A rise in social and digital media found U of O’s College of Education
Tools like Facebook, Blackboard, and flip cameras have changed the way students and professors get their work done
Social media has changed the way students learn and professors communicate within the College of Education at the University of Oregon.
Facebook, Blackboard, as well as digital media tools, have changed the way students and professors get their work done. With the click of a button, information can be presented in various forms of media.
Blackboard serves as a go to place for students to gather and submit assignments. Students can use blackboard to also post questions, take quizzes, download PDF’s, check grades, and email their professors.
Miriam Choi, who majors in educational foundations, said many of her instructors create Wikis on Blackboard so that students know what is going on in class, such as assigned reading assignments and are able to discuss the questions or homework assignments on those readings.
The emergence of the flip camera has taken its role in the College of Education. A flip camera is significantly smaller than a regular video camera, and most come with a built in USB plug-in, making file sharing much easier.
Kathy Roberts, major director of the Communication Disorders and Sciences program at the College of Education, said these flip cameras have become a common use. “Our students use little flip cameras and things like that to record sessions, but then they are using that privately, like after therapy sessions, to go back and analyze someone’s language or something like that,”
Teachers also use these cameras to tape client sessions that are used for academic purposes such as evaluating speech disorders. Roberts said these resources are used strictly for the use blackboard and the UO e-mail.
Videos are also used in American Sign Language classes for assignments, communication, and evaluation.
If students are uncomfortable using sign language in front of their class, which is require for some projects, they are allowed to record themselves and bring the recording to class to present.
“Students may record themselves signing a story and then that’s turned into the instructor who then can evaluate their expressive skills,” Roberts said
The social media website, Facebook, has become of use for students and teachers in the learning process. Teachers can create group pages on Facebook so that they can communicate with their students.
“We have our own Facebook page and we also make groups and pages if we have a certain assignment or it’s a group project so we can just invite people and talk on there because it’s just easier to communicate with others,” Choi said.
Valentino Vasquez, an Amercan Sign Language instructor at the University of Oregon’s College of Educaton, cites Facebook as a way to communicate in two parts of his life. Because he is deaf, he has utilized the medium in a different fashion.
“I have two Facebooks. Not two different Facebooks, but I use Facebook in two separate ways.” Vasquez signed. “When I’m communicating with other sign language teachers or my deaf friends, I type very little. I mostly send videos of me signing.”
For his family and friends who are not deaf, he uses the website differently. “With my hearing friends and my family, it is the opposite. I type a lot and don’t use the sign videos. If my daughter had a sporting event and I want to share what happened, I will type it out so everyone can see what happened.”