At USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College, faculty and students routinely use digital technologies as part of the classroom experience in face-to-face meetings, online-only classes and in the blended classroom (classes that meet partially online and partially in person). From e-mail to YouTube to Skype, the digital classroom generates a rich learning experience for LAC students.
LAC’s Assistant Professor of Leadership & Organizational Studies Elizabeth Fisher Turesky Ph.D. stated, “Given our global society and the greater need for students to be skilled in virtual shared leadership, I teach mostly blended classes,” referring to innovative classes that include both face-to-face meetings in a classroom, as well as online classes in which students “meet” in virtual classrooms. “A study done by the U.S. Department of Education, a meta-analysis of over 100 researches done between 1996 and 2008, showed that blended learning has a larger advantage relative to face-to-face learning and purely online learning. I have found this to be the case.”
“Technology is just another teaching tool, it’s part of our culture at LAC. YouTube is a tool for online demonstrations, tutoring, lessons and research and is used in all types of classes – face-to-face, online, and a blend of the two types,” noted LAC’s Associate Professor of Education Paul Caron, who outlined an area which he’d like to see funded, “Skype (a program that uses video and audio to connect people) is being used more and more in the classroom and all faculty should have computers with cameras that allow teacher and student to interact face-to-face in a virtual classroom.”
Blackboard is an online software tool which allows instructors to teach all or part of a class on the Web. When signed onto Blackboard, students can view important announcements, contact information, participate in
online discussions and in group activities, access course materials and resources on the Web, and submit assignments, take online tests and quizzes, and check grades.
Elluminate is another software tool that enables students and faculty to share voice, chat, desktop applications and a whiteboard live via the Internet. It is an innovative tool used for online classes, meetings and seminars.
Skype is software downloaded to the user’s computer that enables people around the world to have live conversations. Skype is used by millions of people to make free video and voice calls, send instant messages and
share files with other Skype users and is becoming another digital learning tool on college campuses.
YouTube allows people to easily upload and share video clips on its site and across the Internet through Web sites, mobile devices, blogs, and e-mail. Students and faculty use YouTube as a source of current news and
course-related videos to watch and share.
The shift to greater use of digital technologies saves a considerable amount of resources while encouraging greater communication between students and faculty.
For more information on digital technologies at LAC, contact Dan Philbrick at 753-6575.