Greetings from Kingston, Jamaica where I am here for the next couple of days to work with faculty at the University of the West Indies. UWI wanted me to come specifically to work with their people on integrating technology – “twenty-first century” technology – into classroom teaching. After a long travel day yesterday, today I had some face time with the UWI math department (where we talked at length about flipped learning and how this could be useful for their programs) and tonight, I gave what is known as the UWI/Guardian Group Premium Teaching Open Lecture, titled “Twenty-First Century Technology Serving Twenty-First Century Learners”.

Here are the slides:

And here is the TL;DR. (Should I call it TL;DW for “didn’t watch?”)

So this was not really a talk about technology so much as a talk about learners, their needs and challenges, and how higher ed may or may not be serving those students well – and then finally after we understand all of that, we can speak about what technology can do.

Tomorrow, I’ll be following up on the keynote by giving a workshop where we will actually get a lot of hands-on time with specific tools. I’ve picked out four tools to play with that fulfill my requirements for truly accessible technology: cheap, portable (in the physical and technological sense), and easy to learn. And they have to be useful to a broad spectrum of people because the participants are from all over campus. Those tools are Google Forms, Google Docs, Screencast-O-Matic, and MindMup. All of those are free, usable on mobile devices, and require little to no training. I’m looking forward to seeing what uses the participants come up with.