Monday, November 13, 2017

November Session--Tools of Engagement

And engaging it was.  First up Charissa Jakusz, Dean of Students and Mike Ostman, Director of Student Activities, demonstrated Involvio, the multi-purpose, feature-packed mobile app.  Rechristened  Cardinals Connect, the app,  as Jakusz described it, functions as the "virtual campus center" for St. Mary's and already has over 900 subscribers. Among other features, users can advertise upcoming activities, create calendars and organize events, and monitor attendance with multiple tools including real-time analytics. A great tool for increasing student engagement and retention.

In the second half of the session, Karen Hemeker, Director of Access Services, introduced a group of students that had volunteered to come forward to talk about the learning challenges they face in the classroom. In very moving testimony,  each student described their individual disability and talked about how elements of Universal Design theory employed in the Student Success Center have helped them to succeed. The students offered a number of specific ideas about how their instructors could facilitate  a more effective learning environment.    Instructor Matt Klosky supported the discussion and reminded the session attendees that, while some students may have come forward and asked for help in Student Services, many other students may not wish to identify themselves in this way so stay silent about challenges they face.  Faculty then, would be well advised to employ many of the elements of Universal Design with the goal of better serving the needs of all of their students.

Missed the session?  Watch it now on Tegrity

Monday, October 30, 2017

October Session

Chat Chow took the show on the road this month. In Studio "S" up the bluff in St. Yon's Hall, presenter Eric Heukeshoven, Music Department, demonstrated the department's new active learning environment, which includes state of the art digital tools for audio production and sound creation. The technology supports the Music Industry program at St. Mary's which offers musician-centered education through small group, project focused curriculum. 

Attendees were treated to a history of the project while they lunched, then experienced the possibilities of the technology in the  "control tower," and finally toured the facility escorted by SMU music students. 

Missed the session? View it now on Tegrity

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

e-Medley: November's Session

Chemistry Department members Brett Bodsgard, Chris Jordan, and Nathan Lien opted to use a free e-text book from OpenStax this year.  To open this session they described this project.  They learned about OpenStax while at a conference and decided to try it out, hoping to save students from the high cost of chemistry textbooks.  They were generally happy with the content and design of the text book and particularly liked the the way its interactivity reinforced the material. Results from a student survey were mixed with some not having used it at all  (text was not required reading) and some finding that it was very helpful.

Josh Lallaman from Biology was up next with a description of how he is using McGraw-Hill Connect, an online teaching and learning platform,  to connect his students to publisher resources. The program is not free, but it integrates well with Blackboard and provides an interactive experience for his students.

Finally Peggy Johnson, Writing Center Director, along with four of her English 220 students described an efolio project  in which student used WIX,  a cloud based web development platform, to develop interactive resumes. Much more than a simple resume, these sites enabled the students to showcase their academic achievements  as well as their personal development using slide shows and graphics.  At the same time students had an opportunity to hone their writing skills in what Johnson described as "public literacy."

Missed the session?  Watch it here on Tegrity.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

All Are Included

In support of October as Disabilities Awareness Month the October 21st session featured Karen Hemker (Director of Disability Services), Jason Spartz (Director of Instructional Technology), and Matt Klosky (Social Sciences Lecturer) introducing Universal Design concepts and strategies. 

Read and Write for Google was first on the agenda with two of Hemker's  students describing how the program works for them and how it can work for all students, not just those with disabilities.  The "Mike and Moe Show," as they titled their spirited offering, will be presented across the SMU campus to garner more buy in for the Google program. 

Hemker, Spartz, and Klosky continued the discussion of Universal Design for Learning concepts, with Klosky providing the results of a survey that tracked how faculty are using UDL strategies. Specific examples of classroom strategies were highlighted sparking a lively question and answer session with the audience.

Missed the session?  View it here on Tegrity

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Not Your Mother's Art Class


Using Zurb’s Foundation 6, Kjellgren Alkire (Art Dept.) has been applying mobile responsive web development and design to enhance websites, WordPress pages, and web portfolios.  

In this session participants learned to better understand HTML as a digital literacy which is supporting creative producers in a new media ecology.

Missed the session?  Watch it here on Tegrity.

Monday, February 29, 2016

February Session: "It's All in the Game"

Michael Ratajczyk (Business) opened the first session of the second semester with a fascinating description of the game he created for his microeconomics class, Wealth of Nation Building.  Using Google Sites, the game consists of five person teams with each team functioning as a specific nation faced with the challenge of developing wealth and preserving the health of its citizens.  As Ratajczyk explains it, the game involves students in real-time problem solving and experiential learning. Along with the use of technology, the game provides for a collaborative work environment, as well as a multi-disciplinary and  multi-cultural, global component. Former students enjoy the game so much that they come back to help new students play the game in subsequent semesters.

For much more on Ratajczyk's use of gamification and Google Sites watch the Tegrity video.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

November Session

November's Medley

Dr. Crystal Carlson (Psychology) opened the session with a description of how she is using infographics in her psychology classes.  She began by defining infographics as a pictorial representation of information or an idea and dated the first use of them back to the drawings of ancient cavemen.  In today's online world infographics are in wide use and are especially effective as a means of demonstrating data or statistics.  

 Carlson requires her students to employ infographics in their e-portfolios which she says helps them to" represent something complex in an engaging way" and  to "simplify," consolidating their research into a central theme or thesis. As her students work with infographics they begin to understand how they can be effectively used in many domains and not just to illustrate data or statistics. 

There are many free infographics sites which enable users to either start from a template or entirely from scratch. Carlson recommended several including: 

See Wikipedia's treatment of infographics

In the second half of the session Jason Spartz (Instructional Technology) provided an introduction to some of the latest developments in the area of active learning environments. Dr. Kristen Sellke and Dr. Janel Schultz (Mathematics), Dr. Dorothy Diehl (Languages), Dr. Scott Sorvaag (Education), and Dr. Crystal Carlson (Psychology) described the technological changes made to their classrooms and how these changes have impacted  teaching and learning.  Movable furniture and access to multiple monitors have greatly enhanced group work.  Write everywhere walls serve to " make thinking visible," one of the math professors explained, and the adding of network connections and charging stations to traditional electrical sockets has enabled easy use of technologies. 

Missed the session?  View it here on Tegrity.