Mobile devices: Student ownership and usage

As we experiment with new learning technologies that depend on mobile devices  it is worthwhile to take stock of student’s ownership and usage of mobile devices. The following data comes from the 2015 Educause Center for Analytics and Research (ECAR) survey.  411 Brown University students completed the survey.

  • Of the 383 students who answered this question 98% owned a laptop and 94% owned a smartphone.
  • Majority of the smartphones (73%) were iphone, followed by Android phones (24%).
  • Majority of students (97.5%) used a laptop to do academic work for most or all of their courses compared to smartphones (18%). Another 12% reported using smartphones for at least half of their courses. This is overall academic use related to the courses not necessarily use in the classroom.

Working at the Intersection of Instructional Technology & the Public Humanities

Let me start of this post by saying “hello!” I started working as the digital humanities graduate fellow with the ITG last August, but am only now trying my hand at the blog.

I’m an MA student in the Public Humanities Program and my interests lie in digital humanities, public history, informational education, and museum studies. As the inaugural graduate fellow to the ITG, I work with staff to assist faculty incorporating technology into their curricula and research. Course blogs, digital exhibits, interactive mapping—this past semester has shown me the wide variety of faculty projects here at Brown. For my first post, I wanted to highlight some of the questions I hope to explore during my time here at the ITG.

What is the relationship between creators, audience, medium and message?
Digital learning projects bring many players to the table. Faculty, students, and instructional designers each leverage their own agenda and expertise. So, how can we work to balance these interests with the resources available? What content, which narratives best lend themselves to digital storytelling? How do we edit and manipulate content so that it translates from the classroom (or on paper) and onto the web? Continue reading

Team Based Learning and the CATME toolkit

Team-based learning or project-based learning with a semester long group work component are successful learning strategies to keep students motivated, engage them in authentic learning activities, and prepare them to work in diverse multidisciplinary teams in the workplace.

For this approach to be fruitful, instructors design a semester long sequence of learning activities culminating in a final project. The experience is enriching when the diversity of the classroom is reflected in the teams rather than when students create their own teams based on familiarity.

Although this sounds promising, instructors may face challenges. . It is time consuming to gather demographic information from students and create teams that offer the best combination of participants to take advantage of the diversity. It can be difficult to judge team performance and intervene when needed. Moreover, many instructors find it unfair to assign the same group grade to all individuals when it is not clear how much each member contributed to the team work.

Continue reading