The Secret Revolution

Twitter, Jing, Google Sites, and SmartPens were just a few of the technologies showcased at last month’s Secret Revolution Faculty Showcase. The turnout was good and the feedback was even better. But what was it that raised enough curiosity to have people jazzed up about applications as simple as Jing?


Let’s reframe the focus from: Twitter, Jing, Google Sites, and SmartPens and instead focus on  engagement, feedback, collaboration, and explanation. Technology enables all of this to occur but not until it’s framed around classroom practice does the utility become so obvious. Take for instance, the use of Jing, a free screencasting tool that allows users to capture up to 5 minutes of audio and video of their computer screen. When it was presented as a tool for providing student feedback on written assignments the room began to buzz with possible ways it could be used in various disciplines. Broadcast Journalism Professor, Chad Nye, saw immediate application and is now using it to give his students precise feedback on student produced video clips. With Jing he is able to focus students attention to a peaked audio track while also sharing ideas for better shot selection. This kind of individualized feedback was nearly impossible to do in written form.

Technologies like Twitter and Smartpens aren’t a secret and they’re not even that revolutionary but when re-framed around student feedback and engagement, the possibilities seem like they are.

CELT did capture some of the presentations and have posted them here.