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Using 'new' technology in the classroom

May 2013

There is an old adage that states: "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." However, there are exceptions and not just in the dog world. Just ask faculty and staff in the Communication Department where newer faculty and seasoned veterans are experimenting with social media and the latest technology.

Assistant professor, Dr. Marianne Leonardi has her students in interpersonal communication using blogs to chronicle their service learning experiences. Students were skeptical at first about writing blogs that are public, but Dr. Leonardi says she wants her students to experience the power of the written word to diffuse a perception of scholarly writing as an activity meant to be viewed only by the professor.

Dr. Ann Preston, chair of the Communication Department, challenges her students to think "outside of the box" by encouraging them to use social media tools such as Diigo and Jing to gather and present data. Dr. Carla Stevens, professor, is tinkering with Prezi and is excited about sharing this format as an alternative to PowerPoint for future classes.

Students are still producing The Buzz in the standard print format. However, they are also publishing news articles and photos from the Buzz online. Both of the broadcast arms of the Communication Department are taking advantage of digital opportunities. KALA's cool sounds of jazz are still heard on 88.5 or 106.1 FM but also online at

It is easy to search for episodes of SAUtv's Dateline on Facebook and review archived sports broadcasts at Game Central. Although newer technology is evolving at a rapid pace, the Communication Department keeps pace by testing and, often utilizing the latest additions to the digital world.

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