Challenges: Technology, Teaching 3.0

photo: ‘digital playspace’ for families at Legoland, Carlsbad, CA


being analog in a digital world presents unique challenges to contemporary teaching


Two prominent theses arose at the start of the millenium about ‘digital natives’ and ‘digital immigrants’ as well as what can be generally thought of as the ‘digital brains’ of today’s student. I am somewhat skeptical about the generalizability of these claims, yet I am confident that their rhetorical implications are real and important to consider.

Students grown up in the digital era experience the world with a different consideration of time, space, ownership, sharing, and mutuality than most professors in a university environment, me included. I meet this challenge by using everyday digital tools as knowledge making practices and I consider various ways in which both inputs and outputs of teaching can be reconceived without losing site of core principles and basic learning objectives.


I ask students to look for bridges between extant theory and practice and the ‘emerging’ digital learning environment. Students are often intrigued at the parallels between historical knowledge systems and the contemporary world.

Students in my classes are asked to assess their ‘native digitality’ by considering basic questions of control and access – most are suprised and more attentive to the benefits and limitations of their digital dispositions when their assessments demonstrate a level of mastery contrary to their expectation. Finally, I use digital tools in most of my classes, ranging from online content management systems (Moodle, D2L, etc.) to presentation software, video and audio capture and distribution to everyday tools like phones and laptops. I encourage students to connect and share using digital tools and I find that this positively impacts their learning.

  • Learning Management Systems (moodle & D2L)
  • HTML hand coding (XHTML and HTML 5)
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  • WordPress & other micro-publishing customization
  • Web 2.0 and social media publishing
  • (Blogs, forums, Twitter, Wikis, YouTube, etc.)
Photography & Graphics
  • Digital SLR and Point and Shoot Cameras
  • Mobile image making
  • Member of the International Visual Sociology Association
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Experience with scanners and printing technology
  • Video
Video capture for non-linear computer video editing
  • Single and multi-camera shooting
  • Mobile movie making
  • Hand held DV, HD, and Flash Media camcorders
  • Basic lighting kits
  • Basic microphones and audio capture
  • Trouble shooting video installations
  • Apple iMovie
  • Final Cut Pro
Computing Hardware & Software
  • Apple MacIntosh OS – over 20 years Advanced
  • Windows OS – Advanced
  • Apple iOS – knowledge of coding principles
  • Human-centred design
  • MS Office – Advanced (Mac & PC)
  • Basic network and WiFi set up – Intermediate
  • Applications of Bluetooth technologies – Intermediate
  • NVivo analysis software
Presentation Hardware & Software
  • Apple Keynote
  • Prezi (I was Beta tester prior to public launch)
  • PowerPoint
  • Experience with projectors & mobile presentation units
Physical Building / DIY / Hobbying
  • Screen printing
  • Intermediate carpentry and construction
  • Hand and machine sewing
  • Puppet and doll making
  • Decorative & sculpted baking