By Shayna Freisleben
USC writing professor Kathi Inman Berens addressed humanities teachers on Tuesday in Ahmanson about the incorporation of technology into classroom environments. Berens cited the implementation of blogs, classroom discussion forums, and digital commenting as online teaching methods.
âAs teachers, we want to reach out to our students and technology can help us extend our reach,â Berens said.
Berens displayed studentsâ research projects in the form of blogging, online peer reviews, and online literary journals, including AngeLingo, a USC student-run interdisciplinary online journal Berens helped establish five years ago. She expressed that blogs can be used as a research tool, as well as a finished product.
âThere is a looser protocol in blogging, and the reach of the research can extend far beyond the classroom,â Berens said.
A proponent of online discussion boards, Berens discussed the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing the internet in oneâs teaching.
âAn online discussion forum can vitalize oneâs voice,â Berens said. âBut face to face interactivity proves more effective than behind a computer screen.â
Many teachers were eager to include aspects of Berensâ lecture into course syllabuses, or expand on their current internet usage in classes.
âI already use many technological aspects in my classes, and it was great to learn about the topic from someone who uses it more than I do,â said foreign language teacher Paul Chenier.
Others disagreed with the premise of Berensâ lecture about the correlation between the internet and teaching.
âThe speaker was well-prepared and presented her points well, but I disagreed with most of what she was saying,â said history teacher David Waterhouse. âI donât think Iâll incorporate much of it into my teaching.â
Head of Upper School Harry Salamandra thought the lecture sparked interest among teachers on many levels.
âIt got teachers thinking about different assignments, and how to adequately prepare students for whatâs to come in college,â he said.
Berens concluded her lecture by stating that while there are now other teaching alternatives, ultimately the art of teaching remains the same.
âTechnology is the same teaching, but just a different platform,â she said.