This past year has required a lot of creativity and some major teaching shifts, and I'm really impressed by all that you've accomplished. We could—and probably will—fill multiple issues of the Connected Professor with stories about creative and innovative new ways you've found to keep your students engaged, interested, and successful in their studies.
This issue alone is full of examples of teaching and learning tools and techniques you've embraced to ensure your classes are as inclusive and effective as possible:
- Interactive tools like Top Hat, OneNote, and Virtual Reality that help students grasp key concepts (or indicate when they're lost!)
- Creative tools and techniques for explaining specialized concepts to a general audience
- Simple design practices (and free tech power-ups) that increase student success
- Engaging visuals that transform learning experiences, projects and presentations
- Auto captions to help everyone follow the conversation, even if there's a lot of background noise
I should note that many of you have gone beyond the now-familiar key services like Canvas, Kaltura, and Zoom to explore the community-building possibilities of VoiceThread and Inscribe (Community Q&A). We very much look forward to telling those stories too.
Thank you for all you've done and continue to do. We know many of you have stretched beyond your comfort zone to use new tools and technologies. We also know that it's never about the tech for its own sake but about what it can do to help you teach your students and succeed. Definitely reach out to your campus teaching center if you need support—we're here for you!