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Professors incorporating more technology in the classroom

Published: Friday, April 15, 2011

Updated: Monday, April 18, 2011 23:04

Five faculty members have been issued technology grants for promoting innovative use in the classroom. The grant was presented by the Teaching Commons, with fiscal support from the Office of the Provost and the Information Technology Department. The professors who received this grant are Dr. Loran Lewis, Dr. Helen Davis, Dr.  Meridith Selden, Dr. Caroline Maurer, and Dr. Janet Starner.

Maurer, chair of the department of undergraduate education, is using her grant for a Digital Photography in the Classroom Action Research Project. The  project is made up of Wilkes education students and teachers at Heights-Murray Elementary School in Wilkes-Barre.

"I was really looking for a way for Wilkes students to collaborate with the school district so that they have some hands-on experience when they move onto the real world," Maurer said.

Starner, associate professor of English, is using her grant in a different manner. She is using mobile devices, such as e-readers and iPads, in the classroom environment. Starner sees great potential in the benefits of this technology to enhance the course content.

 "One of the big problems that keeps students from reading better and writing better is that they don't mark up their text, they skim through it. My theory was that if I could get students to do deep reading and do annotations, perhaps comprehension would improve, and the written products that come out of that reading would improve as well," Starner said.

Although the iPad and e-reader brought great assistance to the academic arena, they do have their flaws.

"The larger problem is the way that books are published electronically. With the iPad and e-readers, you can expand and condense the font, which means that the page you are on changes as well, so it is a nightmare for citation," Starner said.

There are also issues with the Internet connection on campus.

"The Wi-Fi obstacle is only one problem, and I expect that to be solved because by the time we get to back to campus in the fall there will be Wi-Fi everywhere," Starner said.

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