TED Conversations

Amy Peach

Director of Instructional Technology, Fontbonne University, St Louis, MO USA


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If you had a technology toy room to play with the most amazing educational technologies available today, what would be in it?

I've been given the remarkable privilege of starting a Center for Educational and Emerging Technology where university faculty and K-12 educators can come together to explore classroom technologies.

It will be a space where everyone can get their hands on the technology and discuss in a very diverse group the potential it has for meaningful change in the classroom. The budget is limited to start off, so what tools have you seen that have the potential for disruption in either higher ed or K-12 classrooms? If it's expensive, what groups do you think would likely fund their purchase for a center like this?


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    Sep 30 2013: Holograms are an interesting idea. But to what end? I'm trying to think of the objectives that would be achieved through technology like that. I find them fascinating, but outside of giving students access to expert knowledge without having to fly in the speaker (which can be done much more cheaply through google hangouts), I don't know what they would learn that would be worth the cost.

    I spent quite a bit of time researching gamification last year and while I definitely think it has some remarkable promise for certain kinds of learning, it takes a great deal of time to learn basic concepts this way and isn't appropriate for every learning objective. I definitely agree that lecture is over-used, but one activity I have my students do is go out into the community and see how people are learning. Without a classroom or objectives or tuition. If you just need to learn about something, how do you start? Nine times out of ten, it's direct instruction. We go to youtube for a demo, we read a book or an article, we ask somebody the question flat out. It doesn't mean we understand the very intricate nature of our question this way, but it is how we start. To say that lecture has no place in education at all would miss some important scaffolding.

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