Faculty Academy in the News

It was pretty cool to wake up this morning and find a write-up of Faculty Academy by Joshua Kim (of Dartmouth University) in the “Technology and Learning” blog in Inside Higher Ed.In addition to a great synopsis of the conference, Kim has this to say about the work being done at UMW with teaching and technology:

The list of ways that the University of Mary Washington sets the example in learning and technology is indeed long. UMW is at the forefront of a movement to provide open access to course material and faculty and student contributions through its pioneering UMW Blogsplatform. Check out the “Courses” section of UMW blogs for an aggregated view of the most recent semester’s classes available for viewing on this open platform.

UMW is the home of Jim Groom, and the birthplace of the EduPunk movement. You can check out Jim’s course on Digital Storytelling through its course blog, and judge for yourself what is gained or lost by going around the traditional LMS.

UMW is also the home of Steven Greenlaw, a leading thinker and practitioner of innovative teaching methods that leverage technology for learning. Some of Steve’s amazing ECON courses can also be viewed on the UMW course blog site.

Jim Groom and Steve Greenlaw’s work are great examples of the kinds of innovative teaching we witness every day at UMW; we’re looking forward to hearing from our colleagues across the University at Faculty Academy this week as they share their own experiences with innovation in the classroom!

Initial Thoughts on Teaching with an iPad

This presentation is a brief list of possible uses of the iPad by teacher and student. Demonstrations using an iPad will occur but this is an information session rather than a hands on session.

Fast, Cheap, and Under Control: Web Video

In this session, we’ll cover tools and techniques that will get your web video online fast. Cheap (free or almost free) resources will be emphasized to help you create, publish, and perfect your project. Videoblogging, lecturecasting, screencasting, and scenecasting. Bit-rates to Blip.tv. MP4, h.264, HTML5 and FLV. We’ve got you covered from shooting and capturing, to converting and publishing. The mobile crowd won’t be left out either with video running on smart phones, ipods, and iPhones. Web video beginners are most welcome, but there will be plenty of nuggets for the advanced user to take away. Get what is normally an out of control facet of the web, under control.

The Many Faces of UMW Blogs

Three years into UMW Blogs, this presentation will explore innovative uses, case studies, and, hopefully, seed ideas for future publishing projects.

Student Blogging

Rachaeldawnewrites.com is a blog that began after a freshman year class project.  It took another two years before it actually took any real form, but the final outcome was far from the original.  I have always been interested in aging and gerontology, and I love sharing my excitement with others.  My website comes from the perspective of an advocate for the aging population with a great concern about older adults’ welfare.

Our Western Civilization II Chapter Blogs

In Fall 2009, following the suggestion of Jim Groom and inspiration from the 2009 Faculty Academy, I instituted a course website and a series of chapter blogs as a group assignment for my Western Civilization II course.  Together with Jim, I plan to explain how he launched this site, who did what, how I graded the assignments, how the students reacted to the assignment, and the overall results of the initiative.  Once we have presented the site, I hope to hear ideas from the audience as to how to improve the assignment for future courses.

Class website: http://westciv2.umwblogs.org/

A Wiimote Based Interactive Project System

Interactive White Boards (IWB) are now used in many public school classrooms.  In some schools each classroom may have a wall-mounted IWB used in tandem with a ceiling mounted projector, making the board as easily available as a chalkboard or overhead projector.  A limiting factor for many schools has been cost, the average price for an IWB is about $1500.  A Wiimote-based interactive system provides a very inexpensive alternative (about $60.00) to an IWB.  The requirements for the system are: a Wiimote, an infrared (IR) pen, and the open source Wiimote Whiteboard program.  A Bluetooth-enabled computer and a multimedia projector are also required.  The system allows any surface to be used as an IWB as the Wiimote tracks the location of the IR pen as it moves around the projected image and sends that information to the computer.  The software runs on Mac OS, Windows, and Linux systems and source code is available for download.  In this presentation we will describe the system components, demonstrate possible applications, and discuss problems and potential uses for the Wiimote IWB.

Can iPod Touches Help Students Learn Nueroscience?

In the spring of 2010, liaisons at the University of Richmond’s Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology teamed up with professors interested in mobile learning by providing iPod touches and microphones to proposal-winning faculty. Allison Czapracki, technology liaison to the sciences, guided biology professor Dr. Linda Boland and her students in finding relevant neuroscience applications and podcasts, setting up a flash-card system used on the web and iPod touches, connecting them with a digital storytelling class, and using discussion forums to reflect on and evaluate one another’s digital stories.

Did students think that using the iPods for course-related work helped them learn the material better, or were they just another flashy device? Were students more engaged with the subject matter? Did the students benefit from creating neuroscience digital stories, and was the investment in that project worth the professor’s and students’ time? Czapracki will share the results of this experiment and reveal Dr. Boland’s insights and lessons learned about teaching with iPod Touches.

Digital Fluency, Online Communication, History and American Studies: One Department’s Engagement with Social Media & Pedagogy

This will be a panel discussion of our department’s engagement with social media and digital literacy. Topics for discussions will include:

Discussions of blogging with AMST & History classes.

Discussion of the way the three of us contribute to the department blog as a way of communicating with our students and the larger community (including alumni and prospective students), including our basic use of UMWBlogs, Twitter, Linked-In, and Facebook.

We want to engage with the audience in a discussion of how digital fluency (both in terms of consumption and production) plays an increasingly significant role as a critical skill for our department.

How Martha Burtis Caught Me Coming out of the Technological Closet. . .and the Really Useful Things I Have Learned to Do with Technology Since Then

As technology is playing an increasingly important role in my teaching and professional life, it seemed appropriate to share with colleagues a tool that might be helpful to others.  This presentation looks at the use of recorded audio files (MP3) as a way to deliver detailed critiques of students project work.   I will also introduce two professional projects on which I am working: Costumier, an online database of resources relevant to theatrical costumers, as well as the very beginning of an online journal in undergraduate research in fashion history entitled, Finding Fashion.