Students – What are the demographics of the students in your course? Do they work? Do they live on or near campus? What is their preferred learning style? Are they motivated learners?
Ease of use; portability – There’s nothing more frustrating than technology that doesn’t work like it’s supposed to, so whatever technologies you choose, they must be easy to use, easy to maintain and reliable. Training should be available for anyone who needs it.
Costs – The costs involved could be fixed or variable, and go beyond the actual cost of the product to include instructor time, instructional support, media production, and maintenance.
Teaching – What is your teaching style? Some technologies lend themselves more to didactic or direct teaching; others to student participation. What are the intended learning outcomes? How will students be assessed?
Interaction – What technologies will engage and motivate your students? What technologies will enhance interaction between you and your students, between students, and between the students and the course material?
Organization – Does the institution support the use of learning technologies? Can you and your students get help if you need it? If you try to do something different will you be rewarded or punished?
Novelty – New technologies are a double-edged sword, Bates said. Because they are new, they might attract positive attention and support. However, new technologies also carry more risk because they’re largely untested, and may never reach broad adoption or maturation.
Speed and Security – Security and privacy issues are becoming increasingly important. Is the technology secure or can it be ‘hacked’? Is student information protected? Is the data stored on a secure server and is it backed up in case of an emergency?
"We’re not clueless about how the brain processes information. For example, we know something about the brain’s performance envelope, which is as follows: The brain appears to have been designed to solve problems related to surviving in an outdoor setting in unstable meteorological conditions and to do so in near constant motion. As I was writing Brain Rules, it hit me [that] if you wanted to design a learning environment that was directly opposed to what the brain is naturally good at doing, you would design something like a classroom."
What constitutes professional behavior in a university or college classroom is, of course, dependent upon context: geographic location, professor’s age or gender, the discipline, and the campus culture. And of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but we typically know jerky behavior when we see it. It’s just that sometimes we don’t see it in ourselves. To others, though, the jerky behavior is blatant. It’s mean spirited. It’s meant to demean students (in the examples that follow).
For fun, I conducted a very informal poll of my Facebook pals: “How do you avoid being a jerk in the classroom.” Here are some responses plus a few more that are legendary “Professor Jerk” behaviors:
Having a bad day? Car didn’t start this morning? You spilled your Starbucks on the way to work? Your spouse is divorcing you? Your dog died? Your life is not your students’ problem. Don’t be a jerk and take your frustrations out on them.
Do you have course policies for your students (attendance, tardiness)? Then abide by the same rules. Don’t be a jerk and saunter into class at five minutes after the hour (when classes start on the hour) because, after all, “they will wait for you.”
Do you have a policy that you don’t accept late work from students? Don’t ask students to do anything you can’t do, then get mad at them for being unable to do what you asked. “The worst are professors who go nuts about due dates but who themselves are continually asking for extensions from editors and colleagues,” via Doug Hesse.
Click through to read more. (Yes, I’ve republished this. It was more popular than I expected when it hit Saturday, but most readers seem to visit Tumblr between Tuesday and Friday.)