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Technology Rolls Into Education Where Rubber Meets The Road

2003-06-24
Annette Lamb illustration
Mobile Mavericks Annette Lamb and her husband Larry Johnson
Inside SLIS

By Jane Ruddick
Inside SLIS
SLIS Network, Alumni Magazine
Spring 2003

After teaching her SLIS classes from southern Utah this winter, Annette Lamb is headed for the Pacific northwest to teach more courses for IUPUI in the summer.

Her classroom is a 38-foot motor home with a high-speed, two-way satellite system. Her students, most of them in Indiana, can participate in class at any time. "As you can see by the time, I am sleepless in Indy at 4:15 a.m.," one student wrote.

Lamb began her two-year stint this spring as a visiting professor, teaching L552: Audio and Video Information Sources and Delivery and L595: Technology Rich Learning. She is recognized nationally for her work in applying technology to teaching.

When students access all class materials on the Internet, the instructor faces unique challenges. Course content must address individual differences, and students must be able to interact with the class materials and other students, as well as the instructor. The OnCourse software system supports virtual meetings and discussions. E-mail and mailing lists allow for even more communication. A weekly course update with professional news, project ideas, and other information helps keep students motivated and on track. An online course requires more self-discipline from both the faculty member and the students, said Lamb. "With a traditional course," she noted, "structure is imposed with the requirement of being at a particular place at a particular time."

The payoff? Students can set their own schedules and save time and money that they otherwise would spend commuting to classes. They also have the opportunity to think and reflect before jumping into a class discussion.

"From a faculty perspective," Lamb added, "I'm able to hold a faculty position that would not have been possible a few years ago. Instead of sitting in an office during office hours, I'm available 24/7 to my students through e-mail, phone or even video conferencing."

Who is Dr. Lamb?

Dr. Annette Lamb has been an elementary library media specialist, computer teacher, and professor of education. She is currently a visiting professor at Indiana University—Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) teaching online graduate courses for librarians and educators. As president of Lamb Learning Group, she also writes, speaks, and delivers professional development workshops, presentations, and keynotes throughout North America focusing on ways to more effectively integrate technology into the classroom. Her popular Web site, Eduscapes.com, includes a wide range of award-winning, free resources for educators such as 42explore, Teacher Tap, Literature Ladders, Activate, Naturescapes, and Multimedia Seeds.

Check out details about Annette:
http://www.eduscapes.com

Check out her 'Mobile Mavericks' adventures:
http://www.eduscapes.com/mm

Posted June 24, 2003