I am not a superhero but I do have secret weapons! : using technology in higher education teaching to redress the power balance
AffiliationSheffield Hallam University
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AbstractThis article explores the role of technology in supporting student learning. It expresses the view that university/college students need to have educators who act as 'superheroes' seeking to understand their students' views of the world and their learning experiences within it. The author explores how a range of 'secret weapons' namely learning and communication technologies have been used by a reluctant adopter (not a superhero) to simply and effectively engage and empower students in the classroom. The overall aim of this approach was to offer students an opportunity to learn in a way that will put them in a strong position to be successful not only at university but also in their life ahead. Beginning with a discussion of the current UK learning context and the power dynamics that exist within the university classroom, the article then goes on to offer practical and pragmatic advice on using a specific range of technologies to support student learning. These technologies are a student response system called Socrative (available as a free smartphone app); Google Sites (a free website building tool - used for enhancing case studies and designing authentic assessments); tablet computers and audio (voice) feedback recorders. The paper concludes with a range of general tips for those adopting new technologies. These include involving the wider team (fellow academics and learning technologists) as well as students. Additionally it encourages thinking about pedagogical and practical approaches that need to be considered when adopting new technology either in the classroom or in assessment.
CitationBlackburn, M. (2015) 'I am not a superhero but I do have secret weapons! : using technology in higher education teaching to redress the power balance'. Journal of pedagogic development 5 (1).
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
JournalJournal of pedagogic development
Series/Report no.Volume 5
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