Archive for March, 2012

A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: Self-Pubbed Author Beware

Via Scoop.itEducation and Social Media


Points & Praise: Video Game Tactics in Teaching

Via Scoop.itEducation and Social Media

Related posts: (Video) Game on? Yes and No. Video Showing Video Games in Action at School iPad: Game-changer, fad, or the future?


Amidst a Mobile Revolution in Schools, Will Old Teaching Tactics Work?

Via Scoop.itEducation and Social Media

Related posts: Should Schools Subsidize Mobile Phones for Kids? Points & Praise: Video Game Tactics in Teaching Parents Weigh In On Paying for Mobile Access in Schools Mobile Learning: Are We On the Cusp of Something Big?


Middle school boys who are reluctant readers value reading more after using e-readers

Via Scoop.itEducation and Social Media

It appears that struggling readers in middle school understand that engagement is needed for reading success, and 21st-century technology may hold a key to that, says the co-author of a new middle-school reading study, Dara Williams-Rossi, Southern…


In Defense of Studying Social Media – 10,000 Words

Via Scoop.itEducation and Social Media

In Defense of Studying Social Media…


The End of Teaching As We Know It. | Edudemic

Via Scoop.itEducation and Social Media

The End of Teaching As We Know It.| Edudemic


More Resources – Flipped Classroom

I know, I know. I’ve posted a lot of information and opinion on flipped classrooms lately. Since this link takes you to a diigo page of resources and articles on flipped classrooms – all in one spot – I had to share it. I hope it’s helpful!

Flipped Classroom.

In Defense of Studying Social Media – 10,000 Words

In Defense of Studying Social Media – 10,000 Words.

Should a more indepth and critical knowledge of social media be articulated by granting certificates and degrees in this area of study? This article advocates for such, and for moving beyond personal and more superficial knowledge of these platforms, so that employers and academics can better demonstrate and exercise the power of social media in the work place and the classroom. Discuss.

Are you Facebook friends with your students? Should you be?

Are you Facebook friends with your students? Should you be? Comments and experiences welcome.

teaching and learning with technology

In the normal classroom discussion the other day I was interested to find that everyone in the class (16 of them) have joined a Facebook group that one of them set up as a Literature study group. They’re all there, I asked and checked, and are discussing and asking questions and supporting each other (I hope) and pushing each other in the right directions (I hope)

I hope because I’m not sure. And I’m not sure because I’m not there. I’m not allowed to ‘friend’ students or be connected to them in social networks according to our school policy; a policy that I had a hand in developing. But, you’ve got to wonder. Here am I out here, trying to utilise our own online tools including a pretty decent wiki and blog setup, to get student collaboration and participation going and, here are they in there, doing it themselves, in…

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An excellent article on active learning using technology. Especially consider the points on using Wikis and creating multimedia ebooks with your students. The Research Academy’s Showcase on May 2, 2012 – open to all, no cost! – will feature a workshop on developing Wiki’s with students as a way to collaboratively build knowledge. We will release the full schedule of workshops later this week. If you are in the area, plan to attend this free and interactive day of workshops and presentations on teaching and learning.

Technology and Learning

Several decades ago, Paulo Freire attacked the traditional “banking” concept of education — the idea that faculty simply transmitted knowledge to students who stored it as if they were passive containers. Instead, Freire argued, they should treat students as equals capable of active learning.

Now, more than ever, educators have an opportunity to realize Freire’s vision. By teaching well with digital technologies, faculty can help students connect, collaborate, and create, allowing them to take ownership of their own learning.

Connecting is a central part of today’s online experience. The rise of Web 2.0 technologies several years ago allowed users to move beyond such basic communication tools as email and instant messaging to find people who share their interests and build relationships with them.

This is an important distinction. Where early web technologies enabled people to communicate primarily with friends and family, today’s networks encourage discovery and new relationships.

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For those interested in instantly gauging student understanding of concepts, polling for student opinions and perspectives on issues raised through discussion, or just curious on how you might integrate this in your teaching practice, check out these new tools. Read the full entry for more information of how these tools are utilized, and how easy they can be used for instant student feedback on learning.

On blogging in the Digital Humanities

I have nothing to really add to this excellent blog post on why we academics, scholars, and teachers should be blogging, now:

“Blogging in the social, pure, and applied sciences is a common enough practice that two members of the London School of Economics’ Public Policy Group said today that it is “one of the most important things that an academic should be doing right now” — namely, circulating ideas-in-progress to readers in more immediate and (yes) more interesting forms than traditional academic publishing.

It’s no less important in the humanities, even if it’s less common. But in a research field like the digital humanities, blog posts and tweets are the primary way — for many, the only way — that scholars and students disseminate and learn about new questions and methods.”

Read the full post at:

More on the Flipped Classroom – From the UK and Online Teaching Practices

This re-blog comes to us from Verona, Italy, written by a British teacher and scholar, and primarily discusses technology used to teach online courses. There are several mentions of new tools that may help the instructor who is currently teaching online, or considering moving courses into a hybrid/online environment.

I am posting this not only for the tips and perspective on what a “flipped” classroom is, but because it is helpful to know what practices are considered successful – and how emerging technology is leveraged – in different countries and how it may be helpful to us here in the U.S. to consider different ideas of instruction, homework, and student motivation.

I’d love some comments on this post, as well as some discussion on what others are doing (post your links!)

Technology and Learning

The scene in the basement of Notre Dame’s business college Saturday fit the day’s theme: Teaching well with technology.  High-definition monitors decorated the room’s walls, offering participants a look at the cloud-based tools they’d spend the day exploring. Banks of networked PCs allowed them to dive into these tools, or browse the workshop’s agenda and resources, which were posted online. And technophiles Chris Clark (Notre Dame) and Bruce Spitzer (IUSB) brimmed with enthusiasm as they presented and took questions.

For the next several hours, Clark and Spitzer led participants on a tour of tools aimed at helping them to encourage active learning, craft engaging presentations, and gather data from students to enrich their teaching methods.

Clark and Spitzer stressed the importance of a planned approach that begins with defining learning goals and student assessments, continues with determining teaching strategies, and concludes by picking the appropriate supporting technologies

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Dig deeper into this article for the link to the article in Cerebrum, well worth the read. Essentially, creativity is not an isolated characteristic inherent in particular people, but can be fostered through cognitive development of the processes that lead to creative thought. Groovy.

Seven Ways to Be More Positive (and a better teacher)

Though these tips are directed to a more holistic approach to enriching and becoming satisfied with your life, as I read them I felt they applied as well to who we are as instructors. As you move through these tips, consider how they might influence how you plan and execute your curriculum, and what level of mindfulness you bring to the classroom:

I especially think that numbers 4-7: #4 Set Small, Achievable Goals; #5 Do Something Kind; #6 Write Your Own Affirmations; and #7 Focus on What’s Already Good, can apply to not only how we approach teaching, but how we reflect on our teaching. We don’t always ground our experience and growth in checking in with ourselves, and perhaps these simple steps will help.

Be sure to check back often, as I have a new post coming in the next few days concerning Mindful Learning, from a research-based approach, to contemplative practice.

TED Lessons Worth Sharing – Critical Balance

This blog post examines the 10-minute lectures, an initiative based on animating the best TED Lectures and lecturers:

I’m re-posting this analysis because it relates to our discussion of the flipped classroom (pre-recording lectures for students), and because I think Dr. Runte makes some wonderful points about reducing knowledge to encapsulated bits of information that may not allow for deeper thinking, critical discussion, and a regimen of disciplined learning that serves them well into their academic lives and careers.  Could this be enabling a further reduction in student attention spans? Thoughts?

How to Make Math Meaningful


This video discusses how to make math more meaningful and less intimidating for students. Short but rich!

Mid Term Evaluations – Checking in with students

Mid Term Evaluations – Checking in with students

Part II of Teaching Circles Discussion Review

As I finished up my post on student failure, I remembered that amidst all of our discussion on attendance, setting expectations, letting students fail, and more, I forgot to talk about mid-term evaluations. Yes, we fit this in! In fact, we started our conversation talking about conducting mid-term evaluations in order to gauge where students were, whether they felt they were learning, and what suggestions they had for improving their learning. For those of you who have never performed a mid-term evaluation, it’s worth looking at why we do these and how they help us continually enhance our teaching and “check in” with our students’ learning.

Mid-term evaluations give us a chance to adjust our courses based on feedback from students on what’s working and what could be changed to help students learn – changing horses mid-stream, if you like backwardly applied metaphors. Coincidentally, one of my favorite teaching and learning blogs (ProfHacker, sponsored by the Chronicle of Higher Education) had a post about mid-term evals, as well as a promotion through a really excellent higher ed forum, POD. See below.

For those of you considering mid term evaluations, this is an excellent list of resources, combined with an idea of how to conduct evaluations collaboratively with your students, that is, invest them in the process.

We also offer this service to Montclair State faculty through the Research Academy, called SGA’s. Go here to learn more:

Conducting Your Midterm Evaluations Publicly with Google Docs

Croxall uses GoogleDocs to have students collaboratively do a midterm evaluation answering two questions: “What is working well so far?” and “What could be done better?”

The post links to other ProfHacker entries on the same topic.

List of Evaluation Resources From POD:

  • Anderson, Joan, Gary Brown, and Stephen Spaeth.  “Online Student Evaluations and Response Rates Reconsidered.”  Innovate 2, no. 6 (2006). (accessed January 8, 2011).
  • Brinko, Kathleen T.  “The Interactions of Teaching Improvement.”  In Practically Speaking: A Sourcebook for Instructional Consultants in Higher Education, 3-8.  Edited by Kathleen T. Brinko and Robert J. Menges.  Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press, 1997.
  • Coffman, Sara Jane.  “Small Group Instructional Evaluation Across the Disciplines.”  College Teaching 46, no. 3 (1998): 106-111.
  • Creed, Tom.  “Small Group Instructional Diagnosis (SGID).”  The National Teaching & Learning Forum 6, no. 4 (1997). (accessed December 12, 2010).
  • Diamond, Miriam R.  “The Usefulness of Structured Mid-Term Feedback as a Catalyst for Change in Higher Education Classes.”  Active Learning in Higher Education 5, no. 3 (2004): 217-231.
  • Diamond, Nancy A. “Small Group Instructional Diagnosis: Tapping Student Perceptions of Teaching.”  In A Guide to Faculty Development: Practical Advice, Examples, and Resource, 82-91.  Edited by Kay Herr Gillespie, Linda R. Hilsen, and Emily C. Wadsworth.  Boston: Anker Press, 2002.
  • Lewis, Karron G.  “The Process of Individual Consultation.” In A Guide to Faculty Development: Practical Advice, Examples, and Resources, 59-73.  Edited by Kay Herr-Gillespie, Linda R. Hilsen, and Emily C. Wadsworth.  Boston: Anker Press. 2002.  59-73.
  • Penny, Angela R., and Robert Coe.  “Effectiveness of Consultation on Student Ratings Feedback: A Meta-Analysis.”  Review of Educational Research 74, no. 2 (2004): 215-253.
  • Seldin, Peter.  “Using Student Feedback to Improve Teaching.”  To Improve the Academy 16 (1997): 335-346.
  • Smuts, Bridget.  “Using Class Interviews to Evaluate Teaching and Courses in Higher Education.”  South African Journal of Higher Education 19, no. 5 (2005): 943-955.
  • Theall, Michael.  “Student Ratings: Myths vs. Research Evidence.”  Focus on Faculty 10, no. 3 (2002): 2-3. (accessed December 12 2010).
  • White, Ken.  “Mid-Course Adjustments: Using Small Group Instructional Diagnoses To Improve Teaching and Learning.”  In Assessment in and of Collaborative Learning.  Edited by The Washington Center’s EvaluationCommittee, Evergreen State University. (accessed December 12, 2010).


Please also check out this comment with even more resources (visit the original post here:

March 6, 2012 5:02 pm


Thanks for the awesome write-up of ds106 here, it is a really fun class. Tim Owens deserves full credit for making the Daily Create site a reality, and it is all done with freely available WordPress plugins, you can see the details here

Also, Martha Burtis’s work with the ds106 assignment repository is amazing. It’s a space where students submit assignments and other people in the class can do them. Take for example the fat Cat visual assignment which a student at UMW submitted and people all over the world completed, pretty crazy:

One thing you might notice is not only the list of 23 people who did that particular assignment, but also the 3 or 4 tutorials people submitted to help others complete it. What happens with ds106 is the students not only help build not the community of the class, but the class itself. It is like building an airplane while flying in it!

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