1. Do you think using technology helps you teach better? If so, how?
Definitely. Not only does technology help me to teach better, it is
almost a necessity in today's information technology age. The more
resources students have to choose from, the more they can pick a
system of learning that is fit for them. If we give students learning
tools to choose from, they will tend to find a way to communicate
better with me (professors) both inside and outside the classroom.
Also, technology constantly changes, it is not about offering the wide
variety of hardware and software, but keeping the technologies that
produce the most effective results. I remembered that I only used
emails and class webpages in the classroom. Today, students have
involved more tools to help them learn. One example is an video
recording system at UTM that we used last semester called Apreso. The
system can capture the lecture video, note on a computer, handwriting
on a whiteboard and a projector synchronously. My students used it to
review the class contents anytime and anywhere that they want. It
significantly helps my students to learn and understand the subject
better than the traditional way.
2. Is there anything at UTM in regard to technology that you would like to mention that makes a difference for you as you do your job?
UTM does a good job in offering its Blackboard service. Unfortunately,
many professors may not take the time to setup/maintain a Blackboard
content or a website to mass communicate with students outside of the
classroom. Otherwise, students tend to study alone or in small groups
of friends. UTM's system allows students to work together as a
classroom whole. I am impressed with the upgrade of hardware and
software UTM has put every year.
3. What are some current things that you are doing with your courses and your students that you are particularly proud of and want the campus to know about?
Besides Blackboard and Apreso, we are also using many free services
that are available on the internet to improve our research and
teaching. Some examples are:
Google Notebooks, Docs, photos. Our seniors students are using them
to communicate between other group members. They can share their
research found on the web, weekly report, and photos took from
experiments. It significantly helps when we do multi year project to
keep all documents in one place.
Google Group is used as a form of a online discussion board.
Streaming lecture video. The video content needs a lot of space to
put in the server. Sometimes, it is difficult to keep the past year
lecture. My student and I experimented a way to put all the class
lecture on the free service such as Youtube, Yahoo, AOL video last
year. There are many advantages such as 1) students can watch not only
on a computer but also a cellphone, 2) unlimited space and we don't
need to delete the previous contents, 3) can be searched from a search
engine. A demo of this system can be viewed at
www.utm.edu/staff/ssukitta/courses/engr361/Atube.html . This system
has been used not only by our students, but also by students around
the world. We received an email from a student in the UK and China
studying the same subject who is using our system as a learning aid.
Weekly online chat meetings open to all students as a form of
recitation. It is based on Java script so students do not need to have
any account to join the conversation.