Facilitating Learning with Technology

Photo of instructor in front of classroom holding a mobile tablet device - teaching to a group of students sitting at desks

Teaching with technology can deepen student learning by supporting instructional objectives. However, it can be challenging to select the “best” tech tools while not loosing sight of your goals for student learning.  Once identified, integrating those tools can itself be a challenge albeit an eye-opening experience. The Online Learning Innovation Hub is here to help you (novice, expert, and everyone in between) find creative and constructive ways to integrate technology into your class. If you are looking to flip your class, make use of Blackboard, or simply want to experiment with some new instructional technologies, we can help.

To arrange an appointment or consultation, call CELT at 515-294-5357 or email celt@iastate.edu.

What do we mean by “technology”?  

The term “technology” refers to advancements in the methods and tools we use to solve problems or achieve a goal. In the classroom, technology can encompass all kinds of tools from low-tech pencil, paper, and chalkboard, to the use of course management tools or high-tech tablets, online collaboration and conferencing tools, and more. The newest technologies allow us to try things in physical and virtual classrooms that were not possible before. What you use depends fundamentally on what you are trying to accomplish.

How can technology help you?

  • Asynchronous tools allow participants with very different schedules, and in different time zones, to work together online, at their own pace. Canvas has a number of tools that allows students and faculty to access resources at each person’s own convenience and schedule, visit the MyCanvas Teacher at ISU website.
  • Audience response technology, such as Top Hat, is a quick and easy way to survey students during class. This is great for instant polling, which can quickly assess students’ understanding and help instructors adjust pace and content.
  • Course management tools such as Canvas allow instructors to organize all the resources students need for a class (e.g. syllabi, assignments, readings, online quizzes), provide valuable grading tools, and create spaces for discussion, document sharing, and video and audio commentary. Visit the MyCanvas Teacher at ISU website.
  • Lecture-capture tools, such as Panopto, allow instructors to record lectures directly from their computer, without elaborate or additional classroom equipment. Consider recording your lectures as you give them, and then uploading them for students to re-watch. Use the ISU Lightboard Studio to film tutorials for solving difficult problems or explanations of more complex topics that would otherwise take up a significant amount of class time.
  • Online collaboration tools, such as those in CyBox, allows students and instructors to share documents online, edit them in real time, and project them on a screen. This gives students a collaborative platform in which to brainstorm ideas and document their work using text and images.
  • Synchronous tools allow live interaction, using a tool such as Zoom, learners may exchange ideas and information with other participants simultaneously, such as a ‘live’ online chat session, virtual office hours, or a video and web conferencing.