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Blog 144

Blog 144

Using Media to Teach Media

By Bryn Ludlow

While my grandma Isabella knit mittens in her living room, she watched live sports on a television in the left corner with the sound off, and radio on. As she listened to the announcer calling the plays, she watched the news or latest recorded soap opera on the television in the right corner. In the last decade of her life, she made approximately 400 mittens every year and donated them to local charities including the Salvation Army, and the “Boys and Girls Club of London” (Ontario). It was always fun to visit her. I am lucky to have a family that encouraged the use of a wide range of technology, and that emphasizes the importance of sharing technology with others. These values are central to my work and teaching today.

*  *  *

In the two university-level tutorial sessions that I teach, every student has a cellphone. Some students bring three to four devices to class, such as a cellphone, a smartwatch, laptop, and tablet computer. Given this, it doesn’t make sense to ask them to turn these devices off, when the learning opportunities that the devices offer are endless. It was only ten years ago when I dreamt of the day when every student would have access to advanced mobile electronic devices in a classroom. This year, I chose to leverage this technology and incorporate digital and online activities in the classroom, in an approach to teaching known as “Technology Enhanced Learning” (TEL). In this two-part article, I will share how I have used media to teach media with first- to fourth–year students in Sport Media (Prof. Estée Fresco) at York University.

Before introducing the web-based exercises, we talked about what safe and respectful use of mobile and personal digital technology in our classroom entails. Each student was asked to write down their ideas on post-it notes so they could be as open as possible, and I collated the responses into a working document that we discussed and revised at the beginning of the next few seminars.

Apple-shaped word cloud of healthy, respectful classroom guidelines.

In the digital and online world today, there are many teaching approaches and methods that instructors can draw upon to assess student’s retention of the course material. The method that I use to facilitate technology enhanced learning is the “BOPPPS method”, which involves six stages of instruction and assessment: Bridge-in, Objectives, Pre-assessment, Participatory Learning, Post-assessment, and Summary (UBC Wiki, 2018). To plan the web-based exercises this year, I reviewed the “17 Collaborative Learning Methods: Encouraging Student Engagement & Participation” handout by Professor Teri Crisp (Berkeley University), and I chose the following exercises to try in my tutorials:

  • Team building & Discovering Class Concerns combined with Survey for Class Ground Rules (Silberman)
  • Group Learning in Leadership Teams combined with Case Study
  • Video Critic (Silberman)
  • Viewer Response (An adapted version of the Video Critic (Silberman))
  • Structured Problem-Solving (Barkley, Cross, & Major) combined with Send-A-Problem
  • Active Debate
  • Class Commercial or Ad
  • Choose your own Case Study
  • Experiential Learning Reflection: What? So What? Now What?(Silberman) combined with Topical Review at the end of each semester.

(Crisp, 2014).

In the next article, I will share some examples of technology enhanced learning exercises that I facilitated, what I observed, and some strategies that instructors can use to facilitate technology enhanced learning with their students.

Diagram of practice-based exercises in Sport Media Tutorials, 2019

About the Author

Bryn Ludlow is an artist and PhD candidate in the York and Ryerson Joint Graduate Program in Communication and Culture, and an International Affiliate Member at the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University in Montréal, Quebec.


Crisp, T. (2014). 17 Collaborative Learning Methods: Encouraging Student Engagement &

Participation. Berkeley Writing, Retrieved 28 Aug, 2019 from

Kerr, J. (1 Apr. 2019). Today's Best Leaders All Share These 5 Traits: A Digital Mindset. Lead: Inc. Retrieved 11 Mar 2020 from

UBC Wiki. (2018). Documentation: Mini-Lessons Basics - BOPPPS Model for PlanningLessons.  The University of British Columbia. Retrieved 28 Aug 2019 from: