Tag Archives: educational technology

WordPress for Japanese Prints

This past spring, WIC staff members had the opportunity to work with Julie Nelson Davis‘s Art History 515: Utamaro and His Contemporaries seminar class. Students were first tasked with researching and cataloging a new collection of Japanese prints donated by Dr. Cecilia Segawa Seigle to the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts in Van Pelt Library. Thereafter, students worked together to build a collaborative WordPress site that would serve as an online catalog for the selected prints.

This image shows Julie's class interacting with the prints.

Julie developed this course with two main objectives in mind: the first was to provide students with a hands-on experience of the original materials, the second was to enable them to strengthen their web-design skills. She writes,

“This course was designed to bring together object-based learning with digital innovations.”

In this way, students interacted with and interpreted real objects, and the website showcases and preserves their research. WordPress, the platform of choice, makes it easy for multiple users to collaborate on a single site together. Each student set up a profile to create posts for individual prints for the catalog. Students were then able to upload images and add their text and links to related works.

Image of one of the posts on the website.
Post for Chōbunsai Eishi, “Beauties on a Pleasure Boat on the Sumida River,” ca. 1792-93

Together, the class also decided on an overall theme, which controls the look and feel of the site. WIC provided an initial overview of WordPress and met with students as they refined the project. In developing the online catalog, students were able to connect with their audience and directly shape how their research is experienced. Julie states,

“It gave them a sense that their research is real and that it really mattered.”

Check out her class’s fantastic website here. She also discussed her class’s experience during our spring Lightning Round held on April 26th and hopes to expand upon the project with future classes.

WIC staff have provided training and support to a number of courses throughout the years, and we look forward to collaborating with new classes in the upcoming semesters. If you have an idea for a project for your class, be sure to check out our Request Custom Training page. You are also always welcome to shoot us an email if you have questions.

If you are interested in learning more about WordPress, we provide workshops on the basics regularly. Our next WordPress Basics class will take place on Wednesday, July 13th from 11 to 12:30 p.m.  We can also provide a one-on-one consultation if you have more specific questions.

Andrea Hornick’s Journeys – Digital Media Meets Fine Art with WIC iPads

Andrea Hornick – an artist, shaman, and Fine Arts Lecturer in Penn’s School of Design – recently used WIC’s iPads in the Classroom Program to create an immersive art gallery experience.

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Continue reading Andrea Hornick’s Journeys – Digital Media Meets Fine Art with WIC iPads

Need a Better Way to Study?

Image of the inside of the Butler Technology Room.Welcome to the Butler Assistive Technology Room! Join us on Wednesday, March 16th from 3:30 to 4 p.m. for an introduction to the new Butler Technology Room located on the ground floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center.

Do you prefer to listen to your readings or dictate your writing out loud? This private study space provides software to convert both your speech and text as well as a quiet room for you to work in.

Located on the ground floor of Van Pelt Library and just around the corner from Mark’s Cafe, the Butler Assistive Technology Room was designed to facilitate and enhance learning.

Image of the outside of the Butler Technology Room.Created in collaboration with the Weingarten Learning Resources Center (VPUL), the Butler Assistive Technology Room has 24-hour access and is reservable online. After your reservation is confirmed, you can pick up the room key at the Rosengarten Reserve Desk.

The room includes an iMac and a PC desktop, a scanner, a video magnifier, and a variety of assistive software, including text-to-speech, speech-to-text, and OCR conversion technology. This assistive software allows users to have documents read out loud, to dictate and transcribe writing, and to convert and edit documents without retyping them!

Interested in training or have questions? Feel free to email WIC staff for technology and instructional support. We are here to help you out!

Can’t make it on to our orientation on March 16th? We’ll be back again on Wednesday, March 30th from 12:30 until 1 p.m. Come see us!

 

Productivity Apps for Your Sanity!

selfie of writerHi folks! My name is Meaghan Moody, and I’m a new graduate intern at the Weigle Information Commons. As I embark upon both my first semester of graduate school and of my WIC internship, I realized I was in dire need of some productivity tools to manage the mayhem.

I know it feels like the semester only just started, but midterms are bearing down on us, and it’s time to finally buckle down and get things in order.

Here are a few helpful productivity apps to aid you in this endeavor. The best news? They’re all free to you via the App Store and/or Google Play Store!

Available For: iOS, Android, Mac OS, and Windows

This easy-to-use organizer will allow you to keep track of your assignments as well as everything else in your life. Make a multitude of lists and keep them orderly and at your fingertips. You can also easily share your lists with others and sync them between devices.

  • Pocket: Save Articles and Videos to View Later Pocket Logo

Available For: iOS, Android, Mac OS, and Windows

Instead of leaving a million windows open in your browser or inundating your email, save articles and media to Pocket! This handy app will organize it all for you, allowing you to revisit your articles and media at your leisure.

Available For: iOS, Android, Mac OS, and Windows

Sometimes it’s easier to tackle your assignments if you work on them in increments of time. With Pomodoro, you can  time your tasks and breaks. Set the timer for thirty minutes and dedicate yourself to the books, and when the timer rings, enjoy a break!

Note: There are several variations of this app available. I have linked to a free lite version via the App Store.

Available For: iOS, Android, Mac OS, and Windows

Described as a “scanner in your pocket,” Office Lens allows you to keep track of documents, whiteboard notes, and even the scraps of paper from the bottom of your backpack! Printed text will become searchable, and you can convert your uploads to Word, Powerpoint, or PDF.

As always, we here at WIC are here to help you out! Check out our reservable study rooms and booths AND our awesome workshops. Don’t see a workshop on something you would like to learn? Request a custom training session!

Looking Back at ϟLightning Roundϟ 2015

Welcome back to another semester! Now, where were we? Ah yes, I think it was something about Topic Modelling, Text Wrangling, 3D Printing, or EDrawing? To help jog your memory (and ours) we’ve just uploaded all 18 of the Lightning Round presentations from this past spring. Have a look at the playlist below and get amped to keep the discussion moving at the upcoming Engaging Students Through Technology Symposium, taking place this year on Friday, October 30th!

What We Can Learn from K-12 Educators

When a colleague suggested that I attend the ISTE Conference for K-12 educators, I was a bit skeptical. I thought, “What can I learn from K-12 educators that would be applicable to the undergraduates – and often graduate students and faculty members – I work with as a librarian?” However, as I browsed through the workshop and session descriptions, I realized that we in higher education can take a few pages from the books of K-12 educators to enhance teaching and learning at the college level. Here are some highlights I took away from the conference:

  1. Image by Greg Kulowiec (App Smashing App Pack)
    Image by Greg Kulowiec, retrieved from http://tinyurl.com/pcrxrqy

    1. iPad Apps. There are so many. Whenever someone asks me for app recommendations, I often turn to my “go-to’s” without doing much more hunting. In a workshop about using tablets in the classroom, I learned so much about app integration for both content (student learning) and creation (student making). For example, AppFusion or App Smashing is the process of using several apps to create different parts of a project, and then using one app to pull all the parts together. One such “fusion” app is ThinkLink, which can incorporate sound, video, images and text to create a short presentation, much like a PowerPoint or Prezi. Learning about all of these different apps stressed our responsibility in higher education to be knowledgeable about a variety of apps for different functions, such as video creation, white board drawing, or photo editing. A grid with apps, their functions, preferred platforms, etc. is a simple tool that we can develop to help students and faculty choose the right apps to use in the classroom, especially as we prepare new iPads for our lending program this fall.

  2. Image from https://conversationprism.com/
    Image retrieved from https://conversationprism.com/

    “Deeper learning.” Learning in the classroom is great, but if it can’t be applied to real-life situations, it may not stick for all students. Presenters Chris Dede of Harvard and Julie Evans of Project Tomorrow explained that “deeper learning” involves this connection between learning and life, and also spoke about essential strategies for mobile learning, stemming from their 2014 Qualcomm report, The 8 Essentials for Mobile Learning Success in Education. One of the highlights included a video of an augmented reality project where students interacted with hotspots on their mobile devices when out studying a pond in order to reinforce ecological concepts. The presenters also stressed the importance of how students use social media platforms to think together and share information, and offered a great resource called the Conversation Prism. One point that stuck with me in terms of working with students and faculty at Penn involved developing fluency in interactive media. Chris Dede made the point that often, we have to create communities of “unlearning” the more traditional methods we’re used to, in order to become fluent in various media and collaborative, inquiry-based learning strategies. This is a tall measure for folks in higher-ed, but nevertheless something I believe we should all be striving toward.

  3. Backchannels. A backchannel is a second form of communication that takes place at the same time as a face-to-face session, whether it’s a lecture, conference session, or other learning activity. In a great session on backchannels, where we modeled this behavior during the presentation, a high school teacher and college professor explained how they use backchannels, why they’re useful in the classroom, and shared a variety of different channels to consider. In one class, students used a backchannel while watching a video in order to answer certain questions about content and also ask questions of the teacher and other students. Backchannels, which include popular options like Twitter (using a class hashtag, for example), Today’s Meet, and Backchannelchat.com, can be a great way of getting students who usually don’t participate to join the conversation. In a “fishbowl” scenario, students on the outer edge of the class can be using the backchannel, while those on the inner circle can be paying attention real-time, and then roles reverse halfway through class. On certain platforms, students can remain anonymous to each other on a backchannel, but the instructor knows who’s chatting and can do some formative assessment. Some other backchannel platforms include Piazza, Tozzl, and Socrative. We often get questions from faculty about backchannels here at WIC, and this presentation made me feel more prepared to recommend different tools and discuss the pros and cons of using backchannels in teaching and learning.

Other great resources I learned about at ISTE included those about digital and media literacy, such as Common Sense Media’s digital citizenship curriculum, and how to teach and implement digital literacy using strategies from the Center for Media Literacy. I learned so much from K-12 educators at the ISTE conference. I now have some new goals and much personal learning to do as we prepare for the fall semester!

Penn Medicine and Wharton Learning Lab Simulation at Penn Libraries

Penn Presbyterian Management Team with Sarah Toms (Wharton Learning Lab) in the Collaborative Classroom
(left to right) Sarah Toms, DuWayne Barrett and the Penn Presbyterian Patient Access management team in the Collaborative Classroom
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Patient Access managers strategize together in WIC study room

DuWayne Barrett leads the Patient Access department at Penn Presbyterian Hospital.  Managing an annual flow of over 40,000 out-patient and 14,000 in-patient encounters, the department is the access portal for every patient entering the hospital.  DuWayne had been searching for a dynamic team-building and learning experience for the Patient Access management team.  Sarah Toms, IT Director of the Wharton Learning Lab, had the perfect solution: simulation.

On Thursday, June 25 DuWayne’s team of 15 managers gathered in the Van Pelt Collaborative Classroom to play the OPEQ simulation game.  Originally developed by Wharton professor Maurice Schweitzer, OPEQ allows players to work in teams to experiment with dynamics of cooperation and competition.

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Face-to-face negotiation session

Members of the Patient Access Management Team, working in pairs, broke out into the WIC group study rooms to assume the role of oil production leaders for a fictitious country. Together, all teams’ choices have an impact on the global economy.  With each subsequent level of the simulation, unexpected events are introduced, increasing the tension and complexity of the game.  Still, players must exercise strategic negotiation and communication skills in order to cooperate with their partner and with other “countries” through virtual and face-to-face meetings.

Simulations offer exciting, interactive experiences that truly change the way students and professionals learn.  Wharton Learning Lab simulations are not just limited to Wharton students and faculty.  A range of simulations are available to suit a variety of learning objectives across all disciplines. If you or faculty you support are interested in using simulated experiential learning, please visit the Wharton Learning Lab’s website.  You will find a full catalog of simulation offerings and contact information to get started.

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Sarah Toms leads team debrief in the Van Pelt Collaborative Classroom