Transforming your Teaching using Technology brings together scholars from across the globe annually in February. To better highlight our vibrant community, we are profiling a number of our recent scholars and asking them about their experience in the course. In this blog post, we interview Belinda Lowe, MBBS, FRANZCOG, consultant obstetrician gynecologist at Gold Coast University Hospital and associate professor and women’s health lead at Bond University.
Harvard Macy Institute: How would you describe your personal and professional background?
I am an obstetrics and gynecology physician living on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. My interest in medical education began with a simulation fellowship at Bond University, where I currently am an associate professor and lead the women’s health program for medical students. Additionally, I work clinically at Gold Coast University Hospital in a busy tertiary maternity unit as a generalist obstetrician gynecologist, and also run the school's trainee Obstetrics & Gynecology teaching program.
Harvard Macy Institute: What led you to apply to our Transforming your Teaching using Technology program?
Several of my mentors and colleagues from Bond University have previously completed the Harvard Macy Educators course and are now faculty on the program, so I had heard a lot about how excellent HMI programs are. During COVID-19, we all faced challenges of how to transition much of the teaching we deliver in person to online or electronic formats. In my setting, some of these transitions went well, but some I knew could be done much better. Transforming your Teaching using Technology seemed to be an interesting way to explore options to further my teaching skills in the online and technology space.
Harvard Macy Institute: How would you describe your overall experience in this program?
I thoroughly enjoyed this course and really looked forward to the sessions each week. Initially, I had reservations about the two-hour Zoom sessions and was concerned they might become lengthy and monotonous. However, this could not be further from my experience! The faculty really practice what they teach. The sessions flew by and were very interactive – they were broken into short teaching segments, breakout rooms with small group activities, and presentation of projects. Not only were there lots of learning opportunities but the way the course was presented was a masterclass in putting the theoretical concepts into action. I also learned so much from the other scholars as there was a huge amount of diversity in our backgrounds and perspectives.
Harvard Macy Institute: How do you think this program is applicable to your profession?
This program is very applicable to the teaching and education work I deliver. Since course completion, I have used many of the tools I have learned including developing escape room activities, live online poll quizzes, development of online modules, and video creation and editing. I have now also incorporated the project I developed during the course into the teaching sessions I deliver, and the feedback I received on this project from other participants and faculty was invaluable. The course has equipped me with a toolkit of knowledge in different technology options.
Harvard Macy Institute: What was the most important takeaway you gained from the program?
The Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) model discussed throughout this course really resonated with me and was a key take-home learning point. Using the right technology option in an appropriate learning context covering desired learning content is important to consider. Practically, this has really helped me think about when and how technology might best complement my teaching and what technology option might fit each situation the best.
Harvard Macy Institute: Would you recommend Transforming your Teaching using Technology to a colleague? If so, why?
I would recommend this course to others – and in fact, I already have! This course offers a fantastic introduction to the use of technology in teaching, enabling you to build a versatile toolkit of technological resources that can enhance and complement your teaching. Regardless of prior experience with technology in education, there is something in this course for everyone.
I strongly suggest actively engaging with the diverse range of technology options introduced throughout the course and just having a go at development. I personally gained the most by experimenting with various technology options week to week and collaborating with fellow participants and faculty to troubleshoot any issues as the course progressed.
Did you know that the Harvard Macy Institute Community Blog has had more than 370 posts? Previous blog posts have interviewed scholars including Andrea Cooley, Ezra Schwartz and Katherine Chartier, as well as course director Louis Pangaro.