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Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Henry Knight Lozano Writes about Teaching American Studies with iPads for US Studies Online

Henry Knight Lozano, “Teaching American Studies with iPads,” US Studies Online, January 18, 2016

Technology-enhanced learning. Among the many buzzwords in higher education at the moment, ‘TEL’ is among the most pervasive. In 2015 HECFE funded an in-depth programme, “Changing the Learning Landscape,” designed to explore Technology-Enhanced Learning as a “key part of modern UK higher education,” while universities increasingly employ tools such as Textwall and Panopto to augment teaching. And yet for many lecturers, TEL arguably remains an elusive if not daunting proposition: how, exactly, can I incorporate “technology” (broadly conceived) into a particular seminar or lecture? Apart from following the vogue, why should I? Above all, in what ways is student learning actually going to be enhanced?

Recent experience from my final-year American Studies module on California has given me some food-for-thought on these questions that I wanted to share. For the first time I chose to involve iPads regularly within our weekly three-hour session. This experiment had two broad aims in mind: firstly, to get students familiar with an excellent online repository of California-related primary source materials [Calisphere] that could prove useful to their research; and, secondly, to deepen our discussion of topics like the Gold Rush, the anti-Chinese movement, and the marketing of California citrus. The iPad activity was straightforward enough. In pairs, students navigated to the Calisphere site and then searched out particular collections, selecting, analysing, and introducing one of the primary sources which I would put up on the screen. read on >>>>>

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