Tag Archives: Rick Berman

Upcoming Events for Faculty

I wanted to spotlight three events of interest to Penn faculty and graduate students:

On Monday, April 11, Jamie Marie Estrada and I will hold a half-hour online discussion on the Philosophy of Social Media. (Register!)

On Wednesday, April 13, our panel on Library Resources for Faculty organized in collaboration with PASEF and ASEF-PSOM includes Will Noel, Dot Porter, Rebecca Stuhr, David Toccafondi, Sarah Wipperman and myself. Topics include liaison services, rare books, learning spaces, online persona and iPad apps. (Register!)

On Tuesday, April 26, our Engaging Students Through Technology Lightning Round 2016 is co-sponsored by camra, the Center for Teaching and Learning , the Graduate Student Center,  the Penn Language Center, the Price Lab for Digital Humanities,  SAS Computing and the Weingarten Learning Resources Center (VPUL) (Register!)

Speakers include:

  • Stefanie Alfonso on interactive e-guides
  • Etienne Benson on Using Processing in Humanities Classes
  • Rick Berman on WordPress for City Design
  • Lillyrose Veneziano Broccia on Project-Based Differentiation Via Canvas
  • Caroline Connolly on Poll Everywhere for In Class Polling
  • Delphine Dahan on Using LockDown Browser
  • Julie Davis on WordPress for Prints
  • Amy Durham on In-class Quizzes and Games
  • Andi Johnson on NVivo
  • Ethan Mollick on Looking Glass
  • Kris Rabberman on Voice Thread
  • Ana Reyes on Immersive Terf
  • Arjun Shankar on film and multimodal pedagogy
  • Catherine Turner on Topic Modelling Tool
  • Ben Wiggins on TimelineJS

Join us this April as we celebrate WIC’s 10th Birthday all month!

Pinterest for design ideas

This guest post is by Richard Berman. Rick teaches courses in Urban Studies, and shared his use of Pinterest at the Lightning Round at our October symposium. Pinterest provides a simple way to collect, organize, annotate and share images from a variety of sources. Rick guides his students to document their creative process visually by compiling a Pinterest board of examples they can build upon. He has shared details of his class assignment below:

Richard W. BermanI used WordPress rather than Blackboard, for my new summer class called Exploring Creativity (URBS-421).  My assignments were posted to the site.  The majority of projects the students did during this course were uploaded to the site, as well. Besides allowing me to review their work, it allowed students to see what others were doing, and (hopefully) share their ideas with each other.  During our class sessions, we pulled the site onto our projection screen for class discussions.

I also had each student create a Pinterest account to use during the course.  Links to students Pinterest boards were added to our WordPress homepage, as well.  This short project is an example of how it was integrated into the process:


  1. CHOOSE an urban design problem within Philly. a simple element needing improvement…
  2. DEFINE THE PROBLEM.  Look for the root cause of the problem, not symptoms of a particular design solution.
  3. SKETCH IT (3 sketches).
  4. GATHER IDEAS about how other places solve similar problems. Use Pinterest.com to scrapbook these ideas.  You’ll need to open a free account for this.
  5. DESIGN OWN SOLUTION for Philly. The object isn’t to steal an idea from elsewhere.  Rather it’s to use those ideas to inspire your own.


One example of how works is the Umbrellas board created by Rick’s student Min-ji Kim – this collection of images for umbrella designs from different cultures and contexts has helped her create a new umbrella design.

Engaging Students Symposium – what fun!

Our Engaging Students Through Technology symposium last Friday included several exciting moments! About 75 people from 11 schools at Penn came together for the symposium. Carton Rogers started the morning by urging us to keep pace with new technologies in order to avoid the fate of silent film actors who became obsolete when movies-with-sound gained popularity. Then came a lively faculty panel. Al Filreis challenged the audience to “bite a towel” to resist the temptation to start lecturing in class. Peter Struck offered a powerful analogy: in-person teaching = performing in a stage play vs. online teaching (on Coursera) = acting on a TV show. Connie Scanga explained how she helps nursing students pay attention to test results without forgetting the human aspects of patient care. Shannon Lundeen shared the viral Gangnam Style video (almost 600 million hits) and the Axe and Dove mashup created by her students. The faculty panel Q&A included a lively debate between Al and Peter on the continuing relevance of lectures during class meetings. Continue reading Engaging Students Symposium – what fun!