Using Technology for Connection, Engagement and Empowerment in your Classrooms

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On January 14th, Dr. David Yearwood led a day-long workshop for faculty and staff that focused on using technology to help actively engage students, promote collaboration and build community in the classroom. Yearwood, who is chair of the Technology Department at the University of North Dakota, enthusiastically demonstrated a number of ways in which technology can be used by faculty to improve learning and take advantage of technologies many of our students already use. Participants learned about the benefits (and many pitfalls) of using blogs, wikis, and video presentations to deliver classroom content. Yearwood also focused on innovative techniques to improve student engagement using familiar tools like clickers and PowerPoint presentations.

One way of getting students engaged in class discussions is to pull their names out of a virtual hat. Dr. Yearwood demonstrated a simple program named "The Hat" which randomly pulls students names out of a hat to assign groups or choose a lucky student to start a classroom conversation. The program is available for free download at:

http://download.cnet.com/The-Hat/3000-2132_4-10074565.html?part=dl-65499&subj=dl&tag=button

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