at Penn State make it very easy for people to find and access this rich educational content. Removing obstacles allows students to get to the information they need quickly."
Resource: Podcasting at Penn State
What else can Google do for me
Did you know that Google is more than a search engine? Google provides you with the capability to create an online document that allows several authors, create websites, wikis, and search for images. Below are links to the resources and suggestions on how to implement Google's tools into your classroom.
What is an e-Portfolio?
"In its simplest terms an e-portfolio is a collection of evidence. Students use their personal Web space account to plan, reflect upon, and then publish evidence of what they've learned at Penn State. Students use either the Penn State Blog or common web publishing tools to share important aspects of their collegiate experience!"
Resource: e-Portfolio at Penn State
To check copyright and the originality of papers, PSU students and faculty can use TurnItIn. It is a tool that can be used to prevent plagiarism by returning an originality report. For instructors to register for an account, you may e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information on TurnItIn, visit http://tlt.its.psu.edu/turnitin/Faculty.html.
Recommendations for Effectively Incorporating Web 2.0 into Teaching and Learning
If you are interested in learning more about Web 2.0 technologies and how to implement them into your courses, you may be interested in Just2It! This professional development opportunity is designed to provide faculty with a safe environment to explore and evaluate a range of technologies that include Blogs, Google, Twitter, and Facebook.