About Me

Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Using technology in a no-tech classroom

I just found out that one of the classes I'm teaching will not have a LCD projector or computer as part of the classroom. There is wireless computer access. The course is "Speech Composition and Presentation", which can be taught without technology. However, last semester I used a variety of video clips to illustrate concepts we were covering in class. In addition, I used technology such as a free teleprompter (web-based) or powerpoint, technologies that are becoming more and more important to use effectively for communicators.

So my quandary is how to teach this class with limited access to technology. I decided to open this up to readers in hope they had some suggestions. Next week, I will outline some of my ideas for addressing this problem.


Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Virginia!

I had to laugh at this post of yours - sorry. It's just that all the classrooms I've ever taught in were low tech classrooms apart from when I was a computer trainer 87 - 92.

The overhead projector, which these days is usally quite portable, is an option. It can project onto a whiteboard or even a light coloured wall. As well, you can print onto Mylar sheet using photocopier or digital printer. Choose a good (big) size font sans serif and work in some colour to your slides (use dense colours).

Remember that colour transparencies works by subtraction so it may pay to check the colours you use by viewing some trial slides.

Oh and, work-sheets, that can be easily prepared beforehand and printed out (yes, I know :-) can often fill the pedagogical moment. If it's any consolation, kids usually like worksheets, especially if they are funny, well designed and have illustrations.

Sorry this is the best I can offer. It's a long time since I've been at the chalk face :-)

Catchya later
from Middle-earth

Seeing instead of looking said...

I've never been a fan of overhead projectors. The bulbs are unreliable the images/words are always too small and sometimes the projector acts as a podium and one gets stuck behind the equipment.

How big is the classroom.? How many students?

You may be able to use chart paper- (very large lined paper) and tack it up around the perimeter of the class. With each new topic/idea you can move to a different chart paper. You can also buy large sticky notes if you wish students to add their ideas and colour code the stickies according to the group or individual contributions.

Vixy net http://vixy.net/ allows you to convert online video to a format with which you could create a DVD. Then you could play the videos on a TV (assuming a TV and DVD are available).

V Yonkers said...

Actually, I have taught in rooms without boards (white or chalk) for this class before. I know I can teach the class in a more traditional way (and have), but I'm trying to figure out a way to introduce my students to the world outside of the classroom.

I did forget to mention that all students will have access to the internet and (thus) the video clips outside of class. As this is public speaking, of course there will be a lot of speeches and planning of speeches inside of the class. But how do I pull them out of the artificial environment that I find exist on college campuses?

For example, for this class I do a lot with audience analysis. In fact, I have multiple worksheets for the students to work on in trying to analyze the audience. I found it very effective to have students watch a video together than fill out the worksheet about their impressions of who the audience is and how the speaker addresses the audience (i.e. is it appropriate, does he over or under estimate their understanding of the issue, does he capture their attention, how).

I might be able to have access to a DVD player. Thank-you Kate for the sight. That is one option.