Wednesday April 18, 2012
3:15 PM – 7:00 PM
HUB Hage Room (formerly the MPR)
Dinner will be provided
To see event details in PDF form, click here
3:15 pm – 3:30 pm:
3:30 pm – 3:45 pm: Using Mahara for your Promotion and Tenure Portfolio
Michele Pruyn (Biological Sciences) - I would share the organization strategy for my recently submitted promotion and tenure package. I have it organized by Scholarship, Teaching and Service, incorporating many forms of media presentation. Although Promotion and Tenure guidelines have recently changed, I can guide pre-tenured faculty through the new Mahara template recommendations under development in Learning Technologies and Online Education (LTOE).
3:45 pm – 4:00 pm: Showcasing the Sustainable Italy Semester Abroad through Mahara
Mary Ann McGarry (Center for the Environment) – Two PSU faculty, plus collaborating Italian faculty, plus 14 PSU students, plus Keene architectural students can all access, celebrate, and share accomplishments of several connected courses and an environmental service learning project via a Mahara Collection. Opening up the site allows future faculty and students to build off of the ground work established in PSU’s first Sustainable Italy semester.
4:00 pm – 4:15 pm: Using Twitter in the #Classroom
Scott Coykendall (Communication and Media Studies) – Five students in last Fall’s section of Technical Communication did a semester long project in which they proposed integrating Twitter into my course. They claimed:
- A live Twitter feed is easy to incorporate into PowerPoint.
- Encouraging students to Tweet questions/comments during a discussion would allow for students who are more reticent about “speaking” in class to participate nonetheless.
- Monitoring Twitter would allow the instructor to prioritize questions according to relevance and frequency.
- Twitter would expand the conversation beyond the classroom so that students could continue to ask questions and discuss and clarify their comments.
- And finally, being limited to 140 characters would force students to articulate questions carefully and with concision.
This Spring, I took them up on it. What’s more, I asked my students to develop a Twitter protocol for the course that would provide guidelines, tips, and instructions for their colleagues. In my session, I want to share some of my preliminary findings as well as some highlights of my students’ work.
4:15 pm – 4:30 pm: 20 pounds of paper or 1.44 pounds of iPad?
Vanessa Alander (English) – Do you dread when your students have a major paper due and you have to bring two, three or four extra bags (or boxes) to class to contain them? While you may look forward to reading them, do you look forward to transporting them?
That was me for the first two years of teaching. Papers and projects hold a valued place in assessing student knowledge; however transporting those papers and projects from classroom to office to home and back often requires overflowing bags and boxes with papers often resulting in a sore back and forget about trying to balance all this while walking on the picture-perfect, ice covered bricks December through March.
Having a Tuesday/Thursday teaching schedule and living an hour away meant a vast majority of my students work lived in the trunk of my car: a milk crate to “Read” and one to “Return”. Papers pulled for the “Read” crate were read, narrative feedback given, and placed in the “Return” crate.
Last May, I purchased an iPad with hopes of using it to alleviate some of the organizational challenges of teaching– the endless flow of student papers and projects, daily class notes and reflections often on note cards that floated in my bag and the file that I needed on a thumb-drive that was always located in the exact place I was not. If I could also slim down to two bags daily, instead of three, that would be a success as well.
With the iPad, my courses transformed. They are now entirely paperless. From syllabus, to worksheets, readings, product descriptors and the collection and return of student assignment, it is all done electronically. My daily course outlines, notes and reflections are created and stored in the cloud, available where ever I am via cell-phone, laptop, tablet or iPad.
Utilizing Web 2.0 services WordPress for hosting course materials, Google Forms for collection of student data and evaluations, PollEverywhere for quick and anonymous assessments or brainstorming, Google Reader for ease of reading student blogs and commenting, Dropbox and DROPitTOme for paperless, electronic assignment submission and Evernote for course planning, 99% of my courses are now exclusively available electronically. With the use of iPad specific apps like Blogsy/Wordpress, Reeder, iAnnotate, Dropbox, Evernote and NotesPlus (for handwriting) my courses are managed entirely through the use of a 1.44 pound device all saved & accessible via the Cloud.
4:30 pm – 4:45 pm: Re-tooling course content using Moodle 2
Zhizhang Shen (Computer Science and Technology) – Zhizhang will discuss how he has successfully taken his self-created web page of course content for “CSDI 1400 Computers: Past, Present and Future” and re-created it in Moodle 2.
4:45 pm – 5:00 pm: Leveraging social media for student networking and promotion
Bob Nadeau (College of Business Administration) – With the economy still not gathering any solid momentum, students are becoming creative in finding jobs after graduation. By leveraging social media tools, such as LinkedIn, students are connecting directly to sales professionals and recruiters quickly and easily. This presentation will explore the benefits of using these tools for student networking and promotion.
5:00 pm – 5:15 pm:
5:15 pm – 5:30 pm: TurningPoint, aka “clickers”
Karen Franke (Biological Sciences) – Turning Point student response system is an easy way to create interactive PowerPoint presentations. Monitor student understanding during presentations and allow students to share their opinions on controversial issues through the use of Turning Point clickers. This presentation will give you the opportunity to use clickers and explore ways to incorporate this technology into your classroom.
5:30 pm – 5:45 pm: Using research to improve student learning online
Francis Williams (Criminal Justice) - How do students learn online? What are the elements or features of an online course that best assist student learning? Using data collected from students in several online classes over a two and a half year period, this presentation will disseminate valuable information about how students perceive their online learning experience. A mixed methods approach was used to better understand what features and elements of an online course were most beneficial to helping students learn. Features such as textbooks, interactive links, games, quizzes, writing assignments, etc. or elements like instructor feedback, user friendliness, previous online course experience, etc. are all examined to determine which have the most impact on student perceptions of online learning.
5:45 pm – 6:00 pm: Bridging continents: Using technology to internationalize a PSU Counseling Practicum
K. Hridaya Hall (Counselor Education and School Psychology) - One of the requirements of CACREP accredited Master’s programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling is to provide individual and group supervision experiences for students completing related internships. This presenter was faced with the challenge of meeting these accreditation standards with our department’s first small international cohort who would be abroad while completing internship.
This presentation will provide an overview of two experiences. The first synchronous experience held in Spring 2011 allowed a student deployed in Kuwait to participate in group supervision with his Plymouth State University classmates here on campus. The second synchronous experience is going on currently this Spring 2012 and involves Plymouth students interacting with a student living and working in a Shanghai while completing her school counseling practicum. Specifically, the highlights and challenges of using technology to support these learning experiences will be provided.
6:00 pm – 6:15 pm: Blogging for engagement
Deborah Brownstein (College of Business Administration) – With class sizes rising, essay assignments were getting harder to manage. There had to be a way to keep students writing. The answer: blogging. Students, in teams of five or six, take turns being the lead blogger; their mates reply with comments. Moodle Forums can easily be converted to small group blog forums; the procedure of posting can quickly be learned. Simple rules can enable habits of on-time participation and a culture of collaboration. The rubric I have built for assessing blog writing has been revised and is becoming a valuable, developmental teaching tool. In this presentation I will share details of the set-up, simple rules, and assessment rubric. I can share anecdotal evidence of improved writing skills. But I have discovered another outcome of using this technology-supported approach: engagement of writers and readers.
Professional bloggers write to engage their readers, so blog assignments are designed to enable engagement. The writer’s first step in responding to an assignment is to get engaged in the prompt and the source material that goes with it. In the second step, the writer finds an idea that is meaningful to him or her; writers who engage with an idea are best able to engage their readers. This engagement is a jumping-off point for writers to find their own voices. A conversational, storytelling style is encouraged—but it is not enough to write “man on the street” commentary. Professional bloggers know the language and uses the conceptual frameworks of their disciplines; so here too, professionalism is called for. Clarity and conciseness are called for since a blog can carry only one compelling idea. Ideas become bigger when they are shared, so a writer’s confidence as a communicator goes up with each reply received. Students want to write well when they write to an audience of peers. But, that can be scary; some young writers do fear they will be judged. So, blogging is best undertaken in a climate that supports practice. The assignments are short enough and frequent enough that students can make a deliberate practice of the mechanics of writing. Feedback gauges their progress on a four-step scale: novice, apprentice, journeyman, and master. The prize feedback is “you are ready to write for a larger audience.” Engagement in blogging can help students build their communication skills. Engagement with ideas and audiences broadens their understanding of who they are and what they might become.
6:15 pm – 6:30 pm: Using the groups feature in Mahara
Kathleen Norris (Educational Leadership, Learning and Curriculum) - Using the Groups feature in Mahara, faculty and students can be brought together virtually, and this has been a wonderful tool for the program coordinator who has advisees to manage, faculty to coordinate, and accreditation reports to build. This presentation will shine the light on the Groups feature in Mahara, and example groups will be shown as well as a resulting accreditation report page.
6:30 pm – 6:45 pm: Using hand-held GPS for location-based data collection exercises
John Lennon (Social Science) - The Global Positioning System (GPS) is showing up in many aspects of everyday life, from cars to smart phones. Students can gain knowledge of how GPS works and how it can be used in their course work and careers. They should also learn about its restrictions and limitations. For undergraduate geography courses, I have students complete simple exercises in which they acquire GPS coordinates (latitude-longitude) of selected spots around campus, enter the locations into a database, perform calculations on the coordinates, and then create maps or Google Earth placemarks (points or polygons) from the locations. The exercise can be adapted to include the gathering of data at the mapped locations (for example – vegetation types, soil types, and counts of things like cars, people, or clothing types).
6:45 pm – 7:00 pm:
Concluding Remarks by Learning Technologies and Online Education