Posted March 28, 2014

Temple focuses on teaching with technology

Technology is changing the landscape of teaching, presenting today’s college professors with new opportunities for engagement and collaboration in the classroom. Recognizing this trend, Temple held its first Teaching with Technology Symposium March 21. At the daylong event, approximately 240 participants attended presentations and panel discussions about how to incorporate new technology into their lesson plans and keep students engaged.

“The collaborative efforts among Computer Services, the Teaching and Learning Center, the General Education department and the Teaching, Learning, Technology Roundtable made the symposium possible,” said Timothy O’Rourke, vice president of computer services. “These departments exist to expand faculty competence in providing high-quality teaching and learning environments.”

Temple President Neil D. Theobald attended the event and voiced his support for teaching with technology, explaining how instructional technology resources at Temple helped him implement methods to stay connected with students in his own classroom despite his busy schedule.   

Keynote speaker Don Marinelli—co-founder of the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center—stressed that today, creativity and innovation requires “whole brain” thinking. Other presenters offered ideas for meeting the needs of today’s students, who are acquiring knowledge in new ways. They gave nuts-and-bolts tips for conducting polls in class via text messaging, blending live-tweeting into discussions, and using Facebook and Tumblr in curricula.

William Wuest, assistant professor of chemistry, demonstrated that incorporating technology can improve interest, performance and satisfaction in even the most difficult courses.

With Liesl Wuest, senior instructional designer in the Fox School of Business, Wuest discussed how technology can create an active and collaborative learning environment. In addition to using applications that promote student interaction, Wuest encourages his students to take the complicated concepts of organic chemistry and create informative—and entertaining—YouTube videos for extra credit. He has found that students’ test scores improved after presenting lessons about organic chemistry in a fun and collaborative way through technology.

“This symposium enabled faculty to come together for a day to learn about technology resources and share how they utilize technology to enhance learning,” said Pamela Barnett, associate vice provost and director of the Teaching and Learning Center. “I am confident that many left motivated to incorporate something new into their teaching practice.”

- Shae Berler