When Implementing Successful EdTech Projects Don’t Forget The Pedagogy!

Are new educational technologies more effective in helping students achieve learning objectives than the old technology they replace? How IT professionals implement educational technologies, and how instructors use the technology can mean the difference between no impact on student achievement, and higher grades with more engaged students.

While some educational technology projects aim to lower costs and others to increase access to education, this presentation explores the intersection of educational technology and pedagogy (teaching methods). I look at the relative effectiveness of educational technology implementations as varied as: Digital Textbooks, Clickers, Streaming Video Lectures, Mobile Learning, Virtual Labs, Collaboration Suites, and Learning Management Systems (LMS). Hopefully readers will have a better understanding of how to assess the value of educational technology / pedagogy pairings, as well as better understand the key features that make for successful EdTech projects.

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Paper Towns… Or Modern Learning Communities

Who knew that online communities on YouTube and else where can be wonderful learning communities for young and old alike; places where we can follow our passions and help each other at the same time. John Green gives an inspiring and informing TED talk about modern learning communities.  I talked about this a couple of years ago in a blog post called, YouTube & Facebook: Education Distractions or Learning Tools? Enjoy!

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Posted in education, Google

Google Keep’s Location Reminder: Helping Me Use All Those Christmas Gift Cards & More!

The other day I received a $25 gift card from my favourite Outdoor supply store, Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC). I know I’ll be able to use it eventually, but given the sad state of my memory, how will I remember to use it when I’m in the store?

My solution is to use Google Keep, and it’s location reminder feature.  You can copy and paste all sorts of information into google keep on your computer of phone, and then access it or search for it from either when every you need to. You can also tell it to remind you about a note or list when you visit a specific location:

Google Keep Location Reminder

The killer feature that I’m using here is Google Keep’s “Location Reminder”. The next time I walk into the local MEC store, my phone will buzz and remind me that I have a gift certificate to use at the store.  Is that cool or what!  I can also share the note with my partner so that she can use it if she’s shopping there before me.  This would also work well for shopping lists, and all sorts of other small things that are often forgotten, but useful to be reminded of at specific locations and/or times.  Enjoy!


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Posted in Google

Good Security Hygine PSA: Google Password Alert

This is my Public Service Announcement for the day: If you use Google Chrome and Gmail, you should seriously consider installing the Google Password Alert extension, which will alerts you if someone or something logs into your Google account from a location you don’t normally login from. Enjoy!

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In Praise of Google Maps: Getting Around Foreign Cities Has Never Been Easier!

google-maps-bI have travelled outside Canada and the US more in the past year than ever before, and Google Maps on my phone has made getting around on public transportation less stressful, less expensive and much quicker. The feature of Google Maps that makes this possible is the integration of the majority of public transit schedules of major cities around the world.

When I was in Brasilia last June for the World Cup, using Google Maps made it simple to travel from my friends apartment we were staying to the soccer stadium by simply entering the name of the place we wanted to travel to (“National Stadium”), and then selecting “Your Location” as the starting point. By default Google maps give you directions for driving a car, but to see public transit options just select the bus icon at the top of the app, and directions to the bus stop along with bus number to catch magically appear. You can even watch yourself move around on the map to make sure you’re walking in the right direction as you head off to the bus stop or subway station… Not that I’ve ever done that before ;-)

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Knowledge Management Tools for Academic Legal Researchers


We’re going to look at 7 different tools that will help you develop a more efficient research work flow. It is not expected that you’ll use all the tools, but most students find that they’d have a hard time living without two or three of them once they see how the tools make their research lives easier.

  • The tools we’ll look at are:
    • Desktop Search,
    • Zotero for citation management,
    • Evernote for saving general notes, capturing web pages and pictures for future reference,
    • JotNot Pro to take the place of a photocopier,
    • Google Drive for collaborative document editing,
    • Google+ Hangouts for online meetings and document co-editing, and lastly
    • backup options so that your digital life is safe.

Before you move on, please make sure that you have a Gmail account, and have signed up for Google+, as you’ll need access to a Google account for the exercises in this module (and in the next class). If you don’t have an account, you can sign up here: http://gmail.com

A. Desktop Search


  1. Using your desktop search tool, see if you can find a paper you wrote last year.
  2. Also using your desktop search find all the emails you’ve received from a friend. How many were there? (if you don’t see any emails in your desktop search you’ll need to add your webmail account to your desktop email program).

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MOOC’s, 1 to 1 Laptop Programs, Flipped Learning, iPads: Is EdTech Worth the Investment?

This morning I spoke to a great group of Faculty from UVic’s English Language Centre about the value of educational technology.  Below are the slides from my presentation and I’ve also included a link to a PDF with my presentation notes for anyone who is interested. Here is a link to the blog post that inspired it: New Educational Technology + Old Pedagogy = No Significant Difference?

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Posted in education, Work

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