CNDLS is pleased to announce that David Levy, Ph.D. will give a talk entitled “No Time to Think” on Wednesday, September 23rd at 3:00pm in Copley Formal Lounge.
A technologist by training and a professor in the Information School at the University of Washington, David will discuss his research on the effects of contemporary information technologies on work habits, attention spans, and the amount of time available for personal reflection and contemplation. David’s talk will explore why it is that we have “no time to think,” and what we can do about it, on individual, institutional, and societal levels.
For more background on David’s work, see this post by CNDLS’ Daryl Nardick about his research on students and technology.
Please join us for what promises to be a provocative discussion on a timely topic that affects all of us!
CNDLS is working on a video for Fall Faculty Convocation which will include some statements from students about learning. We are asking Georgetown students and recent graduates to respond briefly to questions about learning, either by uploading a webcam video or by participating in an informal interview.
Some of the responses will be included in the convocation video, and others will be featured on our website or in other CNDLS videos. Participants will be eligible to win an iTunes gift card.
To upload a webcam video response, click here for instructions.
To participate in an interview on campus, look for us on Wednesday September 9, 1-3pm (Red Square) or Thursday September 10, 1-3pm (look for us around campus).
Georgetown Alumni Online recently published an interview with Todd Olson, Vice President for Student Affairs and an integral member of the Steering Committee of the Engelhard Project. In the interview, Olson discusses such topics as diversity, learning outside the classroom, and Georgetown’s Jesuit identity, and describes the Engelhard Project as “one of the most effective and most energizing partnerships that I’ve had a chance to be a part of on campus.”
As last year’s winner of the Dorothy Brown award, Professor Frank Ambrosio (Philosophy) was asked to welcome incoming students at this year’s New Student Convocation on Sunday, August 30th. (The Dorothy Brown award is given annually by the student body to the faculty member who has had the strongest impact on the students’ collegiate experience.) In his brief address, Ambrosio, who collaborates with CNDLS on the MyDante project, explored the idea of a liberal arts education as “an education that liberates.” According to Ambrosio, “Liberal education frees questions from the constraint of answers that claim to be ‘good enough.’ It frees minds from the dogma of settled opinion and frees them for the reality of mystery.”
CNDLS is researching innovative educational uses for a wide variety of Web 2.0 tools, including microblogging, social bookmarking, and data visualization tools.
For example, Georgetown Spanish students plot Che Guavara’s journey through Latin America using Google Earth; English MA thesis writers follow each other’s research using Yahoo! Pipes; and students at the University of Texas in Dallas share comments and questions via Twitter during history class.
Visit our Experiments blog for case studies, resources, and tips on how you might use these and other tools in the classroom, and watch for announcements of upcoming workshops on these topics. If you have ideas for future Web 2.0 experiments, please contact us.
Starting this week, CNDLS staff members Gorky Cruz, Peter Janssens, and Susan Pennestri are leading a number of Blackboard training sessions for faculty, focusing on Blackboard basics, communication and collaboration tools, assignments, and assessment tools. Visit the CNDLS Blackboard support page to find out more and to register for these workshops.
CNDLS is pleased to announce the Faculty Fellows for the pilot year of the Doyle Initiative, which is designed to support and challenge Georgetown faculty seeking to foster active student engagement with difference and the diversity of human experience. These fellows have been meeting over the summer to share ideas with one another and with CNDLS staff as they develop strategies to integrate discussions of diversity and inclusion into their academic course material. For more about this exciting new initiative and for further background on the curriculum infusion approach, see the Doyle Initiative page.
2009-2010 Doyle Faculty Fellows:
Shelly K. Habel, Sociology Department
Ronald P. Leow, Department of Spanish & Portuguese
Dana Luciano, English Department
James M. Mattingly, Philosophy Department
W. Gerrod Parrott, Psychology Department
Mark Carl Rom, Government Department and Georgetown Public Policy Institute
In the following post, CNDLS Writer/Editor Theresa Schlafly explores questions about technology and students’ writing skills.
We are living in an “age of composition,” according to Florida State University Professor Kathleen Blake Yancey. All of us, especially students, are constantly writing and publishing for different audiences and in different formats – we are blogging, texting, emailing, crafting essays, and composing poetry. The ratio of formal to informal writing that students produce may be surprising: In Michael Wesch’s video “A Vision of Students Today,” a student in a large lecture classroom holds up notebook pages which read “I will write 42 pages for class this semester… and over 500 pages of email.”
Professors often view the informal writing that students do on their own as a distraction from their academic work – it’s easy to understand their aversion to these forms of writing when faced with students emailing during class or turning in essays riddled with abbreviations and spelling errors. But might it be possible to teach students to connect these very different writing processes in a productive way?
While previous studies of student writing have only examined academic writing, a recent Stanford University study, described in this Chronicle article and also discussed in a recent Wired magazine column, explored all types of writing done by its subjects. Academic opinions seem to vary widely on whether useful connections can be made between students’ informal and academic writing. Do blogging, emailing, and other types of online writing help develop students’ awareness of audience, tone, and voice? Or do these types of writing reinforce bad habits of disorganization, misspelling, and sloppy grammar?
Perhaps further research, such as this Stanford study or Georgetown’s Thresholds of Writing project, will shed light on these controversial questions. In the meantime, students will keep producing prolific quantities of informal writing, which Yancey exhorts us to “ignore… at our own peril.”
In a post on her blog, CNDLS Assistant Director for Science Programs Janet Russell talks about an exciting new social networking tool which will be used this fall by Professor Francis Slakey’s students in the Science in the Public Interest program (SPI). The tool, called GlobalSolver, will enable students to receive feedback from experts in various fields as they work together to draft legislation related to science issues. To read more about this innovative project, and how Slakey’s approach to his class has evolved, visit Janet’s blog here.
CNDLS is pleased to announce a partnership with Columbia University’s Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) to develop the Project Rebirth Learning Collaboratory, a virtual environment for the study of documentary footage related to the effects of September 11, 2001. Project Rebirth, directed by Georgetown alumnus Jim Whitaker (C’90), is a documentary film chronicling the recovery of ten people coping with the aftermath of 9/11 and the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site.
Built to complement a digital library of Project Rebirth’s archival footage, the Project Rebirth Learning Collaboratory will create a social learning environment powered by flexible web-based tools to connect a broad community of researchers, educators, and community-based practitioners. Users will be able to edit, tag, annotate, and share clips of the footage with one another, and to reflect on the footage through blogs and multimedia digital stories.
CNDLS and CCNMTL will work together to develop the technological infrastructure for the social learning environment and to design pedagogical strategies to incorporate Project Rebirth into courses from a variety of disciplines. Not only will this learning environment allow for explorations of themes such as trauma, narrative, memory, and recovery, but it will also enable research on aspects of student learning, including metacognition, affect, and empathy.
More background on Project Rebirth can be found here. We look forward to working on this exciting project!