Teach­ing the teach­ers in dig­i­tal age

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By DANIELLE STREET

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.

Photo: DANIELLE STREET

Teach­ing teach­ers: From left, stu­dents Ju­dith Klein, Conal Lewes and Chris­tine Probert teach AUT staff how to im­ple­ment their iPads in the class­room.

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