Academic Tech News, Week of 9/8

Becky Weintz

The big story this week was Apple’s September 9th announcement of their new products for the year. We covered some of the implications for OU earlier this week.

Apple Watch: Coming to a Classroom Near You? – 9/10
“Even if wearables lead to novel teaching techniques, there’s no denying their potential as classroom distractions. A Facebook notification vibrating at a student’s wrist can divert her attention from even the most interesting seminar. “The challenge we face with all of these technologies is, when are they supporting legitimate learning and when are they detracting from it?” said David M. Levy, a professor in the Information School at the University of Washington. “When you look at the wearable stuff, what I notice is further integration of the technology into our lives, increasing accessibility, and then, this trend toward invisibility.”
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5.5 EdTechie Reasons Why I’ll Buy the iPhone 6 Plus – 9/11
“Reason #1 – Typing E-Mail: Is your primary e-mail machine your computer, tablet or laptop? I tend to read more e-mail on my iPhone, and compose more e-mail on my laptop. My thumbs are too fat for the size of my current iPhone screen. My hope is that the 5.5 inch display will mean a more generous keyboard and a better mobile typing experience. ”
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Students: Please Email Me – 9/8
I completely agree with the aim of increasing face-to-face interactions between instructors and students; these conversations can be more impactful than almost any other part of a class experience. Given my previous Lingua Franca post on laptops in the classroom, I think some of my colleagues assumed I would embrace this strict policy on student email. But I think it is possible to encourage students to come talk with us in person while at the same time benefiting from the complementary conversations email allows.
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The Surprising Secret to Better Student Recall – 9/10
“Last spring, a new study showed that students who took notes in longhand did substantially better on conceptual questions than those who took notes on a laptop. The results were, perhaps, not that surprising—until you consider that the laptops in the study had Internet access disabled.”
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7 Great Apps To Simplify Your Life – 9/12
“These days, there’s an app for pretty much everything. You can go grocery shopping, cash a check, or get your dry cleaning picked up without having to get up from your comfortable chair—all for a price, of course. With thousands of time saving applications available in the App Store, there are many ways to make your life easier right from your phone. But some of these applications take ease to a whole new level of laziness.”
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And one from last week that I missed but still wanted to share:

College in a Box
“Both students worked their way through the same online textbook, watched the same series of videos, and took automatically graded quizzes pulled from the same question bank. All the teaching that might have taken place in a classroom was handled by the MyPsychLab software. Serrano took the course entirely online, never meeting his fellow classmates in person. He communicated by email and phone with his nominal local instructor, who offered encouragement and guidance. Mason also took the class entirely online; he says he had no contact with his professor, save for a few mass emails reminding him when assignments were due. He took his final while on vacation in the Bahamas.”
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Becky Weintz
Becky Weintz

Originally from the East Coast, Becky Weintz moved from Washington D.C. to Oklahoma City in November of 2010 and began working for OU IT shortly thereafter. Prior to working for OU, Becky worked for TIG Global, an interactive marketing agency, managing website builds and online marketing campaigns for hospitality clients. She was lucky enough to be selected for a position in TIG Global’s London office and spent almost two years there enjoying the London sunshine and traveling around Europe visiting clients. Now she spends most of her time communicating all the great things about OU IT, working to finish her Masters of Education and hiding from tornadoes in her basement.

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