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.

Augmenting Student Intellect: Tools for the Road

During my four years at Mary Washington technology has played in an integral role in my daily life. Most importantly technology has radically changed the way I learn in and outside of the classroom. If technology had not been so tightly interwoven into my experience I believe my education would be fundamentally different and, I would argue, worse. During this presentation I will reflect back on the technology tools that helped develop, mold and augment my experience as a student at Mary Washington.

I Contain Multitudes: Finding Whitman in a Digital World

“Digital Whitman,” a Fall 2009 senior seminar in English taught by Mara Scanlon, Brady Earnhart, and Jim Groom, was part of an NEH-funded grant called “Looking for Whitman: the Poetry of Place in the Life and Work of Walt Whitman.”  This project, which was cited in the 2010 Horizon Report from The New Media Consortium and EDUCAUSE, allied five classes, at four institutions, on two continents, with strikingly different student profiles, through open source blogging and social networking technologies.  Considering specific technologies, multimedia student work, pedagogical challenges and rewards, and the implications of the open and collaborative classroom, this presentation will discuss the experience of teaching in a unique, digitally linked, distributed environment.

Connecting Across Campus: An Interdisciplinary Software Project

The UMW Speaking Center consultants have been taking in more and more appointments from an increasing number of students. Typically we receive appointment requests by email, telephone, or in person. In an effort to improve efficiency, together with CPSC students under the supervision of Professor Jennifer Polack, we have been developing and testing a new online appointment scheduler software that we hope one day will replace the need for any of the aforementioned methods of scheduling appointments.

Much of what has appeared in print relating to synchronous online student demographics has been speculative.  Widely accepted assumptions identify the following groups as most likely to use a synchronous service: distance education students, physically challenged students, students seeking additional privacy, students unable to come to the center during traditional hours, and highly apprehensive students. The data collected validates some of these assumptions and negates others.

Demographic Characteristics of Synchronous Online Learners: A Quantitative Study

This presentation will discuss data from a two-year study of nontraditional students who chose to meet synchronously online with a writing center consultant rather than meet face-to-face.  Consultations were hosted using Elluminate, allowing even dial-up students to meet, talk, chat, and application share with a consultant.  The study tracks the program’s progress from its inception and takes an in-depth look at online client demographics, the reason(s) clients elect to meet online, and client perceptions of the online conferencing experience.

Approximately one week after their conference, writing center clients were sent an online survey designed to answer the following questions: 1)Are there significant demographic differences between the f2f and online clients? 2) Why do writing center clients choose to use an online service? 3)Are there significant differences in how f2f and online clients perceive their conferencing experience? Data was collected from 279 writing center clients via e-mail surveys – 189 f2f clients and 90 online clients – coded, and then analyzed using SPSS analysis software.

Using JING to Create a Software Demonstration Video

I often teach in a classroom without the technology needed to demonstrate the software I want my students to use.  I have added a lot of step-by-step directions to my assignments but some students need more help.  At the International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics this past spring I saw a demonstration of how JING can be used to create short demonstration videos.  I downloaded JING and within a couple of hours had my first video ready to go!  In this presentation I will describe how easy it was to use JING and also some of the difficulties I had to overcome.

Is Digital Scholarship Really Scholarship?

This session will consider its eponymous question in the context of the future of the university. The format of the session will focus on a conversation motivated by the following questions:  What is digital scholarship?  What forms does it take?  Does it/should it count in your department/discipline for purposes of tenure, promotion, fame & fortune? What advantages does it hold over traditional scholarship? Is digital scholarship really “digital?”

Each presenter will offer a brief (10-minute) statement, followed by a longer period of discussion.

Curriculum, Community, and the Capacious Blog

At a minimum, blogs may be aesthetically pleasing and fluid course management systems.  But my interest here is in what I call the “capacious blog,” the ability of the multiuser course blog to contain all levels of discourse, to be both analysis and play or indeed to blur the lines between the two.  What is the relationship of such a blog to traditional course content and to formal assignments?  What is its relationship to the intellectual and embodied community of the humans in the classroom?  What is the pedagogical purpose of allowing or fostering a capacious blog?