Just do IT! workshops - An update
|Date:||15 August 2016|
About half a year ago ICTOL started the Just do IT! workshops to offer staff at the Faculty of Arts training in digital technologies that they can use for teaching.
Improving digital literacy is generally recognised as one of the greatest challenges for education (e.g. NMC Horizon Report 2015) and we felt our university has too little to offer in supporting staff in using even the commonest tools for teaching. That is why we decided to Just do IT!
We have dealt with many different topics, including: Assignments, tests and grades in Blackboard; Google drive, docs, classroom and hangouts; Touchscreens and smartboards for presentations; simple animations with PowToon and Educational video clips with Screencast-o-matic.
The workshops are guided by the following ideas:
Show teachers which technologies are available and relevant in our university environment, let them use these in hands-on sessions, and prepare them for continuing the use them after the workshops;
Involve fellow teachers in running the workshops, inviting them to demonstrate what works well for them;
Focus on technologies that may simplify work for teachers and not make it more difficult;
Restrict the time of each workshop to one hour at most and try repeat workshops and vary the times so that many staff have a chance of participating.
During this first half year 95 staff have participated in the workshops, in August another 75 have participated. Participants who responded to our surveys rated the workshops highly overall, sometimes making suggestions on how we might improve them further. Most respondents indicated that they intend to use the particular technology for teaching and learning.
This is very promising result, so we have decided to continue the Just do IT! workshops on more or less the same basis. Of course we will be offering new topics. Our new series starts in August. The overview of workshops and information about registering can be found here.
We are hoping to welcome many new staff during to these workshops. Later this year we will be organising ‘come back’ events, where participants are invited to report on how they have started using these tools and exchange information on how they can be used to maximum effect. If you have any suggestions for improvement or other topics that we should try to address please contact ICTOL at ictol rug.nl.