Posted by: Ellie Kutz | October 24, 2011

Overview: What’s New

Both the tools of educational technology and faculty uses of these tools keep changing rapidly, offering new possibilities and new ideas for what we might do in our own classrooms.

In this issue of the newsletter, we’ll consider the ways in which current academic practices and educational expectations are being transformed by what’s new within the educational technology resources that we’ve been using on campus, updating our readers on what’s new and what’s coming in educational technology here at UMass.

We’ll consider what’s on the horizon as publishers move toward offering textbooks as eBooks and more and more students and faculty turn to mobile devices such as iPads and Kindles for reading. We’ll look at the new university website and offer some hints for navigating it. We’ll offer updates on the coming transition from our current learning management system (Blackboard/Vista) to Blackboard Learn, on new features  in Wikispaces and the pedagogical practices they support, and on a new demographic filter available for iClickers.

We’re finding that what’s new in educational technology supports increased possibilities for interaction and engagement, supporting students in online collaboration, but also their own interaction with course materials.  We see that as older tools and platforms are refined and further developed, the changes facilitate both collaborative and more active individual learning, that teaching can almost painlessly involve more and more integration of different media, and that learning is becoming ever less bound in time and space.


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