Innovative Technology and Engineering Education

Posted on March 12, 2006  Comments (1)

The Laboratory for Innovative Technology and Engineering Education (LITEE) at Auburn University is funded by the NSF: National Dissemination of MultiMedia Case Studies that Bring Real-World Issues Into Engineering Classrooms.

The mission statement is: Develop and disseminate innovative instructional materials that bring real-world issues into classrooms, using multi-media information technologies and cross-disciplinary teams.

One of the results of their efforts is the Journal of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education (STEM).

The mission seems like a worthy goal. Like other such NSF funded efforts though I wish the web sites offered much more for students and teachers. I think NSF (or others interested in funding such efforts) needs to look at the gap between the potential to use the internet to meet such goals and what has been done to date. I think there is a huge gap between what could be done effectively, and for a reasonable price (for NSF or whoever funds the creation of the material), and what I have been able to find online.

To me these materials should be available for download online without a fee and targeted for teachers and students. That is a feasible goal and a method that most completely meets the mission.

The NSF is funding many excellent concepts with good results (see examples below). Still the opportunity is there for these efforts to be much more effective with a better use of the internet in my opinion. I think there would be great benefit to funding several grants that would then serve as advisers and provide technical support to creating a much richer result for teachers and students. There are obviously challenges with how to do this and how to coordinate the efforts but the potential benefits are huge.

If I were allocating funds I would set this up in a way that the primary grants (projects like LITTE and those listed below) included funds that was to be used for services from these “technical support and advisers.” Then those getting the primary grants could chose which of the providers they wanted to use to provide the service (they should essentially work for those getting the primary grants). In order to use those funds in any other way they would have to demonstrate they were effectively using the internet already (and the expectations would be for a much better use than any I have seen thus far for this NSF grants).

Previous posts about similar NSF funded efforts:

One Response to “Innovative Technology and Engineering Education”

  1. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Blog Archive » Science Education and Jobs
    May 17th, 2006 @ 5:45 pm

    […] Innovative Technology and Engineering Education […]

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