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Shifting Sand: Impacts of Technology in Higher Education George Watson Department of Physics and Astronomy College of Arts & Science University.

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Presentation on theme: "Shifting Sand: Impacts of Technology in Higher Education George Watson Department of Physics and Astronomy College of Arts & Science University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Shifting Sand: Impacts of Technology in Higher Education George Watson Department of Physics and Astronomy College of Arts & Science University of Delaware

2 The Way It Was Computation graphing calculators, laptops, gigabytes and gigahertz

3 The Way It Was Communication , voic , chatrooms, FAX, pagers, cell phones instant messaging, wireless connectivity

4 The Way It Was Collections Online Information: web catalogs, networked databases, Britannica Online, online newspapers, course websites, CMS

5 Teaching and learning in the stormy “seas”: Computation and Calculation Communication and Collaboration Collections and Connections The Perfect Storm?

6 Given the amazing advances in technology, the dramatic change in the first- year experience, and knowing what we know about our students, How can we best proceed in our classrooms? The question before us:

7 The principal idea behind PBL is… that the starting point for learning should be a problem, a query, or a puzzle that the learner wishes to solve. (Bould, 1985:13) One possible answer: Problem-Based Learning

8 What is Problem-Based Learning? PBL is an instructional method that challenges students to “learn to learn,” working cooperatively in groups to seek solutions to real world problems. PBL prepares students to think critically and analytically, and to find and use appropriate learning resources.

9 What are the common features of PBL? Learning is initiated by a problem. Problems are based on complex, real-world situations. Information needed to solve problem is not initially given. Students identify, find, and use appropriate resources. Students work in permanent groups. Learning is active, integrated, cumulative, and connected.

10 PBL: The Process Students are presented with a problem. They organize ideas and previous knowledge. Students pose questions, defining what they know and do not know. Students assign responsibility for questions, discuss resources. Students reconvene and explore newly learned information, refine questions.

11 The Problem-Based Learning Cycle Overview Problem, Project, or Assignment Group Discussion Research Group Discussion Preparation of Group “Product” Whole Class Discussion Mini-lecture

12 The principal idea behind PBL is? A. PBL challenges students to learn to learn. B. Learning is initiated by a problem. C. Students work in permanent groups. Think/ pair/ share

13 PBL and active learning The web and instructional technology “Marriage” of PBL and technology How can technology aid student learning in a PBL course? How can PBL aid students in using technology to learn?

14 Web Sites and Web Pages Ingredients for writing problems Utilizing Online Resources Inspiration for designing problems Information for solving problems

15 Ingredients for writing problems

16 Inspiration for designing problems

17 Information for solving problems

18 Web Sites and Web Pages Ingredients for writing problems Utilizing Online Resources Borrowing images from other sites Creating images with scanners, digital cameras Ingredients for writing problems Background facts from networked databases

19 Web Sites and Web Pages Utilizing Online Resources Inspiration for designing problems Online regional newspapers for local perspective International newspapers for global view Quack websites for “raw” material Film and TV sites for scripts and characters

20 Web Sites and Web Pages Utilizing Online Resources Executing web searches effectively Information for solving problems Evaluating online resources critically Old thinking: The web is full of misinformation and biased representation Stay away! New thinking: Engage and develop critical thinking skills. The Internet Challenge!

21 SCEN103 at the University of Delaware Silicon, Circuits, and the Digital Revolution

22 Designed to promote scientific and computer literacy and awareness, SCEN103 gives students an opportunity to leverage their interests in everyday devices and high-tech objects into a study of fundamental science concepts. Live demonstrations, in-class group explorations of technology applications, and daily work with the Internet are essential elements of SCEN103. The course: SCEN103 in Spring 2000 was an Honors colloquium designed to introduce first-year students to some of the science behind high technology.

23 Broad Course Objectives: Explain the basic operation of electrical circuits, simple semiconductor devices, and integrated circuits. Analyze simple electrical circuits to assess their function and effectiveness. State and describe fundamental scientific principles underlying modern electronic devices. Identify the contributions of science and technology to everyday life.

24 A Problem-Based Learning Approach to Simple Electrical Circuits Incorporating PBL problems, Other collaborative exercises, and Hands-on laboratory exercises.

25 Crossed Circuits PBL #1 Energy = power x time Two roommates argue about perceived use of electrical energy. Who should pay more towards the utility bill?

26 A San Francisco Treat PBL #2 Parallel circuits Household wiring Power ratings of appliances Electrical wiring plans are formulated for a building conversion in San Francisco using floorplans from “This Old House”.

27 Batteries and Bulbs Lab #3 Series and parallel combinations Students work from the simplest possible circuit to the challenging circuit on the left and its companion on the right.

28 Motivation for This Project Faster, cheaper ‘what if?’ changes. Anywhere, anytime accessibility to ‘lab’. Wireless technology for collaborative learning. When hands-on experiences in a physical laboratory are not available, computer simulations are often the next best option. For some topics, computer simulations can provide an environment for active learning that is just as rewarding as the traditional laboratory.

29 Implementation of This Project JavaScript and Java applets are often employed to implement computer simulations for learning that can be accessed over the web. Often overlooked are other software solutions that run from suitably configured web browsers -- Macromedia Flash is one such approach. We have created a simple circuit simulator written in Flash that provides an interactive experience for introductory students of electricity.

30 Features of the Circuit Simulator The current version provides a prototyping workspace drag-and-drop selection of resistors and batteries multimeters that can be configured to display current and/or voltage for each circuit element wire cutters and wire to complete and reconfigure circuits to carry out simulated experiments. a written and audio introduction to its use.

31 As initially presented to the students

32 Running a circuit simulation…

33 Demonstration

34 Problem-Based Learning and Physics: Developing problem solving skills in all students The problem-based learning (PBL) program initiated at the University for reforming undergraduate science teaching is being expanded beyond the University by the development of instructional models and materials made accessible to faculty worldwide through an online clearinghouse. The project is developing a database of problems, instructional models, evaluation tools, and web-based resources that effectively incorporate PBL across the content framework of introductory undergraduate physics courses. Materials are being collected and reviewed for a wide variety of introductory physics courses, for both science majors and non-science majors, across all levels of instruction and class enrollment. In addition to collecting existing problems and material, the project is implementing problem-writing workshops as an important element in developing the collection of PBL materials needed to cover the different curricula of physics at the college level. Selected clearinghouse problems will also be adapted to the high school setting. NSF DUE CCLI-EMD

35 PBL2002 Conference

36 Shifting Sand: Impacts of Technology in Higher Education Anytime, anyplace simulations Wireless computing In-class interactivity WebCT

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40 Interactive Student Response Systems

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43 Advanced and emerging technologies in higher education Using Palm Pilots to Enhance Student Learning in Telehealth 3D Visualization for Macromolecules for Effective Instruction… Use of Internet 2 to Bring Creative Arts into the Classroom Exploring Business Issues and Decision-Making with Videoconferenceing and Electronic Meeting Tools Timelines, Delivery of Historical Images by Varied Databases Electronic Portfolios as a Vehicle for Student Growth ERP Recording for Learning about Cognitive Neuroscience Asynchronous Learning Network Tool for Homework Assignments Writing, Structuring, and Designing Information for Screen Display

44 Shifting Sand: Impacts of Technology in Higher Education Computation and Calculation Communication and Collaboration Collections and Connections


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