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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dealing with mobile devices

The SDSU Center for Teaching and Learning finally has a new website and I have to say hallelujah! It seems like a small thing but as someone who spends a lot of time on the Web, the old site was sooooo painful to deal with. But we've now moved to Wordpress so there's a blogging feature, which means I can tag stuff and people can actually find it, and there are cool plug-ins to deal with stuff like the events calendar and faculty profiles. Yeehaw!

One of the challenges of moving to the new site is that I've been killing myself to get content on the site so there's actually something there worth looking at. Before we went live, I added a bunch of back-dated posts for old events, but I also am trying to create content that is actually useful for instructors who want to know more about some specific topic. Given the wealth of information that already exists, I'm mostly curating links from other places but also trying to highlight 'best practices' and provide some guidance for people who may not have thought about these things much before. I'll be adding these topic pages over time and since they are mostly things of general interest to anyone who cares about teaching, I'll likely cross post here.

I just added a page today on 'dealing with mobile devices in the classroom', following a CTL event we had on this topic last week. Go take a look and let me know if there's anything I should add... Regular readers of this blog already know I like to use cell phones as clickers, but I thought it was interesting that at last week's event, one of the suggestions that no one seemed to have heard before was the idea of breaking for a 'tech check' - that is, if you are going to restrict device use, it can be helpful to let students know you will stop periodically to allow them to check their phones. Not only can this alleviate the anxiety students might have about putting their devices away, for those who mostly lecture, it can be a reminder to break up lectures into smaller chunks (which, if you're going to lecture, is definitely a good idea!). Anyone have other suggestions for dealing with mobile devices in the classroom?

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