Summer is quickly approaching which for many means sun, fun, and relaxation. It also is a great opportunity to further explore educational interests that may have been put aside during the busy school year. I am presenting you with a “Summer Bucket List”, if you will, to get more familiar with the great technologies available to UIS faculty that can be utilized during the school year. All of these resources can be used to greatly enhance the educational experience for students and educators alike.
Establish new ways to communicate
This spring, UIS launched WordPress Blog Service. Faculty, staff and students are now able to create their own blogs. This summer, dabble into the blogging world and try creating a blog for your fall courses! Blogging is a great way to maintain communication with students throughout the semester, and can be integrated into several aspects of course material. Upload lecture notes, create discussions about topics, post updates frequently, and share current news related to class materials.
Learn how to use an Interactive White Board
Remember that big whiteboard behind the screen in your classroom? It’s not just a whiteboard-it’s Interactive, and everything about it is just that. This summer, check out everything these boards can do, and get familiar with using them. They are simple, and a great way to increase involvement in the classroom with students.
Get familiar with TurningPoint
TurningPoint is another tool that can be very valuable to your courses. It is software that integrates with your PowerPoint presentations or other lectures that allows you to “poll” your class. Through clickers, your students can respond to your questions and you are able to receive instant feedback. Stimulate discussions, conduct quizzes or tests, take attendance, or receive general feedback on students’ understanding of the lecture material. This easy yet innovative tool will be sure to keep students focused and on track.
Be sure to get in some good R&R this summer, but to also check out these great tools! Questions? As always, feel free to contact us!