Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Learning Technologies Engage Students

Engaging students is one of the key ways to help them succeed through the challenges of gaining an education. Even when the course material is difficult, an engaged student sees the resources available to help him or her succeed, whether that resource is a fellow student offering help, an approachable faculty member, or an engaging curriculum material.

At Purdue University, a full-time Informatics group—part of the Information Technology department—works to develop learning technologies that will keep students engaged and ultimately help them succeed. Converge Magazine reported on three award-winning engagement apps Purdue has developed using social and mobile tools students already use.

The first engagement app, Hotseat, is used in large lecture classes and allows students to ask questions of the professor or other students during lecture where they can receive quick responses. Mixable, another engagement app, is a tool students use outside of class to connect with each other to give and get help. Finally, DoubleTake is an engagement app for courses that give video assignments. DoubleTake allows students to record video using their mobile phone and send it directly to their professor. Each of these learning tools takes advantage of technologies that engage students and help them succeed.

Many instructors in high schools and colleges say that the technologies in TestOut’s LabSim engage students who are learning IT. The brief videos and demonstrations are interspersed with hands-on labs, where students practice real-life tasks in computer maintenance, networking, or information security.

Mark Price, IT instructor at Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES in New York State, said he is utilizing LabSim to engage CABOCES students in their education. “The mindset of the class is engagement. Students are ready to learn anything you put in front of them,” he said. According to Price, LabSim’s realistic graphics and interactivity in hands-on labs makes LabSim “like a game, so students play it.”

Have your students been better engaged in IT education since you’ve incorporated LabSim? What elements of LabSim engage your students the most?

No comments:

Post a Comment