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Published:

April 1, 2011
 
Tagged: Faculty Center for Professional Excellence

Third Annual Teaching with Technology Conference: A Technological Success

Newsletter


by Benjamin Rosner

The Adelphi University Third Annual Teaching with Technology Conference was held April 11, 2011. Attendees and presenters represented each of Adelphi’s eight schools, including some students! This year’s event was packed with over 18 different presenters demonstrating numerous fascinating technologies and pedagogies, both new and cutting-edge. Presenters provided audiences with their best practices, designs to engage and motivate students, and practical anecdotal and even quasi-experimental results, all during the three-hour, jam-packed event.

If you are unfamiliar with the annual event, its mission is to highlight faculty and their exceptional, sometimes bleeding-edge work, integrating technology into their classroom—or as Professor Brian Wygal demonstrated, as far from the classroom as you can get, in the Alaskan Wilderness using Global Information and Positioning Systems. The event’s aim is to bring together faculty from Adelphi’s schools, promoting a collaborative and inspiring environment.

By all accounts, this year’s event was a complete success. Both anecdotally and by responses to the questionnaire distributed, the event surpassed the expectations of those who attended in both content and quality. Topics at the Conference ranged from the tried-but-true Moodle, to the cutting-edge virtual world, Second Life, and meeting space, Adobe Connect. Presenters were stationed so participants could freely move about the conference floor and visit each of the stations at their discretion. Discussions, laughter, and enthusiasm were evident throughout the event floor.

Conference Highlights

Perhaps one of the hits of the Conference was the virtual world, Second Life, presented by Professors Devin Thornburg and Laura Martin. Second Life allows users from around the world to create avatars and engage with one another in a virtual landscape. Adelphi University has its own virtual land that has been developed for use in and out of the classroom; for example, students utilize the virtual Adelphi space to role-play, practice, develop, and test lesson plans, all before ever implementing them in a real classroom. On the theme of somewhat distant and remote lands, Professor Brian Wygal presented on his use of global information and position systems (GIS and GPS), including displaying some of his newly acquired equipment; he and his students use GPS and GIS to build precise maps, mark and catalogue locations, and excavate in the Alaskan Wilderness. Adelphi has quite the reach!

While Second Life is a virtual world, virtual classroom and meeting spaces are growing at Adelphi University; the expertise of faculty and technology utilized with these online classes has grown exponentially. Adobe Connect, brilliantly presented by Professor Jack Krueger, is Adelphi’s relatively new and powerful virtual classroom and meeting space. Faculty and students can see, hear, and give presentations as though they were in a physical classroom. Professor Krueger’s experience with Adobe Connect provided attendees with invaluable best practices and practical knowledge. Online classes were also present at the Conference in the form of exemplary Moodle courses; this year’s presenters were Professors Kathryn Mertz and Melanie Bush. Each has a unique approach to using Moodle to engage their students, including some serious and incredible integration with Google Docs.

Some of the classroom technology at the Conference was very new and exciting. The iPad initiative, presented by Professors Diana Fiege, Mary Jean McCarthy, and Laura Martin, involves students creating lesson materials for use on iPads. The lesson plans that students are creating are interactive, really capturing the attention of students.

This represents only a small sampling of the presentations at this year’s Conference. For a full list of the conferences presenters, visit fcpe.adelphi.edu/facultyday.

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The Teaching with Technology Conference is sponsored by the Faculty Center for Professional Excellence, the Office of Information Technology, and the Office of the Provost.

For more information about the Teaching with Technology Conference, questions regarding any of the technology mentioned, or other related questions you may have, please stop by or contact the Faculty Center Support Lab in Alumnae Hall 01, or at campus extensions 4220 and 4228.

Benjamin Rosner

Instructional Technologist
Faculty Center for Professional Excellence

This piece is from the Spring 2011 Issue No. 15 of the FCPE Newsletter.
 
Tagged: Faculty Center for Professional Excellence