July 25, 2008

Tomorrow's Professor

Would you like to be able to read what people all over the world are saying in the realm of higher education about an array of interesting topics? If this is something you would like, then you should read what a huge network of professionals share almost everyday on Tomorrow's Professor.

This is a collaborative effort by Stanford University and M.I.T., which shares advice, experiences, research and blog postings from all over the world. Tomorrow's Professor has a sharing network of over 25,000 people, at more than 600 institutions, in 108 countries. People can find articles that concern topics ranging from "Avoiding scientific misconduct" to "How to Get the Most Out of Scientific Conferences." In their blog you can find postings concerning a variety of topics, like "Adaptive Learning" and "Academic Advising in the New Global Century."

Please see their Listserv and blog with the links below:

Listserv: <http://ctl.stanford.edu/Tomprof/index.shtml>

Blog: <http://amps-tools.mit.edu/tomprofblog/>

Please leave us a comment about what you think about Tomorrow's Professor.

July 23, 2008

BG News Article-"New Univ. blogging systems means new route of comminication"

Today the BG News published an article about different blogs around campus. The article features information and insight about blogs run by the Center, a campus department, and some professors.

Reporter, Angie Burdge describes how blogging systems will have, "a new way for professors and students to communicate."

The link to the article is below and should be accessible to anyone.

Thank You BG News!

Article Link: http://media.www.bgnews.com/media/storage/paper883/news/2008/07/23/Campus/New-Univ.Blogging.System.Means.New.Route.Of.Communication-3393681.shtml

July 22, 2008

New TA Workshop Series

Starting this fall the Center will be hosting a new Teaching Assistants workshop series. The series will be discussions for incoming, current and former Teaching Assistants. There are all sorts of components entailed in being a Teaching Assistant and instructing a room full of college students, and the Center would like to work with TA's to discuss the many aspects. We will be talking about everything from taking attendance, to assessments, to writing syllabi. Resources and other suggestions will be offered to aid in every part of being a TA.

The Center is aiming to start this series of workshops in late August, with the next workshop to come around mid-October, and a final workshop towards the end of fall semester. The exact times and dates for the workshops will be forthcoming. Please see the Center's website for further details in the near future.

July 16, 2008

What are Your Classroom Goals? (Workshop Extension)

Developed by Thomas Angelo & K. Patricia Cross, the Teaching Goals Inventory (TGI) allows faculty to examine the needs, outcomes, and goals of their course(s) in a quantifiable fashion. The results of your highest ranking goals can then be used to determine the most appropriate formative assessment strategies for your students or as a framework for crafting a course syllabus. Classroom Assessment Techniques includes a paper version of the inventory, but the University of Iowa's Center for Teaching created an online version of the TGI for faster analysis and application.

Here is a sample readout from the TGI:
The cluster areas correspond to goals from the inventory, which can be measured throughout a course using various formative assessments from Classroom Assessment Techniques by Angelo and Cross (1993). With about 50 CATs to choose from, the TGI is a quick way to sort them into a manageable quantity to explore. Additionally, the TGI can be used by individual faculty, departments, or even students to uncover their vision and/or motivation for learning.

The Center's next workshop on using the TGI (Identifying Your Teaching Goals Using the TGI) is Wednesday, August 6, 10:15am-11:00am, immediately followed by the Formative Assessment Using CATs workshop from 11-12. For more information or to register for one or both, click here!

After taking the TGI, share your results (or main cluster/goal area). Was this tool beneficial?

Click on the COMMENTS link below to get started!

July 14, 2008

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Nicholas Carr recently wrote an article for the Atlantic Monthly about what he believes the Internet is doing to people's brains. Carr's, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" asks the question over whether people are relying far too much on the Internet for instant access to information, and changing the ways we think and altering "our understanding of the world."

Below are two short reactions to Carr's popular article.

Reaction #1
Nicholas Carr may ask the question, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”, but his clear answer is that it certainly isn’t helping us think critically or deeply. Carr draws some comparisons to other technological advances in history, including writing and the printing press, fairly noting that although certain prominent thinkers of the time were certain we would see detrimental results in society’s collective cognition, the opposite is generally true. Carr is obviously skeptical of a positive affect of technology on the brain and learning. He raises good questions that amount to a consideration of how much “concentration and contemplation” actually occurs with an increase in technology and the future outcome of this change in learning. Whether you are concerned or celebratory of the change technology has made in learning, addressing the philosophical issues of “What is important to learn?” and “How can we best learn it?” will remain at the forefront and Carr gives us such an opportunity to reflect.

Reaction #2

"So, yes, you should be skeptical of my skepticism," is what Carr offers as a disclaimer after he essentially writes about the negative affects the Internet has on how people think and read. He proposes anecdotal evidence to support his assertion that the Internet is somehow controlling what people read, how they read, their reading and comprehension habits and, ultimately, how people think. He makes a formidable attempt to show how the giants of the Internet, like Google, have a predetermined plan to alter the web surfers intelligence. His argument is not the greatest defense of his overarching thesis, but he does ask a worthy question. It would be interesting to see what academic studies would say about how the Internet has morphed people's minds.

Please take a look at Carr's article and feel free to post your reaction or thoughts about it. Here is a link to Carr's article: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/google

What do you think about the article and suppositions?

Click on the COMMENTS link below to get started!