Gary Strong, Lecturer in Paramedic Practice in the Faculty of Health and Human Sciences, answers our TEL themed questions:
What is your earliest memory of digital technology in the classroom?
Learning to create PowerPoint presentations in the early 2000s.
Which digital technology do you use most in your teaching/work practice, and why?
PowerPoint, Moodle. Convenience as much as anything. I am under-utilising Moodle at present and would like to do much more with discussions, quizzes, pre-recorded lectures, interactive video based activities, etc.
What benefits do you think this technology has for students? what student/user feedback have you had about this digital technology?
Students seem to like having a PowerPoint to refer to, and they watch skills videos, but otherwise I have been surprised by a certain reluctance to engage with other digital media for learning. This was not the case at the previous HEI where I worked and it would be interesting to explore the reasons. Perhaps it is all part of a cultural shift which takes longer in some places than in others.
Which technologies have you found to be the most influential over the past 10 years in your teaching?
The ubiquitous PowerPoint, but for me, this is much more influential when used in conjunction with audio and video narration. Also online asynchronous discussion, a very powerful learning tool if used well. I think we have not yet realised the potential for both formative and summative activities based in online structured discussion. At least, not in my discipline.
What do you predict will be the biggest or most exciting development in education/digital technologies over the next 5 years?
Some form of mobile device friendly learning platform which allows fast easy access to learning material and the co-creation of learning experiences. But then I think we already have this, we just need to use it more effectively.