Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Day in the Life of an Associate Professor

It has been a while since I wrote a "day in the life" blog. So, as I enjoy my Saturday morning coffee, here is a look back at my busiest day last week.

6 - 7 am - Answer email, read and respond to a graduate student paper, organize calendar.

8 - 9: 30 am - Drop dear child off at school; Drive to work; Talk to two colleagues by phone about research projects and committees; move more stuff into new office. 

9:30 - 11:30 am - Academic Workload Advisory Committee

11:30 - 12 - Squat and gobble while printing handouts, agenda and updating website

12 - 1:30 pm - Chair, Educational Studies in Language, Culture and Technology Meeting

1:30 - 3:00 pm - Graduate Programs in Education Council

4:00 pm - Music lessons with child

6:30 pm - Sound check and mingle with cool educators!

7:00 - 9:15 pm - Panelist, CRC's Digital Citizenship Symposium

9:45 pm - Fill vehicle with gas and find my way home.

Thankfully, most of my days are not this busy - most professors can and DO handle a few of these busy days a month. In fact, many of my colleagues seem busier than me - emails at all hours of the day, and slightly disheveled attire and grooming, attest to their hectic and demanding schedules! [Having fun here, friends!].

An academics' busy schedule demands that we make trade-offs - we all have to make choices about how we spend / invest our time in order to maintain an active research program, prepare articles and grant applications, offer quality teaching and graduate supervision, do journal editing and make conference presentations, engage in administrative and leadership service on dozens of committees, and cultivate a healthy and happy family life. On that note, I have to go get ready for hockey practice with my two kids. Cheers.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Are tech-savvy students better learners?

Are tech-savvy students better learners?

As children of all ages head back to school this fall, many of them will have the benefit of having a laptop computer all to themselves. But does having this level of access to technology guarantee the individual student will be successful in their studies? According to two University of Calgary professors, access to technology is only one part of the equation.  Quality teaching matters more than ever when computers come to school....

Friday, September 17, 2010

Best In Class Fund - Students Can Win 20K in Technology for Their School

Girlprof supports putting technology into the hands of children for engaged learning at home and a school, which is why I became involved as a member of the Technology Advisory Board for the Best In Class Fund (BiCF).  Secondary students and teachers from Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia can apply for a 20K grant and geek squad support for their innovative ideas about using technology for learning.

Get Involved to Win 20K for Your School!! Learn more: BiCF Guidelines

In brief, grade 7 to 12 students can work together with their teachers to develop an imaginative and engaging VIDEO and WRITTEN proposal to outline / demonstrate how they would like to integrate digital technology for learning in the classroom - be sure to focus on how technology will provide educational benefits in YOUR classroom. Students will work on the 2 minute video, and teachers on the 500-word written proposal, and submit both by Oct 24th.
  • What is your ‘big idea’ about why your school needs technology from Best Buy?
  • How will having new technology impact student learning?
  • Why are you passionate about technology in education?
Key Dates
* October 24 - Submission deadline at midnight, PST
* Week of December 13 - Announcement of program winners
* Spring 2011 - Video follow-up with grant recipients to evaluate impact in the classroom and to show how the program has come to life in the winning schools

Research on Engaged Learning With Technology

My own educational technology research focuses on quality teaching and engaged learning with technology - most recently, I have studied the learning benefits of laptop programs in junior high schools with my colleagues, Sharon Friesen and Candace Saar.  Read more about this and related research:
  1. CBC Website: Researchers Like Laptops in Calgary Classrooms
  2. GlobalTV: U of C researchers probe whether tech-savvy students have an advantage
  3. CHQR: Researchers study computer use at SW school 
  4. UCalgary: Are tech-savvy students better learners?
  5. St. Albert Gazette: Okay class, There's an App for that 
  6. Education Canada:  Teaching in a Participatory Digital World