Monthly Archives: November 2014

Issues facing Oklahoma Teachers

At a recent conference, we asked Oklahoma P12 teachers for their comments about issues they’re facing. Here are some of their responses:

  • Schools are struggling to hire qualified teachers.
  • [We need] to treat teachers with respect and pay them what they deserve!
    • We should NOT be #50 [rank in teacher pay per state] in the nation!
  • Give teachers autonomy, room to innovate, money for improving and developing, and provide them with technology and access to be innovative.
  • We need to keep trying new technologies!
  • Students are struggling with reading for understanding, memorization, and effective searching & evaluation of information sources.
  • Preservice teachers should be working more with non-classroom teachers, like librarians, GT teachers, and others.

What issues do you see or hear about in schools? In what ways could Colleges of Education help address those issues?



Using the T.E.C.H. Playground as a collaborative meeting space

We recently hosted a meeting for faculty and staff who are building international partnerships with an institution in Mexico. We’d like to pass along feedback we had about using this space for open, collaborative meetings. Vallory Vencill, College of Education Coordinator for International Studies and Off-Campus Programs, had the following to say:

The tech playground proved to be a great place to change a meeting into a guided discussion. We really wanted to get faculty members’ ideas about how their content or research interests could be developed with the OSU-Mexican partnerships, and the space and technology provided a relaxed and engaging atmosphere that got people talking. For example, around the perimeter of the room, monitors displayed pictures from the envoys’ trip to Puebla, which invited people to look around instead of staring straight ahead at a lecturer. Also, the playground is just the right size for a group of eighteen to sit comfortably and talk and be easily heard, so the presenters spread out around the room instead of sitting as a panel apart from group. The meeting actually went over in time because of all the ideas people were sharing, which is a marked difference from a meeting in a traditional lecture hall where the last slide says “Questions?” and everyone sits there quietly.

Should you be interested in holding a meeting in the space, let us know, we’ll be happy to work with you!


UnMeeting Monday: Interactive Technologies for Relevant Engagment

Want to see students more engaged in learning? Here are some tools that may be helpful to you!
Idea: Create a “paper” on the topic of your course for students to see the real-life applications. Here’s an example from EDTC 5403 Creativity and Innovation in Educational Technology: An assignment might be for each student to share an item from the class paper they find interesting/surprising/confusing/curious.

Idea: Keep up with the conversation on a topic related to your course by searching with a hashtag. Here’s an example of a search on the topic of college teaching: Students could analyze the discussion occurring on social media about this topic.

Idea: Create a shared library of resources for your students to add to and continue to use long after the class ends. Example: Ed Tech @ OSU

Google Drive
Idea: Use these tools for collaborative work.

Idea: Have students do an online presentation with audio and visual information using Jing.

Idea: Give audio feedback to student work with a simple podcast, or have students post their own questions/explanations.

Idea: This is a great online presentation tool for students to present with.

Scribble Maps




UnMeeting Monday: Interactive Tools for Rigorous Assignments

Today we played with all kinds of tools that could be used to increase the rigor of assignments. Here’s a list, but please add to it by responding to this post!

A video annotation tool that could be used in a flipped classroom scenario or for student responses/discussion to a video.

Share a URL with students, and they can annotate websites with a variety of colors and styles, add sticky notes, categorize annotations, share with others via email, etc.

Have students create interactive presentations that are more like interactive apps.

Have students create a visual timeline with geographical connections using this app and Google Earth.

Have students create a multimedia timeline on a topic.

This is a iPad app students can use to create a quick narrated presentation using visuals and/or handwriting.

Explain Everything
This app is much the same as EduCreations but has more options.

Have students create a presentation with an avatar as an actor.

Create speaking avatars in English or other languages.

Create blended learning lessons so easily! You can also add assessments. So great for blending face-to-face with out-of-class activities.

Today’s Meet
This is probably the easiest backchannel tool there is. You could make a backchannel available as you are lecturing. What else might you use this for?

This is a game-based classroom response system for students to engage in on any device.

A very useful tool to create a variety of online assessments.

Infuse Learning
Yet another useful tool for assessing student learning.

New Research Team on Curiosity

A group of curious scholars met in the T.E.C.H. Playground this morning to form a new research team on curiosity. Here are some of the questions we’ve brainstormed:

What is curiosity and how do you measure it? How do you build curiosity in your classroom culture? Are there skills that can be taught and practiced to make you more curious? What raises curiosity and for how long – can you sustain the curiosity over a long period of time? Learning environments and learning spaces – can one sustain better than another? Do senses play a factor in curiosity? Why aren’t you more curious about making learning fun? Teaching like you were taught – are you more curious if there are curious people around? Is curious contagious, is it infectious – what is the barrier to that curiosity and what prevents it? Is curiosity socially acceptable? Is curiosity inherent or learned? Can curiosity overcome other barriers? Do different disciplines define/value/reward curiosity differently?

Are you curious yet? If so, join us Monday mornings at 9:30am in 326 Willard!