Digital Tools for the Classroom

The world is not slowing down, especially in a “digital sense”! I believe it is very important to step off the train every once in awhile to reflect on journey we’re on.

In true digital style, I’ve made it easy for you, to simply sit back, relax and click play on a short video that reflects on all the digital tools that I used to create an “innovative” #digitalclassroom that in reflection has appeared to make a difference!   All students signed a waiver to allow them to be filmed and the videos to be posted online, in fact I think they appreciated it!

And what a journey it has been over the last 4 months as I complete my first semester as a sessional lecturer at La Trobe University Bendigo Campus.

As a true “green horn” on the University teaching scene, I stepped back onto campus for the first time since completing a Masters in Multimedia in 2001 (The first student to do so way back then!). This time the pressure seemed even greater, as I was now the teacher and not the student!

Being a “digital educator” outside of La Trobe University, I quickly set to work deciding on how I could use my existing skill-sets to help guide my students to become ‘work ready’, ‘world ready’ and ‘future ready’.

I also wanted to ensure my efforts, even if it is just in a small way, were in line with La Trobe University’s Future Ready Strategic Plan 2013 – 2017. As outlined in the plan, the vision for La Trobe University is to be known for its excellence and innovation in relation to the big issues of our time, and for its enthusiasm to make a difference.

This vision laid the pathway and inspired me to roll up my sleeves and bring out the big digital guns!

Should you not feel compelled to watch the video, then I understand, however, before you move on, just take a few more seconds to read the feedback I received from the students. If that doesn’t make you hover your finger closer to the play button then I am not sure what will…

Here is just some of the feedback posted by students directly to my Facebook Page

“Thanks Tim Gentle #ThinkDigital for your excellent work as both Lecturer and Tutor this semester! Your dedication and commitment to education has been greatly appreciated and I hope that many more students have the opportunity to learn from your ‘real world’ experiences for many years to come”

“Thanks so much to Tim Gentle #ThinkDigital for being a legend of a teacher this semester. By far with my university experience YOU have been my favorite lecturer. You have such a strong passion in what you do, and it really shows from week to week. You’re very creative in the way you teach your students. I think the Facebook page for the subject worked really well as it kept our class connected as it used frequently in today’s generation. I also think the shared document worked well because it gave everybody a chance to attempt the questions and to be able to give students to get up in front of the class and attempt to explain what they have learnt. I really hope other students from this semester see how great of a teacher you are because I think you deserve to have a job here 100% next semester. It would be a loss for students to miss out on your great learning experience! Thanks again Tim grin emoticon Good luck.”

“Thank you Tim Gentle of ‪#‎thinkdigital‬ for an amazing semester of Services Marketing at La Trobe Bendigo. It’s always exciting when a lecturer takes the time to truly connect with their students and offers a unique style of teaching. Your knowledge, guidance and introduction of new technologies within the classroom has been extremely beneficial. Good luck with your next endeavours and hopefully we cross paths again in the future.”

“Tim Gentle best lecturer i have had at university so far! Always thinking outside the box, very inspiring! Tim Gentle #ThinkDigital”

So that is a wrap, for now, as I’ve got to go grab a pen and start grading the students final exam paper. I wonder how long it will be until these papers are submitted digitally!

I hope that La Trobe University (or any other Educational Institute) provides me with further opportunities to continue to delve in deeper to help introduce and share with other educators the digital tools available to help create a #digitalclassroom

If you’re interested in some of the #DigitalClassroom Tools I used, I’ve created a checklist for you below;

Digital Tools supplied
  • Learning Management System (file sharing, noticeboard etc)
  • Echo (Lecture Recordings)
Additional Digital Tools I used
  • Facebook Group Page
  • Google Hangouts On Air
  • Twitter
  • Snapchat
  • Shared OneDrive Document
  • Tagging students to complete tasks
  • Video Recaps
  • Sound Recording
  • Augmented Reality
  • Virtual Reality
  • Google Cardboard
  • Reflector (Share Mobile Device to Screen)
  • Webcam (use the laptop input and film whiteboard for Echo Lecture recording)
  • Messenger

I would appreciate your feedback, or the opportunity to collaborate with you if you’re interested in exploring this kind of teaching further.

May the digital world be with you!