Displaying items by tag: technology

Thursday, 04 March 2021 10:57

Highlighted examples of Teaching and Learning

This page will highlight some of my latest examples of teaching and learning activities. You may find some of these examples elsewhere, and the examples will change overtime.

Please click here for my Teaching Dossier.

 Pages: Finding the Groove

Published in Curriculum Vitae

The following is the cover page for a course I co-designed called "The Domains of Teaching". It is a 3-hour modular course to introduce clinical faculty to the basic notions of teaching.

The interface represents significant HTML background styling and design to produce this simple and clean looking set of links to the various modules. The links to the modules do not work outside of the Canvas LMS system. Each page in this course is designed in Rise, an Articulate course design software

Some features to note, which are not evident in this representation are the links to modules which are embedded in the Canvas LMS. This feature allows us to break with the built in menu and provide our own, which thus lessens the clutter on the main menu.

Another feature is the 'Check your Progress'. This feature is much requested in the Canvas forums , but was not available. I have created a work-around which extends the functionality to include an automatic tracking feature for users. 

Please see the static image of the top of the live course:

dot cover

Published in Teaching and Learning
Sunday, 23 August 2020 08:07

Thoughts on Educational Technology

I have worked with educational technology in institutions around the world since 1995, when I built my first website to share my lesson plans and handouts with students. The response from that early effort has driven me over the 25 years since, to look for every opportunity to infuse curriculum projects with technology. I have worked with educational technology in institutions of higher learning, in institutions dedicated to vocational studies, in K-12 institutions, in several different countries, all of which wanted to improve outcomes for their students.

In all of these cases, they used their educational technology to support curriculum development, communication between stakeholders, to support interactions between teachers and students, to support interactions between students and students. Here at our institution, we have a wide range of excellent educational technology tools. We too want the best opportunities for our students. We too need to support curriculum development, communications, and interactions between teachers and students, between students and students.

If we can demonstrate to ourselves the value of enhancing the uses of educational technology, then we will be on the road to finding more time to communicate and interact, more ways to communicate and interact, and eventually more ways to produce better outcomes for our students.

First, our students already use many different tools to tackle the complex problems they must master in our demanding curriculum. In fact, many of our students far exceed us, their teachers, in their use of educational and internet-based technologies to support their own learning and educational outcomes.

We must ensure that we are building the use of these tools into our curriculum and pedagogic practices in order to facilitate and allow our students to better access resources including us. Let us use some of the social media tools they use to communicate with them. Let us use some of the tools with which they are familiar to share resources and ideas with them. Let us let them demonstrate to us how to use these tools to better serve their needs.

Second, it is our responsibility to use the vast array and range of tools that have been provided by our institution to our students’ best advantage, to give them every opportunity to be successful.

Our institutional tools are ‘industry standard’. They are already embedded into many of our practices. Let us better utilize these tools. Let us show our students how we use these tools and how they can use these tools to better communicate, to access the many electronic resources we have ready for them.

And, while we are at it, let us let them share their thoughts on our usage. There are far many more students using these tools than there are of us teachers. Surely their combined experience will teach us many things about these tools.

We love our students and we love our disciplines. Imagine the success we can have, and that our students can have, if we take advantage of the tools at our disposal to help our students be the best that they can be. Imagine if, when the printing press was invented, that we decided that textbooks would not be useful. How wrong we would have been.

Let us pick up the tools that will enable our students to experience greater success. These tools are sitting at our fingertips.

Published in Curriculum Vitae
Thursday, 11 February 2016 10:36

Technology in Education - A Second Language?

Linda Liukas, in her Ted Talk, discusses her vision of the future where computer languages become the next second language that children will learn as they grow. She is not the only one. Code.org also offers computer programming lessons that start at age 5 for KG children and then lets them progress up through increasingly complex actions, but all done in informative and interesting ways.

hello ruby 200

In her Ted Talk (below), at 4:32, she comments, "unless we give them (children) tools to build with computers, we are raising only consumers instead of creators". She then goes on to discuss the internet of things and how young children can think of the most amazing uses for computers. 

She also makes a very interesting comments about getting "back to basics". As an advocate of technology in education, I hear this refrain quite often. Lets get back to basics in Education and not worry about all this distracting technology. However, to Linda, back to basics means lets strip away all the layers of wonderful media and get to computer basics - how do they work and what language do they speak?


In the UK, computer programming will start at age 5 and in Nova Scotia, all schools are now using Google Apps and other such tools throughout the school system. These tools are becoming a second language to the students. 

I cannot imagine where all this technology will lead, but I am very excited to find out.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016 08:45

All you need is ... Teachers and Technology

Reading through the regular influx of emails and reports that I receive about Education, Technology and Development, I am struck by a couple of thoughts. One issue is that we have a shortage of teachers. According to the UN Global Education First Initiative report, 

"Globally, we need an additional 1.6 million teachers to achieve universal primary education by 2015. The shortage of teachers, combined with absenteeism and the lack of qualifications, is a major barrier to learning. We need a strong cohort of both female and male teachers who are paid well and respected in their communities." - See more at: http://www.globaleducationfirst.org/219.htm#sthash.LCJxig27.dpuf

© UNESCO, Nicolas Axelrod

The report lists many other issues as well, not least of which is access to supportive technologies and ICT resources. There is a connection between this lack of teachers and the consequent lack of education among these various populations and some of the troubles we experience in parts of the world.

Infographic Quality Education for All Web 200

I also read a significant amount of reports about the use and growth of technology in Education. I am particularly interested in mobile technologies. One reason is that in many parts of the developing world, mobile connectivity is the only option. The UN Mobile Learning site tells us that, "Today over 6 billion people have access to a connected mobile device and for every one person who accesses the internet from a computer two do so from a mobile device." They also note that, "over 90 percent of the [world's] population is blanketed by a mobile network."

At many universities and colleges mobile technology is becoming more readily available to support all sorts of activities. I tweeted this podcast about using an app to support academic advising where the the college advisers could access student data much more quickly and thus have much greater time to actually counsel and not just compile. My point here is that if we are graduating new teachers who cannot manipulate these new tools properly and effectively to support their students, then we need to rethink what we are doing.

Friday, 14 November 2014 02:46

Future Work Skills

Future Work Skills

As Sir Ken Robinson tells, us, we have no idea what will happen in the future. Even 50 years ago, people would expect that they would get a job and then do that job in the same way for the rest of their lives. Nowadays, we cannot even imagine what we might do two years from now.

Look at this page: http://code.org/. There is a discussion and video about the 'Hour of Code'. I asked a question to the HCT_UAE the other day on Twitter. Where is our hour of code? 

IFTF FutureWorkSkillsSummary 01


Look at this graphic. It, too, is asking about skills for the future. What are we doing to prepare our students? I might even ask, forget about our students: What are we doing about ourselves?

I hereby challenge you to demonstrate some skills in the following sites between now and the next semester. I am sure that there will be a way for you (EDTC and PRIM year 3 students) to build some lesson plans around these activities. 

I look forward to your comments.

As part of our curriculum development and program clarification efforts, we are trying to:

  • Map assessments to course outcomes to program outcomes
  • Present a holistic overview of each program.

Below is my attempt to present a holistic overview of the program. The graphic only includes the core Educational Technology courses (with the exception of two courses that are clearly and directly related to technology).


Figure 1: Educational Technology: An Overview

Ideally, the graphic should be self-explanatory. However, to support the graphic, here is a short explanation.


Year 2
Semester 1

Examines content and media in various forms.

Examines how to manage content - file management and portfolio development

Year 2
Semester 2

Begins to look at how to integrate content into usable formats

Examines the use of online forums and communities to share content

Looks at learning theories that help to support the design of learning objects

Year 3
Semester 1

Looks at delivery systems

Looks at networks that can support delivery systems

Examines the interactions between sections of a platform

Integrates learning objects and modules into existing networks and other systems

Year 3
Semester 2

Looks at complete, open source systems

Management of full learning platforms

Employs a variety of complex tools and their ability to integrate into platforms.

This graphic should start a conversation between stakeholders about the program and how we can better integrate the different courses into the teaching practice.

Saturday, 07 September 2013 17:39

EDUC 403 - Week 2 - Appreciative Inquiry

Well, during the past week we spent quite a bit of time setting up our portfolio technical requirements. I think we made good progress.

showcase documentsShowcasing Documents

showcase linkedin

We also discussed the concept of curating our documents. Our board notes...


... transformed into this:


Thje notes below will be added to week 3 and edited to reflect our new reality.


This week we will begin our Appreciative Inquiry into your teaching practice.

Go to the AI worksheet. If you scroll down, you will see that the most difficult part is the first part (at least in my mind) - Discovery. We will spend a bit of time in your groups to write down some of your thoughts. I want to see these thoughts in your portfolio somewhere. Alternatively, we can discuss as a class where you should keep these thoughts.

The next section is, Dream. Building on your outcomes from the discovery section, where do you see yourself? Imagine where you will be in 5 years from now! If you can do that, you can more easily decide where you should go next semester.

At this point, we can segue into a discussion of Social Construction. When we discuss new methodologies of teaching, we often discuss the concept of "Team Teaching". Below is a diagram that highlights this process.


From a social construction point of view, can you:

  • explain the benefits of this approach?
  • imagine how this approach might be developed in a school setting?
  • highlight your perceived role in this team?
  • use Moodle to support a team approach?

From the first task assessment, you are asked to discuss: ..."preferences in teaching practice sites." Based on the model above (or you can find your own model), Describe how you see yourself fitting in to the model.

Published in EDUC 403