Module 5: Understanding New Learning Technologies
At Queensborough Community College, faculty use a broad range of technologies to enhance students' learning experiences. It is important for students to understand what technologies are supported at Queensborough as well as how these technologies are being used by the instructors.
1. Blackboard (Learning Management System)
Blackboard is a Web-based platform used to deliver course materials to enhance both teaching and learning experiences. Working in a password-protected environment, faculty and students are able to post and access course materials, make use of discussion groups, email and many related course management tools - anytime and anywhere.
A blog is a Web site that acts as an online journal, a place to post information, and a way to keep in touch with others. A blog can be used as an important tool for assignments, networking or just sharing information with instructors and classmates. Blogs can be a classroom or an individual project. Queensborough currently supports the Blog features that are available in Blackboard (Course Management System) and Epsilen (ePortfolio System).
3. Clickers (Classroom Response System)
Clickers allow instructors to ask questions and gather students' responses during a lecture. In clicker systems, each student uses a device (a "clicker") that looks like a TV remote to answer questions posed by the instructor mostly in a specially-designed PowerPoint presentation.
4. Epsilen (ePortfolios System)
ePortfolio is a secure web site that allows students to enter, save, organize, view and selectively share educational records, artifacts, and reflections. Students can maintain their plan of study and share their work in any content form such as text, video clips, audio clips, graphic files, photos, etc. ePortfolios can be created for academic, career or personal use. Epsilen is the official ePortfolio system at Queensborough Community College.
5. Lecture Capture
Lecture capture allows instructors to record what happens in their classrooms and make it available digitally. Those lectures are available for students to replay complex concepts, to review content for online course development or for students who couldn't attend class. At Queensborough, most of these lectures will be available through Blackboard or the Tigermedia site.
A podcast is an audio or video file archived on the Internet in such a way that it can be automatically accessed by a personal computer, downloaded and transferred to a portable MP3 player. Podcasting allows learning to become more portable and gives educators another way to meet today's students where they live and learn - online and on audio players.
7. Presentation Software
A presentation software is a computer package used to display information normally in the form of a slide show. Text, graphics, audio, video and any other multimedia objects can be inserted on these slides. The most popular presentation software used is PowerPoint. All computer labs in Queensborough are equipped to create and view PowerPoint presentations.
A Wiki is a Web site that allows users to add and update content on the site using their own web browser. Wikis end up being created mainly by a collaborative effort of students. Wikis support asynchronous communication and group collaboration online. A great example of a large wiki is the Wikipedia, a free encyclopedia in many languages that anyone can edit. Queensborough currently supports the Wiki features that are available in Blackboard (Course Management System) and Epsilen (ePortfolio System).