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Bonnie StewartEducation professor Bonnie Stewart has found a wider audience for a project reviewing online teaching tools.

Faculty of Ed reviews online resources to help educators and parents teaching from home

For parents whose living rooms have turned into classrooms because of school closures, and for professors delivering lectures from home, a series of videos and podcasts from UWindsor’s Faculty of Education have proven to be unexpectedly timely.

With a team of teacher candidates, fellow faculty, and students in her Online Pedagogy Service Learning classes, professor Bonnie Stewart has developed a series called the #UWinToolParade. Each video or podcast in the series overviews a different digital platform.

#UWinToolParade had been intended for educators, but the brief, accessible reviews will appeal to parents, too, as families are staying home to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Stewart said.

The #UWinToolParade collection can be explored on a new Faculty of Education webpage called The Open Page. Teaching tools showcased include Mentimeter, Kahoot, Flipgrid, Canva, Piktochart, and Zoom. Parents looking for online lessons for their children may be interested in podcasts about the Khan Academy, Headspace, and Knowledgehook and videos about TED-Ed and Prodigy Math.

Funded by grants from the Office of Open Learning and the Centre for Teaching and Learning, #UWinToolParade was borne of Stewart’s desire to use the web to design assignments with real, relevant audiences.

“I saw my students doing great work evaluating digital platforms and realized that my future students, my own faculty colleagues, and the K-12 teaching community could all benefit from capturing and sharing that knowledge,” said Stewart.

“This was long before I knew we’d all be working from home and trying to complete a semester, or home-schooling our kids,” she said. “Now there’s an even wider audience.”

The presenters in the podcasts and videos are a diverse group in terms of their educational careers. That’s by design, Stewart said.

“We have both faculty and student presenters featured together on The Open Page, because pre-service teachers and faculty, as well as K-12 teachers, are all on the same learning curve with educational technology.”

—Sarah Sacheli

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