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Tech Spotlight – Dr. Randy McDaniel

September 25th, 2009 IMG Posted in Tech Spotlight Comments Off on Tech Spotlight – Dr. Randy McDaniel

Dr. Randy McDaniel

Dr. Randy McDaniel

I want this to be a mobile program so that students, wherever they are, can access us.

Ten years ago, Dr. Randy McDaniel envisioned having class on the phone. Now, ten years later, he and his department are rapidly approaching that possibility. Since students are becoming more engrossed in technology, Dr. McDaniel is interested in incorporating cell phone text messaging into courses by allowing students to respond to survey questions from their cell phones. This would allow students to use a skill that they are comfortable and familiar with (cell phone texting) and applying it to their course material. He also has plans to have his distance learners record and upload their presentations to YouTube so that the local students will be able to visualize the distance learners while in the classroom.

Dr. McDaniel also uses Poll Everywhere to conduct surveys with students who are physically present in the classroom as well as students who are enrolled in the course from a distance. Poll Everywhere allows for the instructor to pose a multiple choice question, and students are able to respond to those questions from their computers in the classroom or at home. One fascinating aspect of about Poll Everywhere is that the class is able to watch the results come it live. Other forms of technology used in this department include Blackboard chat room, Real Media, Wimba Live Classroom, and podcasts for students to download MP3 and MP4 audio files that students can listen to while on the road.

Dr. Randy McDaniel is currently the Wayne T. Smith distinguished professor in the College of Education. His specialization is in rehabilitation and special education. Dr. McDaniel praises the technology that he uses in his courses for the interaction it provides if it is used properly.

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Tech Spotlight – Dr. Kimberly Walls

September 10th, 2009 IMG Posted in Tech Spotlight Comments Off on Tech Spotlight – Dr. Kimberly Walls

Dr. Kimberly Walls

Dr. Kimberly Walls

Welcome to the new classroom … but this is not the typical room with four walls and one door. In the Department of Music Education, Wimba Live Classroom is used to teach research methods, music education curriculum, and multimedia production for music instruction. Most music education students lead double lives as students and teachers, and Wimba Live Classroom has become a maestro learning tool within this department. With Live Classroom, professors can be prepared to teach no matter how far away their students are located. So how far are we talking? According to Dr. Walls, Professor of Music Education, most of the music education students are distance learners, tuning in from locales such as Georgia, Texas, Missouri, and even Pennsylvania! Dr. Walls has even been able to teach guitar lessons via Wimba to students sitting right in their living rooms.

Wimba Live Classroom opens up many doors, allowing students and teachers the luxury of rewinding and replaying those memorable moments that will enhance learning and teaching. Using Wimba, Dr. Walls is able to interact with her distant students by seeing them live from their homes through her computer screen and manipulating what they see on their screens. For example, a PowerPoint that she is presenting in her physical classroom at Auburn University can also be seen on the screens of her students at home. This form of learning is ideal for professors who wish to make valuable use of their physical class-time while allowing students the opportunity to learn beyond the classroom.

Dr. Kimberly Walls is a Professor of Music Education and Program Coordinator at Auburn University. Her research interests include the learning styles of graduate students and how effective distance-learning is for them through the various uses of multimedia in music education courses. In the future, Dr. Walls envisions music education courses with more live interaction through mediums such as the Wimba Live Classroom, podcasting, and Adobe Connect, seeing each as a possibility for distance learning.

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Tech Spotlight – Dr. Paris Strom

August 6th, 2009 IMG Posted in Tech Spotlight Comments Off on Tech Spotlight – Dr. Paris Strom

Dr. Paris Strom

Dr. Paris Strom

Dr. Paris Strom, Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Technology, has been teaching at Auburn University since 2001. Dr. Strom first began using technology in his teaching at a high school in Arizona, where he used PDAs (Professional Digital Assistants) in the classroom and developed the Motorola grant-funded Parent Alert Signal System, a system of behavioral conduct codes for teachers to send to the pagers of their students’ parents.

Currently, Dr. Strom teaches hybrid and distance Blackboard classes at the undergraduate and graduate level. These hybrid classes, such as Child Development and Adolescent Development, allow the students to meet a few times during the semester either in groups or individually but to do the majority of their course work online. Using Blackboard, Dr. Strom gives the students a detailed “Plan” of activities for each week, which includes reading assignments, quizzes, video lectures, short online films and videos, PowerPoint presentations with voiceover, class discussion board posts, and other learning modules. Dr. Strom finds that this combination of in-person and online communication and collaboration works well with his students’ schedules, since many of them must balance intense class schedules with labs and teaching observations.

Along with his teaching, Dr. Strom incorporates technology into his research and outreach. He is the co-author of Adolescents in the Internet Age, a text geared toward parents and teachers that examines the way technology has transformed the way adolescents learn and socialize, and he is one of the founders of learningpolls.org, a free service that allows schools to poll their students and receive instant feedback on a number of important issues students are facing today, including stress, cyberbullying, internet learning, and time management.

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