Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Duke's Center for Instructional Technology Showcase

On Friday April 27, 2012 I attend the Duke Center for Instructional Technology Showcase  - a free one-day conference which "celebrates creativity and innovation in using technology in education at Duke with presentations and demonstrations by Duke faculty and staff"  

Session 1: Exploring Games for Learning
Presenters from Elon, UNC-CH, U of Chicago Medicine showcased various types of gaming.  Alternative reality games (ARGs) were discusses the most.
  •  U of Chicago folks created a game called Stork. A large team with variety of skills collaborated on the creation - and the trailer for it was, well, amazing!  Its like scavenger hunt but digital with audio, video, mobile, etc. for health oriented learning. ARGs are a great way to engage with youth because THEY get to create it! 
  • Elon's  Intro Astronomy Class profssor created  a "reacting to the past" games - no technology involved - but engages students in a SNL,  Daily Show, Cobert Report like situations. Examples are: reading Galileo's texts and role playing as a character at the time and place or engaging in the is Pluto a planet debate.  Setting is key: they physically went to other places like a chapel or bar depending on the screen to give students the feel of time and place.  to debate and role play.
  • UNC-CH discussed their ShBANGE collaborative research project another ARG, which involved collaborative between their LIS dept and the librayr. It involved two-weeks of puzzle-solving beginning with a staged marriage proposal in the Pit on the UNC-CH, and then offering clues, leading to puzzles, to more puzzles, etc using Info Lit and Research skills to build and solve the game. (Read more about it)
Session 2:  Learning from the Humanities Labs
This session included librarians and students - promoting how libraries should be involved in Humanities Labs and how one student work on her thesis through the lab with help from many people on campus.  

  • Student Emma started out the session using Prezi for her presentation which really worked well, showing a layout in  a gallery, that you zoom in to see the digital maps from their special collection embedded in the virtual gallery.  She praised the library and said the library resources were key for her work and got lots of help from librarians on visualization too. She worked heavily in the BorderWorks Lab at Duke: reading travelogues  of visits to Tahiti by past explorers, analyzed scanned maps, created a timeline of events, and created a google earth map showing the explorers movements with various layers to be toggled on and off . Her goal was to determine if there a correlation between eye witness recorded events at island and those documented in England as she wanted to create a vision of Tahiti for 18th century readers.  She also mapped correspondences on a google maps and see the scale of geographic area of letters spread around. Read more about her work here!
  • The second project was a Slave Nations Project  - to determine the ethnic origins in Africa of slaves in colonial Haiti - using data and visualization. This was a project from Duke's Haiti Lab, which is the first humanities laboratory at the Franklin Humanities Institute. This project involved collaborate between numerous students and researchers, using a database of of slaves who escaped, database of ads looking for missing slaves and trying  to correlate the data, using share google spreadsheet (until it got too large) and map overlaps on Google Earth to geolocate actual origins of slaves.  These folks strongly comment that they would like to see the library  help host data and databases as they need that core infrastructure to create database driven research projects, saved and shared or privatized if needed.
Session 3: What are your students doing with social media?
First student discussed what social media they are using in general: Tumblr, Twitter, Storify, Facebook, Delicious, Four square, Youtube, Google +

For courses they discussed what faculty are using in their courses:
For Theater class and English classes, posted all materials in Wordpress blog, all digital all in one place,  posts by students to engage w/ each other and document the process. Online interaction among students discussing topic is key. A Biology course used lots youtube videos which student liked.  For a  French classes students had to tweet to each other in French w correct grammar to each other! A Nutrition class used blogs to keep a food journal including  images and notes and quotes from readings for class. A freshman started a duke notes for sciences where people post their large lecture notes to share with each other, and take notes together through shared google docs -  now other classes have created their own with  professors adding content in there too (which can help prof assess if students got concepts or not!)  and is accessible to all in the class!

Lastly they gave advice:
  •  Don't be afraid to use social media 'we use it more than email for sure'
  • Use Facebook privacy settings so you an connect with students but not share all (you can have private life too) or just subscribe to a student postings.  This makes profs more human to students.
  • PLEASE use  google docs for shared notes in your courses
  • Try the tweeting in language classes again.
  • Love videos
Conclusion of CIT....

Its worth attending not just to see some cool new methods of integrating tech  to support student learning and engagement, but great food and amazing networking. And of course had to take a walk through the gorgeous Duke gardens!


Lynda M. Kellam said...

I like the idea of using google docs for lecture notes. I had been trying to think through using it for paper submissions. Just to cut down on the amount of paper. The problem is 40 students. Need to think through the logistics of that.

Did you get links for the wordpress sites? That sounds like a great approach.

Lynda M. Kellam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BFW said...

The students didn't give the wordpress sites URLS - they just talked about them. I think it might have been private?

yea I like the ideas of google docs for notes - all the students were hip on that one!