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Technology-based teaching aids have come a long way since the days when multimedia pedagogy meant turning to the next slide when the audio cassette made a beep.
Indeed, as participants in the upcoming 4th Annual Teaching & Technology Fair will see, the modern-day McGill instructor has access to high-tech tools—like classroom response systems, web video collaboration, and podcasting—that make the overhead projector look like a blackboard.
But, as Fair co-organizer Adam Finkelstein emphasizes, the purpose of the May 7 event is not to encourage fetishes for fancy new gadgetry, but to develop better instructional methods.
"A lot of faculty are interested in being able to use technology, but not just as a tack-on to their courses," said Finkelstein, manager of Teaching Technology Services (TTS) in Instructional Multimedia Services (IMS). "They want to use it in a way that's pedagogically effective," he said.
To meet this goal, the Fair will centre on facilitating discussion among faculty members on their experience of integrating technology into teaching, notably through demonstrations by instructors.
"We want to give faculty an opportunity to share what they're doing in their courses with each other," Finkelstein said.
"We don't want it to be just administrators talking to faculty, or representatives from technology companies talking to faculty."
The Fair will also allow faculty to learn about recent innovations in classroom technology and the services available to them through IMS and other classroom-support departments at McGill, Finkelstein said.
What: 4th Annual IMS Teaching & Technology Fair
When: Monday, May 7, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Redpath Hall, 3461 McTavish.
How: www.mcgill.ca/ims/fair/ to register or learn more.