Setting up learning opportunities is what education is all about, whether on the curriculum or not. Today a huge focus is on becoming digitally literate, which doesn’t just mean knowing how to use MS Word. Being digitally literate means being very proficient with computers, apps and even hardware.
As instructors, don’t hold back on using new or tried-and-true technologies. I have often seen instructors limiting presentations to only PowerPoint, handing out only PDFs or assigning only written papers. Why not use Sway or Prezi and why not the ever popular ePub (this week anyway)? Sure you will open up a can of worms and your inbox will be full of “How do I open ePubs?” Great! You set up a great learning opportunity. Students have to know what ePubs are. You could leave it up to them to find out and they will inevitable learn about .mobi as well, and maybe even Calibre. They can then begin creating their own eBooks. Yup, exciting potential.
Now, I’m not saying open up a can of worms every week. Students do have to focus on their coursework, too and not just how to complete assignments. But don’t hesitate to shake things up and add technologies you feel would benefit learners, technologies you feel comfortable with.
At the end of the course some students may be a little resentful of the additional work they had to put in to complete the course, but they will soon discover that their newly acquired knowledge will greatly benefit them when they open up their own educational organization.
And that’s worth more than gold.