Wikis are an online tool that allow numerous individuals to access and edit the same document at the same time. They are a powerful educational tool in the right situations, but the problem is that there are scores of wiki applications — which one is best for your purposes? Well, to help you choose, you might make use of the online Wiki Wizard, which asks you a series of questions and then recommends a handful based upon your responses. Try the Wiki Wizard here.
I like maps. This may seem odd, given that I have no sense of direction (either literally or metaphorically) and that I don’t like to travel. But it’s true, I can happily pore over maps of cities that I’ve never heard of and countries that I’ll never visit. Perhaps it’s the illusion of of order that maps provide: everything is in its place, fixed into position by the mighty power of the cartographer’s pen. This may also be why I like concept maps and concept map software. Continue reading Personal Brain – Mark Morton
“If you keep your mind open stuff will fall in” — that excellent adage is the invention of Tommy Hunkeler, a grade-six student at Elizabeth Ziegler Public School in Waterloo. Tommy, along with more than a hundred other people (ranging from elementary school students, to undergraduates, to university faculty members), participated in a contest that was part of the 2009 Loving to Learn Day. Continue reading “If you keep your mind open, stuff will fall in” — Mark Morton
The purpose of technology is to allow us to do things more easily or more efficiently so that we have more time and energy to invent more technologies. That, at least, would seem to be one way of describing human history, from the invention of the wheel, to the steam engine, to the first vacuum-based hair-cutting systems. Whether this technological progress has had a positive impact on the human condition is, I think, open to debate. Personally, I rather doubt that we are any happier now than our predecessors were a century, three centuries, or thirty centuries ago. True, we don’t have to contend with the bubonic plague or demonic possession; but neither did our ancestors have to deal with TV shows involving Tyra Banks or with being on hold with Bell Canada for half an hour. Continue reading Google Docs – Mark Morton
What is the FLEX Lab? The Flexible Learning EXperience Lab is a unique learning space whose primary mission is to support innovation in teaching and learning. Located on the third floor of the Dana Porter Library, the FLEX Lab comes equipped with twenty wireless Tablet PC computers, two wireless data projectors (one on each end of the room), a document camera, Continue reading The FLEX Lab: Facilitating Innovative Teaching and Learning – Marta Bailey
I once had a student in a class I was teaching tell me that although he found my course interesting, he was dropping it so that he could instead take another he thought would be easier. He was concerned that my class, being offered by the Faculty of Mathematics, would lower his overall average, and might affect his chances of getting into a pharmacy school after he graduates. His decision was made after only my second lecture in the first week of the semester, and I am still wondering to what extent he made the right choice. Continue reading Is Grade Inflation at UW Affecting How Our Students Choose Their Courses? – Greg Mayer
Instructors have been urged to adopt new educational technologies for a long time: see the newspaper article below from the September 2, 1930 issue of the London Times. My favorite passage: “One of the difficulties of bringing together the teacher and the machine is that the former is not usually mechanically-minded. He is accustomed to working with his mind, and is shy of having to manipulate knobs and wheels and switches which may go wrong.” Continue reading Mechanical Aids to Learning! – Mark Morton