Teaching with technology can deepen student learning by supporting instructional objectives. In the classroom, technology can encompass all kinds of tools from low-tech pencil, paper, and chalkboard, to the use of digital software and tools. UW-supported classroom technologies such as Poll Everywhere, Google docs, and the Canvas learning management system provide ways for instructors to share information and structure dynamic interaction in both in-person and online learning environments.
But selecting the right technology can be tricky. Here are three questions to guide your decision making as you explore integrating technology into your teaching practice:
- What are my learning goals? The adoption of any technology should be driven by the learning goals you’ve identified for your students. The best technology is useless if it isn’t connected to a clear instructional purpose.
- Does the technology add value? Loading up your class with lots of new technologies might seem like a good idea, but asking students to learn new technologies every week forces them to devote time and brainpower simply getting to your content, rather than to the content itself. Avoid choosing a complex technology where a simpler one will do and think carefully about how many new technologies you introduce in your course.
- Is the technology supported by the UW? There are countless technologies available on the web. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to use them. Free software often carries hidden costs that usually involve the sale of student data. The UW carefully vets its technology vendors to ensure that they follow privacy and security best practices. When choosing technology, first explore which technology tools are supported by the UW.
Where to get support
CTL can help with the pedagogical methods for deploying technologies in your teaching. We offer workshops in partnership with UW-IT, individual consultations, and can prepare a custom workshop for your group or department.
Visit CTL’s Teaching Remotely pages to learn best practices, important policies, and essential aspects of effective online instruction. This resource is designed for UW faculty members, graduate instructors, teaching assistants, and staff educators who are seeking information, advice, ideas, resources, and support for their remote course planning and teaching.
IT Connect’s Learning Technologies group can help identify and implement various tools that support teaching and learning. They offer numerous workshops to get you up and running, as well as integrated workshops in partnership with the CTL.
Academic Technologies offers comprehensive media support and services to students, faculty, and staff. They offer a full range of in-classroom audio and video expertise (including help with classroom computers, equipment rental and repair, technical services, and access to an educational media collection).
The Digital Learning and Engagement Team at UW Bothell provides resources and support for faculty exploring learner-centered uses of technology.
The Office of Digital Learning supports new pedagogy in a digital community of practice. They sponsor events and workshops and offer one-on-one consultations.