Technological Tools in the Classroom: Listening to Student Users

By:
Prof. Ashton Nichols
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In recent years we have been hearing a great deal about various technological and digital tools that will revolutionize teaching inside the classroom and beyond. Less attention has been paid to responses from the end-users of these technologies, the students themselves. I recently engaged a group of my undergraduate students in interactive discussions about the electronic and digital tools they found most useful in their own educations. The student responses covered a wide range of teaching technolgies: email, websites, word processing programs, electronic syllabi, electronic classwork, the Internet, digital research tools, and hyperetext teaching aids. The comments from my students suggest that we, as teachers, should be considering these technological tools as parts of our own evolving pedagogies. At the same time, however, these student voices also remind us of the promise and the perils of our current educational revolution.


Keywords: Pedagogy, Digital technologies, Email, Internet, Research tools, Student responses
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Prof. Ashton Nichols

Educator, Faculty Professor of Language and Literature, Dickinson College
USA

Ashton Nichols is the John J. Curley '60 and Ann Conser Curley '63 Faculty Professor of Language and Literature at Dickinson College. He is the author of *The Revolutionary "I": Wordsworth and the Politics of Self Presentation* (Macmillan/St. Martin's, 1998) and *The Poetics of Epiphany: Nineteenth-Century Origins of the Modern Literary Moment* (Alabama, 1987). Most recently, he is editor of *Romantic Natural Histories: William Wordsworth, Charles Darwin, and Others* (Houghton Mifflin, 2004), an anthology that charts links between poetry and science in the century before Charles Darwin's *Origin of Species* (1859). His research and teaching focus on the relationship between nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature, especially on connections between literature and science. His scholarly publications cover a wide range of topics: Victorian poetry, African exploration narratives, Chinua Achebe, Thomas Pynchon, and Seamus Heaney. He is a founding co-director of Dickinson in the Galapagos, a program that takes students to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands to study evolution, geology, Darwin, and nature writing. His awards include the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Ganoe Award for Inspirational Teaching. In recent years, he has delivered lectures in France, Italy, Morocco, Japan, and China.

Ref: T06P0040