Teachers at all levels will admit that their students are way ahead of them in terms of understanding how to use new technology. The gap is especially noticeable in higher education. A recent workshop sponsored by the College of Education with support from the NMSU Learning Games Lab and Apple helped faculty members catch up to their students in using iPad2s.
Close to 30 faculty members from Education and Engineering participated in the 4-day workshop, more than anticipated according to Education Dean Michael Morehead. Since becoming Dean in 2009, Morehead has emphasized the need for faculty to be proficient in the use of technology in the classroom. In opening the workshop, he noted, “Technology will reshape the way we education, both nationally and internationally, so colleges of education need to be the place where new technology is modeled and integrated in terms of pedagogy.”
The workshop opened with instruction on iPad2 basics, covered the types of technology currently used in education courses at the university level, and concluded with a session by Glen Banks, a representative of Apple, concerning the company’s latest technology and its application to college classrooms. Participants learned to navigate a number of different iPad applications, including use of games to increase achievement and productivity and the use of the iPad to design lessons.
The workshop was organized by Julia Parra, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction. She received additional assistance from Karin Wiburg, associate dean of research. Parra was pleased with the outcomes from the workshop. Such learning opportunities “support faculty in the development of personal and professional technology skills,” she noted. “The iPad, considered a disruptive technology, is an incredibly engaging device, and the opportunity for faculty to be immersed in a learning experience together was quite exciting.”