Panelist Profile: Sierra Clibourne

 

Bio/Degree:

Senior, Computer Science

Concentration or Specialization:

Game Development

 

Innovative Course(s) Name, Number of Students, and Short Description of the Course

Chem 150 – Matt Gartner (~ 50 students)

Data Communications / Computer Networking – Michael Fahy (~20 students)

Data Structures and Algorithms – Rene German (~20 students)

Artificial Intelligence – Erik Linstead (~25 students)

 

Type of Technology/Innovation Used in the Classroom

PollEverywhere

Blackboard

G suite

Github

LinkedIn

Slack

Kahoot

 

Opportunities/Challenges Faced with the Technology/Innovation

Overall, I believe the biggest opportunities when it comes to technology in the classroom is facilitating a bridge between the university, the professor, and the student. It’s important to make sure the professor and student can always clearly articulate ways in which they are thinking and acting. Failures in learning are almost entirely miscommunication-based, and technology contributes a way to facilitate many different types of education because learners come in different shapes and sizes with different talents.

My biggest challenge with technology is the barrier to entrance and the learning curve on the side of both the professor and the student. It’s not uncommon for students to have to walk a professor through a web-based interface, or a professor to assign something on a new technology without any training on how it works. I recall using WileyPlus in two classes and it was a sort of guessing game of clicks until I accomplished what I needed. Similarly, many professors don’t use technology because of a sort of fear of change, and this is a detriment to both student and professor. These tools are here to help both parties but there really needs to be a support system to introduce these systems to those utilizing them in order to assuage fear and facilitate proper multi-modal learning. In other words, there needs to be proper training and professors really need to commit themselves to these new platforms instead of doing the bare minimum and then accomplishing the teaching solely in the classroom.

 

Response as a Student and Recommendations for Instructors

Much like my challenges with classroom technology, my suggestion to Instructors is to not fear change, and to utilize resources they may not know exist on campus. Don’t be afraid to walk to IS&T or email in when you have any questions about any technology. There are people on campus whose sole reason of being here is to help you set up your classes on blackboard, and they will walk you through every step. They will also walk you through TurnItIn, Kahoot, any Google app, Microsoft Services, and anything else that’s offered. Don’t take a backseat in your own class online.