Autumn’s Catch: Useful Resources Across the Board

September often is the time of lofty goals of accomplishing things it’s difficult to do during the mad rush of August as the school year begins. Law librarians who teach in any capacity – whether in a for-credit legal research class, during library instruction sessions, or in-class guest lectures – can always benefit from the newest developments in education, classroom best practices, and educational technology. In this post, I’ll share four websites providing unique information on topics ranging from technology to flipped classrooms to general educational philosophy.

  1. A Go-To resource for me, the Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Teaching Center Handouts Archive provides a wide variety of sources for teachers. Topics include active learning, assessment, classroom management, feedback, lectures and presentations, and more.  One of my favorites is the one on Transformational Teaching that provides excellent tips on motivating apathetic students, among other classroom issues. One of the tips is to ask students questions that encourage thinking about the material even if it turns out they did not complete the reading assignment. Being called on without having done the reading, while a risk an unprepared student takes, can be shaming for the student and does not do anything to enhance learning. So being prepared with questions to ask if the students are unprepared can enhance the classroom experience for the students and the teacher.
  2. Edudemic is a resource that’s new to me and may be to you as well. Created in 2010, the site’s About page states, “The goal of Edudemic is to connect teachers, administrators, students, and just about everyone else with the best technology on the planet.” Topics run the gamut from classroom apps and collaboration tools to social media best practices and etiquette to flipping the classroom and MOOCs and more. One section of the site in particular may be of interest to those of us teaching in the law schools – the section entitled, “The Teacher’s Guides.”  This section includes guides on using Twitter, Copyright & Fair Use, Pinterest, Digital Scavenger Hunts, and more. Some are written with an audience of undergraduates or K-12, while others provide information applicable across educational settings.
  3. One of the Teacher’s Guides that warrants its own section is The Teacher’s Guide to Flipped Classrooms. In dramatically simple terms, a flipped classroom is one in which the students watch lectures or read materials prior to coming to class, and class serves as a sort of laboratory experience for covering the material. The guide provides a wonderfully detailed and entertaining infographic that describes the development of the flipped classroom; this infographic is worth your time even if you never plan to flip your own classroom.
  4. E. Scott Fruehwald, contributing editor on the Legal Skills Prof Blog, has created a new website on legal education reform entitled “Legal Education Reform Central.” This site provides valuable information as libraries and law schools begin the march toward legal education reform. Our legal research instruction will have to join in the march, and some of these materials may prove useful.

Do you have other resources to share?  If so, please do so in the comments section.

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