As I argued in my Teaching Philosophy, hands-on and applied experiences with content, whether cultural or technical, places course content in a relatable and, often, real-world context. These are a few exercises that I have created for class activities.
Sample World Regional Geography “Doing Geography” exercise (2020)
This exercise was created for a general education course as a way to have students look at political, economic, and cultural geography issues about a place that they have an interest in. In addition to the geographic content, the assignment also has students complete a low stakes writing assignment and practice information literacy.
Sample Land Use Planning exercise (2018)
This exercise is utilized in an upper level course to provide and introduction to select data that might be utilized to assess existing human data for land use assessment and planning.
Sample lesson plan (circa 2012)
This lesson plan was created for a workshop for pre-service and in-service teachers and focuses on giving students a hands-on experience with Geographic Exploration Systems and fits well with 21st Century learning goals by allowing students to explore information using technology. The lesson plan is meant to be the beginning of a series of tech specific classes that are project based assessments leading to a set of student created content presented either in class or, if included in an online class, presented via student websites. The content is created for an introductory level class in a college or university setting, but could easily support project-based learning in high schools as well by giving students tools to create content that is location specific or related to an area.
Teaching with technology is a matter of ‘it went well, it went not so well’. Each time I teach with a technology, whether it be PowerPoint or a professional software package, there are always improvements and drawbacks over teaching with traditional methods. The difficult bit of using technology in the classroom is incorporating it in appropriate and effective way. It takes experience and repetition in order to effectively blend content and instruction with technology, however it is important to maintain an understanding of current technologies in order to stay abreast of the abilities of students. It is not necessary to incorporate all current technologies into the classroom though. Instead it is more important to find appropriate technologies that support the content being presented. With ever increasing numbers of lesson plans being made available online that have been tested in the classroom it is becoming easier to incorporate appropriate and effective technologies in education.