Technology and education

We have been involved in the use of technology in education since 1984. In 1989 Eric Mazur published "The Essence of Physics", an interactive software package that provides an interactive tutorial summary of a one-year introductory physics course. The package includes interactively solved problems and interactive problems. While the The Essence of Physics won the AIPs first Annual Computers in Physics contest, the program did not incorporate any findings from Physics Education Research. In a sense, the foundation for the program was the standard approach to teaching, all of its flaws included!
The Moral Dilemma of Going Back: How the Pandemic Changed My Teaching, at Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley, Saturday, September 25, 2021:
The rapid transition to online teaching necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic has been a good opportunity to rethink our approach to teaching. Moving to an online format suggests that many activities that have traditionally been synchronous and instructor-paced, can be made asynchronous and self-paced. What may have seemed like a challenge, is a great opportunity to improve the quality of education.
Tools for Peer Instruction — a workshop, at Congreso Internacional de Innovación Educativa Tecnológico de Monterrey (Monterrey, Mexico), Monday, December 16, 2019:

 It has been suggested the lack of interaction in large lecture courses is to blame for the many problems facing these courses: declining enrollments, low attendance, poor evaluations, and disappointing retention. We offer a way of redesigning the classroom so interaction is introduced in many aspects of the course. This approach has shown to be effective by many instructors in a broad variety of environments. I will demonstrate some of the tools we have developed to foster this interaction.

Turning lectures into learning, at 2009 ConnectEd Summit (Abilene, TX), Friday, February 27, 2009:
The traditional approach to teaching -- lecturing -- predates medieval times and focuses solely on the transfer of information. Before the printing press, lecturing was the only way to educate the next generation. Even though information is now readily in many forms, we still largely rely on this antiquated method of teaching. Instead of lecturing, we should devote our attention to helping students assimilate information. In this talk I will discuss and demonstrate one method, Peer Instruction, that I have successfully employed to help students assimilate conceptual knowledge in class. We... Read more about Turning lectures into learning
Catalyzing Learning Using Peer Instruction and Learning Catalytics, at Université de Lausanne (Lausanne, Switzerland), Friday, October 19, 2012:
Most -- if not all -- of the important skills in our lives are acquired outside the traditional classroom setting. Yet we continue to teach using lectures where students passively take down information. Peer instruction is a research-based pedagogy that actively engages students in the classroom and has been shown to dramatically improve conceptual understanding, even in large classes. While successfully implementing peer instruction doesn't require any technology, using the right technology can improve student engagement, increase learning, and make it easier to implement peer instruction in... Read more about Catalyzing Learning Using Peer Instruction and Learning Catalytics
A Hypermedia approach to teaching Physics, at International IEEE/AP-S Meeting (London, Ontario, Canada), Tuesday, June 25, 1991:
No abstract available.

Note: This is my first ever computer presentation. It was given using HyperCard on an Apple Macintosh Portable (well, barely portable; it was not for another 6 months that Apple would ship the first PowerBook). The image was projected using an LCD-panel that had to be placed on an overhead projector.

Classroom Response Systems at Harvard FAS: Status and Trends, at Harvard IT Summit, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, USA), Thursday, May 31, 2012:
The presentation will describe Harvard University Information Technology’s experience of supporting the Turning Technologies classroom response system for FAS courses after more than two years. It will also include recent developments about Learning Catalytics, new software developed by Eric Mazur’s team that allows instructors to go beyond multiple-choice questions and to manage the interactive classroom through peer instruction. The audience will have the opportunity to experience Turning Technologies and Learning Catalytics firsthand during the presentation.
Tecnología educativa para motivar a los estudiantes, at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (Guatemala, Guatemala), Saturday, January 30, 2010:
Se ha sugerido que la falta de interacción en clases de gran tamaño se debe a muchos problemas que enfrentan esos cursos: disminución en el registro, poca asistencia, evaluaciones deficientes y baja retención. Ofrecemos una manera de rediseñar el salón de clases para que la interacción sea introducida en muchos aspectos del curso. Este método ha probado ser efectivo para muchos profesores en una amplia variedad de ambientes. Demostraré algunas de las herramientas que hemos desarrollado para promover esta interacción.
Catalyzing Learning Using Peer Instruction and Learning Catalytics, at Role of Technology in Postsecondary Education Conference, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ), Wednesday, May 22, 2013:
Most -- if not all -- of the important skills in our lives are acquired outside the traditional classroom setting. Yet we continue to teach using lectures where students passively take down information. Peer instruction is a research-based pedagogy that actively engages students in the classroom and has been shown to dramatically improve conceptual understanding, even in large classes. While successfully implementing peer instruction doesn't require any technology, using the right technology can improve student engagement, increase learning, and make it easier to implement peer instruction in... Read more about Catalyzing Learning Using Peer Instruction and Learning Catalytics
Technology for Peer Instruction, at AAPT Summer Meeting (Salt Lake City, Utah), Tuesday, August 9, 2005:
The Interactive Learning Toolkit (ILT) is a tool to implement innovative teaching ideas such as Peer Instruction and Just in Time Teaching, and to monitor students’ learning. It incorporates a large Concept Test (CT) database and provides the opportunity to easily integrate CTs into lectures. This talk will discuss the integration of the content management of the ILT with the Interactive Classroom features of BQ, a software developed at Erskine College. Student responses using IR clickers, wireless laptops, PDAs and cell phones are combined to give the instructor immediate feedback on student... Read more about Technology for Peer Instruction
Turn to your neighbor, at Turning Technology User Conference: Aarhus, Denmark, Aarhus University (Aarhus, Denmark), Tuesday, June 19, 2012:
Peer Instruction (PI) is a teaching method that leverages the power of cutting-edge learning technologies, such as clickers, to transform learning. The centerpiece of Peer Instruction is the ConcepTest, a short interactive question that helps uncover student misconceptions. “Turn to your neighbor” is the classic catch-phrase of PI methodology, whereby teachers encourage students to think about a question, vote on their answer, and then turn to their neighbor to engage, rather than sitting passively in a lecture. In this presentation, we examine two big, open questions frequently posed by... Read more about Turn to your neighbor
How To Get to Know 200 Students (Almost) Overnight, at American Association of Physics Teachers Winter 2000 Meeting (Kissimmee, FL), Monday, January 17, 2000:
Direct interaction between students and teacher is essential to effective teaching. Unfortunately, it is often lacking in large classes. We have developed a system which facilitates efficient asynchronous communication between teacher and students. Students' questions are stored in a database, and the contents of the database are accessed via the Web in various forms. For example, the teacher can review all student questions on a particular topic, prepare a single answer to a common question, and store the answer in the database. Students' grades and pictures are stored with their questions (... Read more about How To Get to Know 200 Students (Almost) Overnight

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