Reflections of a 30-ish-year-old young professional

teAchnology: Swaying the Biased, Herding the Dinosaurs, and Overthrowing the Technocrats

Presenter

Cristina Sullivan, Tarrant County Community College

Session Abstract

Adjusting the course to meet the needs of the students instead of expecting students to adjust to our styles and expectations. The biggest obstacle to being student ready is instructor mindset. This session will focus on 1) recognizing and reflecting on our attitudes and actions in online course spaces 2) mapping strategies to address instructor led activity that may diminish student outcomes and experiences. Specifically we will address faculty bias about student abilities, faculty who are not yet proficient with technologies proven to enhance student learning and instructors whose tech knowledge and enthusiasm leads them to give students app overload or feel left behind. We will share and solicit best practices for creating inclusive, accessible, and engaging online courses.

My Notes/Thoughts

Dinosaurs

Definition/characteristics: Care about students, less confident with tech, grounds in older paradigms, want to improve, may be easily overwhelmed, initiative overload victims.

Herding the dinosaurs

  • Scaffold changes
  • Communicate
  • Allocate resources
  • Make it meaningful

https://twitter.com/TGustafson/status/963817084063924224

What I find interesting about the dinosaurs category is that they (Tarrant County CC) is providing A LOT of resources to help instructors revamp their courses. They have a studio for instructors to record videos and then the ID staff makes it look fancy/cool – that’s a great idea, but how many resources (people, money, etc.) does that require? And is that scalable?

What I like about their approach with course design is that it’s an 8-week course, and the instructors that work on the courses are given a $1000 stipend. It’s done as a team approach with the ID as the project manager. Not only does the ID work to keep the development team on track, but the process is very prescribed – during week 1 of the process, you are developing the syllabus; during week 2 they are creating the course outline, etc. I really like this process because while every course design is different based on the content/department, but this process breaks it down to make things easy to understand and not as overwhelming for the instructors who are developing the course.

Biased

  • Deficit mindset
  • Feel “alone in wilderness”
  • Weary, burned out
  • Afraid to be enthusiastic
  • Confident in their skills and their “way of doing things”

https://twitter.com/evinsmj/status/963819140640206848

Technocrats

  • They love technology
  • They use Twitter, GroupMe, Padlet, Wizlette, Bitmoji, Google Hangouts
  • They are early adopters
  • They get excited by potential fixes
  • They care about engagement

https://twitter.com/evinsmj/status/963820863916093440

I really liked this session. Oftentimes, people assume that all instructors are dinosaurs or biased and therefore resistant to change, but that’s not the case. Also, people assume that all students are technorats, but they discussed during the session that that’s just not the case either. There are ways to engage with all categories of faculty, and similar to us not wanting to leave our students behind, we should feel the same about our instructors also. Like I mentioned earlier in this post, however, the types of engagement to cover all categories of instructors requires adequate funding – which is usually not available.

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