Thursday, September 25, 2008

Teaching and Learning

Today at lunch time we had the first TLC/CIS cosponsored panel on teaching and learning. Sarah Harris, Melissa O'Neill and Vatche Sahakian presented. Sarah spoke about her experiences using Tablet PCs in class, Melissa about using wikis in teaching and Vatche about screencasting.

Great stuff I learned about:

Sarah showed Classroom Presenter-- software out of the University of Washington that does some very nice things for presentations using Powerpoint. Like letting the instructor see handwritten notes on the slide (on the slide, not off to one side) that the students don't see.

Melissa described how she asks students to collaborate to create class lecture notes on a wiki. Melissa "seeds" the wiki with the text from the slides used in the lecture. She uses Twiki, but also mentioned other social collaboration tools likeHiveminder, Trac and Jottit

I had to step out and missed part of Vatche's presentation, unfortunately. He talked about the setup he put together to create screen casts of homework problem solutions. Later, I came back and he showed me his Livescribe pen, which is about the coolest thing I've seen in quite a while. It's going on my wish list.

In short, a great discussion. The turn out was small, which meant there was lots of time for questions. And there were lots of questions!

I hope that CIS (Computing and Information Services) and TLC (Teaching and Learning Committee) can sponsor more events like this in the future.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Academic Orientation

Classes at HMC started today, Sep 2, so I had to work on Labor Day, but it was for a good cause. Apologies to organized labor everywhere. Apparently, this is not unusual at schools that are on a semester system. Since I lived with the quarter system at UCLA, I had no clue!

One thing I did was a brief presentation for Academic Orientation.  The freshman class was introduced to topics like plagiarism, cooperation on homework, time management etc.  My bit was on some Computing Services and, of course, on file sharing.  In talking about file sharing, I focused on the RIAA's tactic of sending early settlement letters for the College to deliver to users whom the RIAA claims are infringing copyright.