Each month, a faculty member, nominated by their dean, is recognized for their efforts to integrate innovative technology into their teaching. March’s digital faculty member of the month is Lindsay Woodward, assistant professor, School of Education. Read an interview with Lindsay:
What type of technology do you use? Flipgrid
What course do you use this technology in? Multiple courses for undergraduates seeking initial teacher licensure, as well as graduate students returning to Drake for their Master’s degrees.
In what context do you use this technology? Flipgrid is a great tool for multiple instructional approaches. It can be used for formative or summative assessments, small group work, or larger group conversations.
How does this type of technology align with your teaching pedagogy? Flipgrid aligns well with what research has shown us about integrating digital tools into our instruction. By starting with a specific instructional goal and purpose, Flipgrid can be used for multiple pedagogical purposes. This increases its effectiveness, as students can become accustomed to the environment for a small group conversation, and then return to engage in a formative assessment, without having to learn the ins and outs of a new or different digital tool.
Where did you get the inspiration to make a change? While I have used Flipgrid previously, there are two major changes that increase my use of this tool in my courses. First, when Flipgrid was purchased by Microsoft and no longer required a subscription, there was a surge in K-12 educators using this tool. For Drake students, this means that undergraduates are coming from high school already familiar with this tool and then they can log in with their Drake credentials* which increases the security and control over the Flipgrid content. Second, in October, Flipgrid began to allow text comments to students’ videos. This expanded the possible instructional uses beyond those that would require only video responses.
* Flipgrid is owned by Microsoft and uses a Microsoft login. Use of Flipgrid is allowed but not supported by Drake ITS.
How long did it take for you to implement this technology? Not long at all. I have used it occasionally previously, but use it much more frequently as part of both asynchronous instruction and synchronous small group work since teaching virtually.
Since transitioning to remote teaching, how has your use of this technology changed? It has increased. Because Flipgrid can be used for so many specific pedagogical approaches, I will ask students to create videos outside of class, and then we can analyze them in small groups in class. Or, I can ask students to capture their knowledge about a topic from synchronous instruction in a video and share that with other students asynchronously.
Since transitioning to remote teaching, have you started using any new technology in your teaching? If so, what tools and how are you using them? Many of the new tools I am integrating are grounded in technologies used in K-12 education so that our students are prepared to enter the teaching force.
Overall, what lessons do you think you have learned while transitioning to remote teaching?
As an educational technology researcher, this has been a chance to really test the effectiveness of some of what has been known about technology integration in face-to-face instruction and how it can translate to synchronous virtual instruction. In terms of lessons, I think that one of the key ideas when using a new technology with students is to be clear in your modeling of how to use the technology to complete the assigned task. If students do not need the screenshots and step by step directions, then they won’t use them, but students who need them need ready access to supportive materials in order to complete instructional goals. This aids them in spending time building the knowledge they should be, rather than figuring out where to click on a new piece of technology.
Both before and during this transition, did Drake ITS assist you in implementing any of these technologies? Drake’s integration with Flipgrid is seamless, which I learned by simply logging in one day. There is a lot of behind the scenes work that ITS does to make these products work for faculty.
Are you interested in trying out new technology in your classroom? Want help from ITS? Schedule a technology adoption consultation.
—Jon Hurdelbrink, CPHS, and Carla Herling, ITS