Looking for ideas about using technology to teach?

University instructors are finding increasingly creative ways to engage students and enhance teaching using  technology these days.

Many will share their ideas at the TEL@York 2007: Partnerships to Enhance Student Engagement conference May 1 and 2. Aimed at instructors and technology support staff, this year’s conference will highlight the perspectives of various team members in technology-enhanced teaching and learning initiatives at York University.

Organized by the Technology-Enhanced Learning Coordinating Committee, the conference features two keynote addresses, over 30 concurrent sessions and plenty of opportunities to gather ideas and discuss effective, thoughtful use of technology in teaching and learning with colleagues from a range of disciplines.

Two award-winning teachers will give keynote addresses on ways to engage students and enhance their success. 

John Mitterer (left), a psychology professor at Brock University, gives the first on May 1. In his talk, Teaching, Communication, and the Effective Use of Technology to Enhance Student Engagement, he will identify a variety of opportunities for us to communicate more effectively with students as well as opportunities to foster more effective student-to-student communication. He will suggest that understanding teaching as a form of communication gives a firmer foundation for tackling the effective use of older technologies, like chalk, as well as newer digital technologies like PowerPoint, personal response systems, blogs and wikis. 

Corey Goldman (left), who teaches ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Toronto, gives the second keynote address May 2. In his talk, Creating Academic Communities to Enhance Student Success, he describes two successful learning-community programs, each of which fosters connections with fellow students, faculty, and the resources and opportunities available on campus. The award-winning BIOME online community enables life science students to connect with each other outside of class 24/7; over 5,000 students have registered to participate in BIOME’s 220 student-moderated discussion forums, with 2,700 students visiting the Web site each day. The First-Year Learning Communities program helps students who are typically enrolled in large classes with their transition to university. 

Instructors, staff and students from across York will also present their projects, teaching and learning strategies and research around technology-enhanced learning at York, including:

  • Research activities in the TEL classroom
  • Rethinking multimedia-enhanced learning
  • Culture, diversity and TEL systems
  • Social networking & student collaboration
  • Pedagogy and clicker technology
  • Google Earth, moodle, quizzing, games, online assignments, video streaming, podcasting, blogs, wikis, and more.

For more information about the conference program and to register, visit the conference Web site.