Media, Technology, and Education

How Humans Learn: Curiosity

I have found that the first chapter of Joshua Eyler’s book How Humans Learn connects nicely with what we’re trying to do with Tackling a Wicked Problem. The chapter is about the role of curiosity in learning. He writes: “In order to learn something, we must first wonder about it.” (p. 18). He goes on…

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What is “Tackling a Wicked Problem”?

Starting this fall, Plymouth State University is embarking on a new curricular initiative called Tackling a Wicked Problem (TWP). This is a course required of all first year students, designed to provide experiences in our cluster learning model. We have taken a lot of steps to get to the point where we’re offering the course…

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IS4220 Wrap Up

Today was the final exam period for my section of IS4220–Signature Project. The students presented their final project to members of various offices across campus, including Admissions and MCCS, as well as President Birx and Associate Provost Mears. Their project, an Interactive Journey Map to help prospective students navigate the journey from inquiring about PSU…

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Conversational Design

I just finished reading Erika Hall’s excellent book Conversational Design. Hall is a technologist who is interested in making digital systems more human-centered. The idea of conversational design is to use human to human conversations as a model for designing human to computer interactions. The issue of communication using digital systems has been a huge…

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Progress Report: Cluster Initiative

I have had a couple of conversations recently in which people expressed concern that we have not accomplished much with the cluster initiative. I think this concern is coming up right now because we are at the end of our seed funding for cluster projects. Cluster projects were the focus of the cluster initiative for…

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Making Appointments

Just after mid-term every semester, my University holds “advising weeks” during which faculty meet with all of their advisees to help them plan their schedules for the upcoming semester. I used to put a list of possible appointment times on my door so that students could stop by to sign up. There were lots of…

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An Alternative to the Corporate Web

I’ve written about why I think we need the IndieWeb before. I’m going to the Popular Culture Association Conference in April and will present about this there as part of the Internet Culture track. I’ve been talking to friends about what they might want to know about the IndieWeb as a way of getting a…

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The National Conversations about Gen Ed

Brigid O’Donnell and I went to AAC&U’s General Education Conference in February. The name of the conference was Creating a 21st Century General Education Program: Responding to Seismic Shifts. My overall feeling is that, in many ways, PSU’s Gen Ed program continues to be cutting edge. We grappled with many of the current issues facing…

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INCAP Pilot Update

I can’t believe how quickly half of the Spring semester has flown by! There is a lot going on in the world of General Education at Plymouth State University and I’m going to try to take advantage of Spring Break to write some blog posts about our activities. But before I write about Gen Ed…

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January Jamboree 2019

I have been meaning to write a post about Plymouth State University’s January Jamboree event but January and now 10 days of February have slipped by me. The only reason I don’t feel badly about this is because there has been a TON of stuff going on related to General Education and the Integrated Cluster…

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The Vulnerability of Learning

I spent the last three days talking about learning and teaching at Plymouth State University’s January Jamboree and the University System of New Hampshire’s Academic Technology Institute meeting. Both events were full of so many thought-provoking presentations and conversations. Each event had a student panel in which students talked about their experiences with open educational…

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“I thought there was going to be more teaching done in the class”

I spent several hours yesterday and today looking through the student course evaluations of the 45 sections of First Year Seminar that we offered at Plymouth State University this fall. I know that student evaluations are not the best way to judge the quality of individual courses or individual instructors. There’s lots of research about…

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