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Monday, September 17, 2012

Using Technology Before it Uses You


Many of you have heard me talk about using technology effectively in the classroom and courtroom.  I wanted to provide a short update about a recent experience in that regard.  I hope it helps you sort out the benefits of the process, as well as the downside.

This fall I have been teaching evidence out a book, Everyday Evidence: A Practical Approach, that I self published on the Kindle and the iPad, with a print version that is also available.  The ebooks link to my youtube channel  TRIALADVOCACY, where students can view examples of the rules in action, along with mini lectures that ensure the students have been exposed to topics that I may not always get to cover as much as I would like in class.  So far the experiment has worked relatively well.  I pull the book up in class on the iPad, reference what I think is important (usually by highlighting it), and then discuss with the students.  All of this is displayed on the screen in class, using either Apple TV or a dongle.   This creates an interesting synergy in the room.  I also get the statistics about the most common areas of the text that the students are either highlighting or annotating.  Pretty cool.

The danger though is that you get so wrapped up in the technology that you do not focus on the substance.  I have found the opposite to be true, in that my iPad has become an increasingly useful portal to whatever piece of evidence I need/want to discuss.  It is cool to be looking at a case, click on a hyperlink, and then be looking at the rule - saves time and focuses the student on what matters.

If you oversee several different advocacy professors, you can use youtube (or the ARC) to ensure that the students are exposed to the "model" solution early in the process.  I have only had a youtube channel for about 18 months, but I have over 100 subscribers and the site is fast approaching 30,000 views. I realize that is nothing in the grand scheme of things, but it does indicate a desire to find good advocacy information.  If you would like to submit videos for that site I would be happy to host them.  We could easily expand our virtual advocacy community to include this resource.

I do know that I have been having fun with it, you can too.

All the best,


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