On this week’s EdSurge podcast, we replay some of the most memorable moments from our podcast in 2020 – and some bonus material that we wanted to include but haven’t recorded before.

Listen to Dave Egger’s concerns about what he sees as overuse of technology in education. Hear a professor create an unusual final exam simulation with trained chickens. Learn what it was like to be a first year teacher during a pandemic. And listen to a pro-Trump protest at Purdue University that happened on election day, a loud counter-protest, and what the scene is saying about how polarized the campus has become.

Specific teaching tips for this episode include: Michael Wesch, professor of anthropology at Kansas State University, suggests creating an audio version of all assigned readings so students can consume the material on the go like a podcast. Additionally, recording academic readings in your own voice can help convey your enthusiasm for the content.

“So many students came back to me and talked about how important it was,” says Wesch. “Not just to have MP3, [digital audio file], but hearing my excitement and enthusiasm for the ideas got them excited about the ideas. “

When professors try unusual approaches, it doesn’t always work, for example when Anthony Crider, a professor at Elon University, took an unusual final exam with the trained chickens to see if his students had picked up on an important ethical lesson they had discussed in class . “There was a student who chased the chickens – who does it?” he said. That became a mantra for future classes when he tried similar final exam simulations. “I would say while you’re taking this final I can’t tell you anything, but don’t kick the chicken – be thoughtful about what you are doing.”

Hear the interview on this week’s EdSurge Podcast. Find it in Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play Music, or anywhere you listen to podcasts, or use the player on this page.


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