5 quick tech tricks to present content and keep your students engaged

If you’ve read anything by me in the last few months, you know I’m all about engagement. I can have the most info-rich class and send out tons of great data, research, and theory like a buffet of knowledge I put before my students, but if they’re not into it they are not going to learn it.

Just being able to regurgitate it back on a quiz is meaningless to me. I teach people who want to be educators—I have a responsibility to them and the children they will teach. It’s my job to get the message out about how to teach in a constructivist framework, differentiate instruction, and integrate multicultural literature.

Here are 5 things I do that keep my students active and engaged.…Read More

5 terrific edtech tools for creating a highly engaging online (or hybrid) course

So many faculty have approached me lately and said that they have been asked to teach an online or hybrid class. I love teaching—online, hybrid, in person—and I find that actually I use many of the same tools for each. Here is my list of go-to edtech tools, which are especially useful in the online/hybrid environment.

Remember: It’s all about engagement. If you just dump a ton of information into your course management site and don’t have a way for your students to interact with you, you’re wasting your hard work and their time. Our students will engage online if they feel that there is a real live person responding to them—whether that’s you or another student in the class. No matter who, it’s the connection that counts.

The best edtech tools for online courses

1. Screencast-O-Matic

It’s free, it’s easy, and you should use it all the time. There are other easy video sites but to me this is the one that gets the job done. I use it from day one. I do a short video (and I mean seriously short because I hate being on video) introducing myself as a professor and a person. They love it and their first assignment is to do the same.…Read More

How online courseware boosted student engagement at Kennesaw State University

Universities nationwide are facing the same challenge: how to make textbooks more relevant, meaningful and engaging for students. This problem has grown as the lack of student engagement—especially among general education classes—continues to be a contributing factor to today’s rapidly declining RPG (retention, progression, and graduation) rates.

For Kennesaw State University (KSU) in Georgia, educators were working to overcome this same obstacle while experiencing rather high DWFI (D, fail, withdraw, incomplete) rates in one of its institutional requirements, WELL 1000L Foundations for Healthy Living. Students were not successfully completing this required course, which could jeopardize their college careers.

With a desire to lower the DFWI rate without compromising the academic integrity of the course, KSU faculty and staff decided to alter the WELL 1000 objectives while also replacing the textbook with online courseware that equipped students with more emerging technologies to help boost student engagement.…Read More

3 smart marketing strategies to boost student engagement and retention

There’s a problem that every institution faces, no matter its level of size or ranking: keeping students engaged, excited, and, most importantly, enrolled.

As increasing competition crowds the higher education marketplace, two questions continue to plague enrollment management personnel: How do we capture the attention of our target audience, and how do we keep prospective students engaged throughout the admission and enrollment process?

These questions are something that all institutions must consider, especially in today’s rapidly changing academic landscape. Many institutions also face the same challenges when responding to these questions: decreasing budgets and a lack of internal resources.…Read More

University research will evaluate physical data to gauge teacher effectiveness

GSR technology could give an advantage to 'tyrannical' teachers, Ravitch says.

A student’s physical reaction to a classroom lesson soon could be used to judge how successful—or unsuccessful—an educator is in keeping students engaged.

Researchers and Clemson University received a nearly $500,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in November to study Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) bracelets, which house sensors that measure a student’s physical reaction to learning—such as increased sweating—and uses the data as a way to grade an educator’s performance.

Wireless sensors produce readouts showing whether students are alert, anxious, bored, or excited in the classroom, and as Clemson researchers determine the reliability of this experimental technological gauge, many in education are skeptical of the GSR bracelets as a mainstream classroom tool.…Read More

Can Twitter use help improve grades? Some researchers think so

Twitter use helped students communicate more with their instructors.

Twitter use might be more than an extracurricular activity for college students, according to researchers from three universities whose work suggests that using the popular microblogging service to discuss academics could help bolster student engagement and success.

In an article published in the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning Nov. 12, researchers unveiled findings from a midsized college campus that suggest students who communicated through Twitter during and after class had a GPA of about a half-point higher than students who didn’t use the social media site.

Students who used Twitter also scored higher on a student engagement exam administered at the college, which was unnamed in the article, titled “The Effect of Twitter on College Student Engagement and Grades.”…Read More

Can social media cure low student engagement?

Students can access an array of education applications of Facebook Courses.
Students can access an array of education applications from Facebook Courses.

Keeping college students and their professors connected through social media outlets could be key in boosting graduation rates, education technology experts said during a panel discussion at Social Media Week in New York.

Social Media Week ran through the first week of February in five cities worldwide—New York City, San Francisco, London, Sao Paulo, and Toronto—and authorities from the business world, academia, and other fields discussed how social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are shaping global culture.

During a Feb. 6 session called “The Future of Social Media in Higher Education,” a five-person panel explored how colleges can use social networking to communicate with traditional and nontraditional students, what impact the new Apple iPad might have on student-faculty communication, and why Blackboard is not meeting some students’ social media needs.…Read More