Welcome

Welcome to my blog devoted to ways of using technology for educational purposes.  In my day job, I am a professor of chemistry at Western Oregon University, and my current area of scholarly activity is the use of technology in the classroom and the production of video documentaries for use in education.  In my other life, I am involved in the sport of dog agility as a trainer, instructor and judge.  I also enjoy photographing nature so there is a section of the blog devoted to some of my photographs.

Since one of the courses I teach, Organic Chemistry, involves a lot of moving of electrons from place to place to understand why stuff does what it does, and much of the technology I play with uses digital electronics in some way, I named my blog “Educating Electrons”, i.e., electrons used for education!  There is probably little that I do that is original to me, but I am hoping that something I write about here will be useful to someone else who hasn’t seen it before.

Although I love playing with technology, I do believe that the use of it in an educational setting just for the sake of using technology is not productive.  Technology needs to enhance the learning process either by engaging your students, making the material more accessible to them, presenting concepts in new ways or providing alternative learning experiences for folks with different learning styles. I plan to post about techniques, devices and software I have tried and found to be worthwhile in all aspects of my academic life (and occasionally my other life) as well as those things that have not worked well for me. I am always looking for things that can make my life less hectic or more enjoyable, so some things I might post about are not things that are used in the classroom, but rather, things that make me or my students more productive.  I am not devoted to a single computer platform although the classrooms and labs in which I teach are equipped with Windows stations.  I love my i-devices and do increasingly significant amounts of work on my Macs so I split my time between both worlds, using the tool that is the best fit for the job I am trying to do.

Feel free to comment on anything posted here.  I’d love to learn what others are doing that is making a difference.  Thanks for visiting, and I hope you will come back.

Photo:  Sunrise on a crisp September morning (Sparks Lake, Oregon)

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