Wednesday, February 3, 2010

TTU Professor Explores Technology in China

At 7 a.m. one Tuesday morning-or 6 p.m. the Monday before, depending on which side of the world they were on-Carl Owens sat with two professors in China as his Tennessee Tech University graduate education class spent almost two hours discussing technology. Using Skype video chat to see and hear each other, the two Zhejiang University’s College of Education professors asked the TTU class about their facilities, cell phone use in teaching and learning, and other technology issues that affected their teaching abilities. Few professors enjoy technology more than Owens, TTU’s Learning Resources Center director and education professor. And even fewer carry the credentials associated with using technology to teach students from pre-k through graduate school. That’s how Owens found himself in Shanghai for 11 days on the invitation of Hangzhou Normal University to present at the "Conference on 21st Century Learning." With an iPod Touch, a laptop and a good Wi-Fi connection, Owens-a self-described "toy guy"- says he experienced authentic learning through technology at every turn on his recent trip to China. And his students benefited from seeing how all the toys become tools that enhanced, even changed, how they can learn.