Tuesday, June 25, 2013

FacProfDev Summer 2013 - Day 5

FacProfDev Summer 2013 - Day 5

by Varun Khanna

It was the deal of the century!

I had just stumbled upon an online television deal for a 50 inch, flat screen, LED, 120 Hz, multi-billion color display with HDMI, s-video, component out...you get the drift!

The television soon arrived in pristine condition. I carefully removed it from the box and had a little ta-da moment in front of the family room mirror. Daddy had done good. With the installation complete in less than 15 minutes, I turned the multi-billion color phantasmagoric television on and voila - it was HD TV at its best. I wiped my moist eyes with great pride as I called upon my family to take a look at the new member of the house.

My 5 year old was impressed as she walked up to the TV and nonchalantly swiped her hand across the screen.  Once, twice, three times. She turned around, this time quite unimpressed and emphatically stated "It's broken, daddy," and sailed back to her room with great intent and purpose.

I looked at my wife perplexed. What did she mean "broken"? It was after all the multi-billion color, 50 inch, LED, 120Hz deal-of-the-century TV. I ran into my daughter's room and asked her why she thought the new TV was broken. Busy watching Dora the Explorer on the iPad, she barely looked up and repeated herself - "It's broken, daddy." Not one to give up easily, I walked out of the room slowly pondering to myself.

I turned around and looked at my daughter one more time.

And, then it hit me!

My 5 year old was wondering why the 50 inch TV that daddy had been raving about did not work like the iPad touch screen!

The Huffingpost Post reports that the second largest school district in the United States, LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District) has ordered $30 million worth of iPads for the initial phase of introducing the tablet to 31,000 out of its 640,000 students (K-12).

So, what does this mean for students entering Pepperdine University and hundreds of other colleges in the United States starting Fall 2013?

To start with this generation "was born in 1995 and their world has always existed with the internet and the world wide web," says Gerard Flynn, Senior Director of Information Technology and Client Services to a rapt Pepperdine faculty attending day 5 (of a 10 day) of the FacProfDev workshop series in Malibu.

According to Einstein, my daughter's generation might as well be called Gen-I?  

Flynn makes a solid counter argument by quoting the prolific 19th century Danish writer and philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard, "If you wish in helping someone to reach a particular goal we must first find where he is now and start from there." 

If you add up what Einstein and Kierkegaard are saying then, human interaction is a must, however, that in itself is not enough. It is also imperative to keep in mind where the end-user is and start the interaction from there. 

Flynn says, "Their (generation Z) brain is re-wired. We need to find new ways to teach this generation."

Landon Phillips, Multimedia Specialist, further amplified Flynn's point in his presentation titled Designing Better Lectures - "Visual imagery that engages and keeps the attention of the student must be kept in mind when faculty put together their class presentations."

Chip and Dan Heath, co-authors of the popular book titled Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die are educators and idea-collectors.  Echoing the two educator's opinion on thinking out-of-the-box, Flynn also stressed the importance of new learning methods and technology in teaching.  "It is important to come up with ideas that really stick (to generation Z)," said Flynn, as he closed the address to Pepperdine faculty on day 5.

In order to assist Pepperdine faculty with new learning methods and technologies, the university's Tech & Learn group's objective is to:
  • Research - new technologies and learning methods for today's and tomorrow's student body
  • Partner - closely with Pepperdine faculty to exchange best practices that enhance our face-to-face, blended and online programs.
  • Promote - promote technologies and learning methods that are a direct result of good research and strong partnership.
If you missed FacProfDev Summer 2013 workshop series, you can contact Pepperdine's Technology and Learning group by writing to techlearn@pepperdine.edu or registering for free for one-on-one consultation with one of our team members.