Much has been written about integrating technology into a classroom. The question that is usually asked is, is it really necessary — is it really useful? In my opinion, the traditional approach of chalk and board still has its place but I strongly believe that educational technology could offer myriad of pedagogical benefits. Technology today, in various forms, have grown tremendously and have permeated all areas of our lives. Similarly, students today are connected in ways that previous generations could never have imagined and this has a direct implication on how they learn and impacted on how teachers teach in a classroom. So it makes sense to connect with our students in ways they are already familiar. It is incomprehensible if educators today are still reluctant to use technology in teaching and learning activities or still perceive technology negatively. Of course, as most things in life, we should be cognizant of the shortcomings and over dependent on technology. Too much of a good thing also runs the risk of becoming ineffective. Technology should always be used in tandem with sound pedagogical principles. It’s NOT THE ONLY thing, but it will add value. It would never replace good teacher!
How can traditional modes of classroom instruction engage and inspire students when life outside the classroom has changed so dramatically? I believe in leveraging technology available to enhance educational experiences of my students. Although I teach a full time course (face-to-face), I also supplement some topics of the lecture in the form of online (virtual) lecture. This is done to further enhance understanding of certain difficult concepts or to discuss more examples which otherwise not covered in the classroom due to time constraint. Preparing some lectures as online lecture also serve a few functions: (1) I can ask the student to view the lecture before the class (normal face-to-face lecture) so that I can use the class time for more discussion and interaction; (2) student can review the lecture at their convenience.
The online lecture is done in the form of PowerPoint presentation (converted into Flash format) using my favorite rapid authoring tool, Articulate Presenter. Flash format is essential because the file size is much smaller than the native PPT file – this is important for fast access and to cater for slow internet connection. A software such as Articulate Presenter (which is part of Articulate Studio suite) is called “Rapid Authoring Software” which allows non-techie like me to develop e-learning course easily – and rapidly! In most cases the lecture is combined with narration and sometimes including the “talking head”. To be honest, preparation of good online lecture is strenous and time consuming. It involves preparation of the slides, script for each slide, recording and editing the video, recording the audio and finally combining everything into a single presentation. However, with regular practice, the process of preparing online lecture would become easier and faster.
Chalk and Talk or Technolody. Do I Have a Choice? by Dr. Abd Karim Alias is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.