The primary goal of ETS Faculty Learning Communities is to explore best practices in teaching and learning as they relate to technology. These are small study groups that receive support from Educational Technology Services. FLC members set their own schedule and agenda to discuss their experiences and to share information. FLC members create a year end report of their findings that can be in any form of the group's choosing (a document, a presentation, etc.). A small stipend is available for participants.
iPad Faculty Learning Community 2011-2012 had a very successful learning community of 6 members who focused their attention on uses of the iPad generally in their role as professors. They intend to continue as a group through 2012-2013 and concentrate most specifically on the iPad in classroom instruction. With this goal in mind their year end report is in the form of a letter of request to the Committee on Educational Technology for the purchase of iPads to be used as loaners for whole classes.
Their own experiences with iPads over the year have been fruitful. They report feeling confident in basic use and beyond that they were pleased to have experimented with applications for presentation, for writing and notetaking, for annotating their students’ written assignments (PDFs), for online research, and for data collection and display. The members became accustomed to cloud storage.
Educational Technology Services has a loan program and participants may borrow an iPad for the entire school year.
We would like to start a second iPad LC or add new members to the existing one. Please contact Aisha Gabriel, email@example.com, if you would like to learn more or to join.
E-textbooks Faculty Learning Community The electronic textbook industry has mushroomed and students now expect to do some of their reading electronically. Several online businesses offer the purchase or rental of e-textbooks. The market includes core higher education titles in electronic form, sometimes at a much lower cost than printed textbooks. Separately, there is a growing market in ibooks, innovative formatting that boast strong media-enhanced content. In addition to text laced with videos, pop up maps, and animated illustrations some ibook publishers have designed extra features such as sticky notes, flashcards, and reader-created quizzes. These publishers usually offer exam copies for professors. Apple is offering a free ibook software for creating your own electronic book and has textbooks for download purchase from its ibook store.
The 2012-2013 E-textbooks Faculty Learning Community will explore ibook publishing of their own plus evaluate the e-textbook market for their courses. It is hoped that their experiences will give guidance to other faculty about assigning electronic reading and about the true availability of desired textbook titles. Please contact Aisha Gabriel, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to learn more or to join.
Collaborative Tools Faculty Learning Community Collaboration is more than just a trendy buzz word today. It points to experiments in community-driven classroom environments here at Smith and other campuses. Faculty are looking at collaborative learning and its positive outcomes for their teaching goals. Various educational technologies can be useful. The 2012-2013 Collaborative Tools Faculty Learning Community will define a project goal for the year in their exploration of the use of Google Docs, Moodle, WordPress, and other collaborative tools. Please contact Aisha Gabriel, email@example.com, if you would like to learn more or to join.