Digital Teaching Adjuncts

Tip Sheet:  (printable sheet)
Digital teaching adjuncts are increasingly common and versatile. No longer is Power Point considered a cutting edge tool for teaching. Today’s physician-teachers now choose from a wide variety of multimedia tools that can transform a complex or dry subject and make it easier to understand and remember. Indeed, it will soon be necessary (if not past time) to understand how to navigate through this rapidly evolving field in order to keep up with the learners we are charged to teach. While this field is too broad to cover in depth in one handout the following will intriduce key concepts in modern approaches to learning and how different technologies can facilitate learning when used appropriately and with an understanding of their limitations. As with any adjunct the key is: the right tool for the right job. The tools listed below are supported by Emory University’s Center for Interactive Teaching: ecit.emory.edu
Key Concepts::
1. Active Learner: years of research demonstrates that the “traditional” model of one teacher instructing a group of passive learners is a weak model to transfer information and understanding. Teachers must find ways to engage the learner in the process to achieve attention and retention of material. The goal is to create an environment in which the learner is active in the process by identifying knowledge gaps and taking advantage of exercises that allow the learner to integrate new information into their existing knowledge base.
2. Flipped Classroom: Current approaches to the learning environment has changed the emphasis in the role of a teacher. The old (“sage on the stage”) model introduces material in the group setting with exercises (homework) to reinforce concepts. The “Flipped Classroom” introduces the material prior to the group setting (asynchronous learning) using electronic media (e.g. recordings of lectures, written material, videos). Learners are able to view the material repeatedly if needed. The group or collaborative learning setting (synchronous learning) then allows the teacher to address questions and gives the learners opportunities to wrestle with exercises with the teacher available for guidance.
3. Universal Design for Learning: A great deal of research in education has examined the different learning styles of individuals. The goal of Universal Design for learning is to avoid barriers to learning by offering a variety of approaches. Multimedia tools provide a rich array of methods to present information and concepts in different manners to meet the needs of those with different learning preferences. The goal is to design a lesson that is accessible, flexible, simple and intuitive.

Digital Tools (further description of these examples available on-line and @ ecit.emory.edu)
1. Polling tools: allow the teacher to engage learners through (potentially anonymous) immediate feedback without interrupting the flow of a lesson:
   • Today’s meet
   • Poll Everywhere
2. Asynchronous Discussions: engage learners at their convenience with electronic discussions
   • Twitter
   • VoiceThread: allows you to draw on images
   • Blogs
   • Discussion forums
   • Wikis
3. Document sharing: facilitate collaboration on written and multimedia projects
   • Googledocs (aka Google Drive)
   • Dropbox
4. Digital story telling: multimedia tools offer powerful ways to engage the learner that are usable for those with beginner-intermediate computer skills
   • iMovie
   • Camtasia (allows editing)
   • Audacity: record your teaching session, beginner level
5. Electronic Cataloging: create your on-line multimedia syllabus or presentation
   • Live Binders
   • Scholarsblog: more space, better support, only for teaching purposes
   • Storify
   • Wordpress: ideal for < 20 students, more visual options; portable
   • Blogs.emory.edu: 2mb limit
6. Multimedia formats for presentations (alternatives to PowerPoint, Keynote):
   • Glogster
   • Prezi
7. Synchronous e-learning and meeting:
   • Google Hangout: free with Google + account, up to 15, room is always available, good and reliable audio and video,       can share your computer screen, ideal for multiple individuals meeting, best with headset/microphone (e.g. Bluetooth)
   • Adobe Connect: $120/yr; up to 100 connections; better for 1 to group presentations, requires Flash software; allows       screen sharing, chat-room, can record sessions
   • Skype: speed of connection no faster than the slowest member
8. Games: engage learners with fun activities – nice alternative to tests
   • Jeopardylabs.com