Should I take my organic chemistry exam or accept an invitation for coffee with a Nobel Prize winning scientist? Eric Shiuey C’16 and Evan Selzer C’16 hesitated. Fortunately, their professor Jeffery Saven set them straight. Exam rescheduled!
A few weeks earlier, Eric and Evan had created a video for the course CHEM 251, Principles of Biological Chemistry. They had pored over journal articles on prions, a new class of pathogens discovered by Dr. Prusiner. As part of the assignment, students share links to their videos with the scientists whose work is referenced. Eric and Evan wrote to six scientists and four responded with feedback. One email brought a surprise! An invitation to meet with Dr. Prusiner when he visited Penn this April as part of the Year of Health activities.
Over the past several years, WIC staff have worked closely with the Penn Language Center to assist language educators with using technology for teaching and learning. Each year, we conduct custom workshops based on topics that PLC folks have requested. We also assist educators in creating assignments and teaching students technology tools in order to complete successful digitally-mediated projects. Language classes have used screen videos, PowerPoint, iMovie, Prezi, audience response tools, Skype, Canvas, and various other tools to create digital projects. In the video below, Mélanie Péron of the French and Francophone Studies Department discusses her use of technology in the classroom, how it has developed over the past several years, and her use of the Commons in the process.
This year, we interviewed several language faculty members to write a chapter for the 2015 volume of the CALICO Monograph Book Series, Researching Language Learner Interaction Online: From Social Media to MOOCs. Our chapter, “Video Creation Tools for Language Learning: Lessons Learned,” examines – through course observations, faculty interviews, and student surveys – student and faculty perceptions of the usefulness of video tools and the role of the library in technology support. The volume as a whole, edited by Ed Dixon of the Penn Language Center and Michael Thomas of the University of Central Lancashire, focuses on language learning in the digitally-mediated environment. Technology tools mentioned in the monograph complement the PLC-sponsored May workshops at WIC. We plan to Skype with several authors and have a lively conversation about language learning in the digital environment. Many articles were reviewed by experts and faculty at Penn: Jacqueline Dougherty, David James, Helen McFie Simone, Maria Paredes Fernández, Jay Treat, and Lillyrose Veneziano Broccia.
Hard to believe it’s been 4 years! To celebrate, we’ve made an infographic detailing our blog’s meteoric rise in popularity and highlighting some blog statistics we found interesting. For instance, we were delighted to learn that our most popular posts are increasingly about undergrad projects. We built this graphic using Adobe Illustrator, and styled it after a modern variant of the Penn colors and modal user interface schemes.
This past week Anu Vedantham and I had the opportunity to share thoughts on library service with a broad collection of higher education professionals – from librarians and architects to administrators and consultants – at an Academic Impressions conference here in Philadelphia. With guidance from Patrick Cain, our conference director, we brought the group to tour spaces at Penn Libraries: the Education Commons, the Weigle Information Commons, the Collaborative Classroom and the Kislak Center. Continue reading Academic Impressions at Penn Libraries
Back in November, some of us WIC staff members found ourselves listening intently to a room full of Japanese speakers in Goldstein Electronic Classroom for an entire day. No, we weren’t there to learn beginning Japanese. Rather, we were teaching students in JPAN 011 how to use voice-over PowerPoint to present themselves and their interests in a new final video project for the class. Although we’ve assisted many other classes with video projects, this was the first large-scale language class we’ve supported working solely with voice-over in PowerPoint. It was a great success for all involved!
Last summer, Dyana (Wing) So, a college junior majoring in Visual Studies, visited Israel to work on an IIP summer internship sponsored by Penn. In an interview with Blake Cole and Manda McElrath from SAS Frontiers, she talks about her experience there. She discusses her interest in comparisons between virtuality and virtual reality, and shares how being on social media shaped and reshaped her world view.
While she was in Israel, and as part of her internship duties, she wrote for an online news website, NoCamels.com, focusing on technology. She has continued writing for them upon her return, and her latest two pieces are on cyber security and green gardening. Continue reading Representing the Complexities of War Online: Dyana (Wing) So, C’16 and her summer in Israel