Integrating Technology and Teaching

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

New Reflections

As I read through the article by Lance Grigg on whether and how technology enhances students learning of social studies, it reminded me of the uses I have already made with technology integration. I taught an AP course in Microeconomics to grade 11 and 12 students. The text and study guide were published by a well known company, and were very good. The text book contained weblinks that lead to side studies, sometimes on prominent economic pioneers like J. M. Keynes. The weblinks may have also taken the student to evaluation tools like self tests and chapter summaries. Or the link might go to a current article on some developing aspect of government monetary or fiscal policy, or perhaps directly to Stats Canada. In many ways the additional material augmented the text book and the students appreciated the insights, and enhancements to their learning experience. As a final note, they all did well on the standardised final exam 1 scored a 5 ( the highest score you can get), 3 scored 4, and 2 scored 3 ( the minimum to get credit for the course at any University that accepts AP scores.

The text book also came with a cd that contained a study guide matched to the text book. The study guide had multimedia presentations, and interactive graphs that you could maipulate by entering some data that might change while other data was held constant, so to see the effect on the shape of the graph. I think it was very good integration, and the students remembered the concepts better, and were able to synthesise with them on new sets of data more confidently.

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