Teaching the teachers in digital age
An initiative by an Auckland university to teach lecturers how to use iPads is causing a stir across the Tasman.
The LATTE, or Learning and Teaching Technology Enablers, are a small group of students employed part-time by AUT University to familiarise school staff with the tablets.
Around 950 iPads have been rolled out to AUT academic and allied staff since August 2011.
To help teachers deal with this digital leap the director of the school’s Centre of Learning and Teaching Stanley Frielick developed the LATTE team.
Mr Frielick says the biggest challenge universities face in today’s computerised environment is developing the digital capability of staff.
‘‘Technology is just not an option anymore, everything is online. The students grow up in that world and they expect it,’’ he says.
‘‘The best placed people to teach the lecturers is our wonderfully creative students.’’
LATTE Christine Probert says the group holds regular drop-in sessions for staff to come and ask questions.
‘‘There are a few levels of how to use the device. The first point of call is becoming confident and knowing how the device works,’’ Ms Probert says.
‘‘The next step is around content creation and how you can use the device solely for videoing, editing and putting stuff online and that becomes part of your learning content.’’
The LATTE group has also put together an extensive series of iBooks to guide staff through things like using cloud based services, document management and syncing your iPad to your computer.
The school’s approach to closing the digital divide between teachers and students has impressed Ste- phen Atherton, who is responsible for higher education development for Apple Australia.
Mr Atherton started recommending the approach to other universities and as a result AUT has agreed to make the raw materials for their iBooks available for any universities to customise.
Last month a Massey PhD graduate released her study into mobile technology in the tertiary sector.
Kathryn MacCullum found that many educators feel out of their depth when adopting new technology for the classroom.
‘‘Students are increasingly demanding mobile learning.’’
Dr MacCallum says students enjoy the ability to share resources and collaborate on projects.
Teaching teachers: From left, students Judith Klein, Conal Lewes and Christine Probert teach AUT staff how to implement their iPads in the classroom.