On Thursday, August 24, the Dean of the Law School, Daniel B. Rodriguez, welcomed the faculty members of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law to TEaCH LAW. The new event was designed to encourage the use of technology tools to help increase engagement and understanding, assess student and class performance, and create a more collaborative environment reflective of today’s legal practice.
The day was built around demonstrations of and about education technology led by the law school faculty for their colleagues. Alyson Carrel, in her new role of Assistant Dean of Law and Technology Initiatives, organized the event and gave the first talk of the day, Legal Ed Tech 101. When asked about the inspiration for TEaCH LAW, Carrel said, “Technology innovation is changing the practice of law and Northwestern Pritzker School of Law is committed to graduating students with the skills, attitudes, and knowledge to adapt to and influence those changes. We organized the TEaCH LAW event to highlight our faculty who are successfully using technology to enhance their teaching, increase student engagement, and better reflect the important skills of practice in the future of legal services.”
One of the highlights of the day was faculty presenting to their colleagues in Savner Hall, a new classroom designed specially for blended and active learning techniques. Instructors and selected technical experts from Pritzker and Northwestern IT also demonstrated technologies including the Lightboard, Canvas and several of its more engaging features such as audio and video feedback, peer review, and learning analytics, as well as learning apps that enhance Canvas course sites, such as Arc, Panopto, and YellowDig. Other interactive platforms that work outside the course ecosystem of Canvas were also shown, including Poll Everywhere, Nearpod, Solstice, Spark, and Webex.
Alyson Carrel explained the emphasis on tech and tool demonstrations, “Law schools don’t have a reputation for being particularly innovative in their teaching methods, but at Northwestern we have a number of faculty who are using technology in particularly engaging and inventive ways.”