Web 2.0 in the classroom 

By Karen Herland

Screencasts demonstrate how software like Wordle can support pedagogy. Magnifying glass

Screencasts demonstrate how software like Wordle can support pedagogy.

As part of a broader redesign of the Centre for Teaching and Learning’s website, Instructional Developer and Program Coordinator John Bentley has been working with a series of professors to produce screencasts offering step-by-step tips on integrating Web 2.0 technology into teaching practice.

This newest addition to the centre’s resources feature Concordia faculty members, librarians and IT experts from other institutions providing real-time demonstrations of software useful for pedagogy.

The profs share their expertise on the easiest, or most effective, ways to set up course material via moodle, or dos and don’ts for PowerPoint in real time. The screencast allows you to see what menus, controls or links are being accessed within the program or application, as if you were performing the commands on your own desktop.

The focus of the series are resources that demonstrate interactive or choice-based social media tools and platforms like wikis, RSS feeds or Twitter. “We want this to become part of a larger conversation about how social media in university teaching and learning is moving,” said Bentley.

The video is shot by Bentley in a studio he developed at Loyola. “I can usually post content a day or two after I shoot material,” says Bentley of the user-friendly system.

Usually the demonstrations last anywhere between one to two hours, though Bentley cuts those down into shorter segments. Viewers can watch just the excerpt they are interested in, or return for updates or more information later when convenient. The latest available screencasts can be found through the CTLS homepage under Resources at Teaching with New Technologies. There are already well over 15 hours of screencasts already available.

Some are for very specific tools only useful to a single discipline, others, are more general, allowing professor to integrate social media into her course. Bentley invites any professor with a preferred website, software tool or computer-based activity to get in touch to record a demonstration and discussion.

The series is expanding to include faculty members talking about teaching. A special series on academic integrity has just been posted. “We’ve only started to scrape the surface,” said Bentley.

CTLS offers a wide range of workshops, some stand-alone, some over a week or term, to support teaching and enhance learning. The sessions are offered by CTLS staff, full- and part-time faculty and by visiting professors from other institutions.


Concordia University