Teaching with Technology
Since I started my teaching career in 2014, the implementation of technology has been essential to my teaching philosophy. In each course I design, I make sure technology is at the forefront of the class. This includes using technology as an instructor (mostly via multimodal presentations such as videos, podcasts, comics, and, in some instances, video/board games). I believe that technology is not only a fun way to engage students in writing and rhetoric, but it is beneficial in learning new concepts, techniques, and technologies themselves.
Each semester, I build in a multimodal project that requires the utilization of technology in some aspect. In the past this has been in the form of creating advertisement/infomercials, children’s books, comic books, music videos, news reports, songs, and podcasts. While these individual projects are created through different means of technologies (such as iMovie, Photoshop, Audacity, and analog technologies—crayons, pencils, and pens) the production of a project outside the assigned written essays has proved to encourage students to generate meaningful content while considering their audience and topic.
Beyond projects, I encourage students to use digital technologies, such as Canvas and Google Docs, for submission and feedback. Hard-copies are a bit antiquated and less practical than digital undertakings. I also encourage digital exploration through online research, as well as critically analyzing videos and websites (e.g. music videos, news websites, and films). Each use of technology has a specific purpose to employ concepts discussed in class with real-world examples. This unique approach helps students find practical uses for their ideas and inquiries.
Using new technologies is imperative to foster inquiry in content and creation. In my courses, students can expect to learn a technology with which they may be unfamiliar. I find using technology that makes me uncomfortable initially—whether that’s due to a new medium or learning curve—are the moments that I learn the most about creating content, considering my audience, and, beyond that, finding a sense of accomplishment. It’s in these moments of placing ourselves in a new, difficult situation, I imagine, where we truly understand inquiry and understanding.
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