The Download: Feature Articles
Global Learning Innovation Brings Technology to Classrooms
By Madeline Friedman | October 24, 2014
Audio, Video, and Visualization in the Service of Teaching
The advent of educational technology has brought with it an onslaught of new resources and studies evaluating their effectiveness. For those professors who want to incorporate technology and media into their lessons, figuring how to do that and which forms of media and/or technology to use can be quite daunting for someone whose expertise is in a completely different field of study.
The instructional technologists in NYU IT’s Global Learning and Innovation (GLI) team consult with faculty to help them determine the best ways to integrate innovative pedagogy and state-of-the-art media into lessons and courses.
Using Media to Enhance Education
After an initial consultation, IT’s instructional technologists collaborate with schools, departments, and individual faculty members to design lessons or courses for online, blended, or face-to-face learning.
They also develop media to enhance curricula in the form of video, animations, presentations, and data visualizations. These sorts of media can be valuable to educators because they showcase and explain complex ideas in a variety of ways (using pictures, text, and sound) in a short period of time.
One example of a successful collaboration was when NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering lecturer John Di Bartolo worked with instructional technology staff to design and develop animations that illustrated some of the harder concepts in his undergraduate physics curriculum. Besides being able to show these animations in class, Di Bartolo was able to integrate them into slideshow presentations used in class, and give students access to the animations in NYU Classes for continued study outside the classroom.
Not Just for Show
The assistance available from the instructional technologists goes beyond creating media products to assist in teaching and learning. They are also available to collaborate with faculty on employing innovative teaching strategies that work alongside media tools to further increase student engagement, and simplify learning and subject mastery.
An example of a course that was designed to incorporate new technology and increase student interaction was a collaboration between instructional technologists and Professors Natalie Privett and Gordon Campbell of the Silver School of Social Work. Together, they created a multimedia course featuring a series of original, interactive data visualization tools that students could use to understand the intersection of public policy and operations in the context of the system of family homeless shelters in New York City. The professors wanted students to not only to be familiar with the methods used in standard administrative operations, but to also be able to apply this knowledge to make informed recommendations for public policy.