Richard J. Daley College
In a recent course, a student returning to school to enhance her career by attaining a college
degree found she was having a very difficult time. Later, the instructor learned that she was having
a difficult time in all of her courses. She said she found it confusing because there was so much to
learn. Since there was a great amount of material, she honestly could not determine what was important
from what was not important, nor how it all made sense.
With some guidance from the teacher, and particularly by using various technologies options built
into the course, she learned how to succeed in her learning. She learned to focus on the "why"
while utilizing the appropriate "how" for her education. As she put it in a course evaluation:
"There are many ways to accomplish leaning in this course besides meeting with the teacher - the teacher's
support web site, the publisher's student assessment web site, the classroom software, the online
PowerPoint lectures - all I have to do is use what works for me!"
This student scored perfect scores on some parts of the course exams - and at the end of the semester
she said she was now getting a grade of "A" in all her courses!
There is no one-size-fits-all educational approach. Listening to students is important for developing
teaching excellence since it results in providing the student with alternate paths for success: different
students, different paths, and different technologies! This is just one of the many values of technology
infusion. Developing alternative paths within a course can make for greater student success in learning
At our college, students say that they use more "new" technology in the Philosophy of Religion course
than any other course! Yes - and a Philosophy of Religion course at that! However, it is not the amount
of the technology that matters, but rather its appropriateness. Match a particular technology to the
particular needs of the student. So, develop not just one path to success - but with the infusion of
technologies - many paths to success.
So, how will you infuse technologies into your courses?
The PT3 materials are replete with examples of technology infusion that are highly
transferable between disciplines, but one guiding principle that grew out of this perspective was to
peruse the results and insights of the students through frequent feedback on classroom-technology-enriched
methods. Regular surveys and persistent questioning of students outside the classroom can prove very
helpful for keeping technology vitally infused with learning. How much are your students looking forward
to your next class? How reluctant are the students to leave your class when the class time ends?
It is difficult to teach when a student fails to come to class or comes to class infrequently.
Even when a student attends a class, there is no guarantee of his or her "presence." Good teaching
translates into a student participating in class, wanting to learn, and succeeding because of a
methods-rich use of technology - and not in spite of the technology.
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