The On Course National Conference
has several sessions of interest:
Padlet Possibilities – Using Their Phones to Keep Their Attention in Class
Presenters: Kathy Magee and Paul Phillips, Faculty, Occupational Health and Safety, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Summary: Tired of fighting your students’ phones for their attention? Maybe it’s because the phone is more interesting than the lesson (or worse, than you). Why not use those phones to encourage participation in the day’s classroom activities and keep the on the learning and lessons you have planned. This session will have participants using their Ipads, tablets, and phones to access Padlet in order to identify, discuss, and adapt ways that this free software can be used in multi-disciplines.
Using PBL, and Active and Collaborative Techniques in Science Teaching
Presenter: Stamatis Muratidis, Faculty, Chemistry, Palo Alto College, TX
Summary: Participants interested in tips for successfully involving students by developing Active and Collaborative Learning (ACL) techniques will be engaged by use of a variety of topics, models and tools. Most of the workshop will take place in a collaborative group format and best practices for forming, molding and nurturing collaborative groups will be emphasized. Along the way the presenter will be promoting data-driven best practices, while identifying and mitigating some of the common pitfalls of implementing PBL and ACL activities.
Relax, Reflect, Relate: 3 R’s of Contemplative Practice
Presenter: William H. Johnson, Jr., Student Success Coordinator/Personal Development Coach, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC
Summary: Is life moving too fast? Are you busy beyond belief? Well, slow down! Would you attend a session that allows you to take the time to relax and be still, reflect on your life, and relate your thoughts and feelings to others? If you answered “yes” to at least one of these questions, then this workshop is for you. Research has shown that people applying some type of contemplative practice in their lives are likely to be more engaged, and are healthier and happier in life. Attendees in this session will participate in two forms of contemplative practice – meditation and reflective writing – that enhance personal growth. By the end of the session, you will learn strategies to quiet the mind, engage the spirit, and connect with others!
Study Smarter, Not Just Harder!
Presenter: Amy Munson, Director of Instructional Design, United States Air Force Academy
Summary: The United States Air Force Academy Science of Teaching and Learning program is conducting a study on how students learn about their own learning. The research team hypothesizes that students learn more from peers than from “outsiders” such as faculty members and has set out to develop a peer training and messaging program alongside a faculty training and messaging program using the same three highly successful learning/self-management strategies. On Course structures and strategies were implemented for the training components as researchers shared the benefits of practice testing, spaced practice and successive relearning as defined in Dunlosky and Rawson’s meta-analysis of learning strategies. This workshop will give participants an opportunity to learn more about those three strategies while also learning about how to implement a student “train the trainer” program.
British director to tell the tale of Agafia Lykova, the only remaining member of a family of Old Believers who fled to remote Siberian taiga in 1936
When I finally met Agafia, what surprised me was that rather than feeling like a primitive situation, it felt like arriving in the future – to a world with no technology, the vast forest littered with discarded space junk. It is an incredible and beautiful place
Teach Mindfulness, Invite Happiness
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to present-moment experience and doing so with kindness and curiosity. It is not cognitive but sensory, and so taps into and strengthens different but vitally important parts of the brain that have been neglected by traditional education. One crucial attribute of mindfulness is that it is practiced without judgment. Many of our students are so hard on themselves and their internal critic is so loud that just a few moments of being given permission to not judge can bring huge relief to body and mind. I have seen it bring students to tears.
There is now ample evidence that mindfulness practice enhances positive emotions (PDF).
4 Ways to Refuel Your Gratitude
Applying Mindfulness to Mundane Classroom Tasks
This is what happens to your brain and body when you check your smartphone before bed
Dr. Dan Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, lays out all of the negative effects that bedtime screen viewing can have on the brain and body. WATCH THE 2 MIN VIDEO
Want to get off the grid? well, not entirely, since you still will be in the “cloud.”
But if you are into “disconnect” and “mindful computing,” this typewriter can be a good start
Mark Zuckerberg’s Sister Published A Book About A Child Whose Mom Takes Her iPad Away
social media etiquette
Contemplative Pedagogy and Dealing with Technology
Dan Barbezat, Amherst College; David Levy, University of Washington
The accelerating pace of life is reducing the time for thoughtful reflection and in particular for contemplative scholarship, within the academy. The loss of time to think is occurring at exactly the moment when scholars, educators, and students have gained access to digital tools of great value to scholarship. This interactive session reviews research on technology’s impacts and demonstrates some contemplative practices that can respond to them. Contemplative pedagogy can offset the distractions of our multi-tasking, multi-media culture, and show how the needs of this generation of students can be met through innovative teaching methods that integrate secular practices of contemplation.
Topics: Faculty Professional Development, Teaching & Learning
Walking the Labyrinth: Contemplative Instructional Techniques to Enhance Learner Engagement
Carol Henderson and Janice Monroe, Ithaca College
Bringing ancient traditional meditative skills into the contemporary classroom, con-templative learning techniques serve as an effective counterbalance to the speedi-ness and distractions of today’s fast-paced technology-based cultural environment. Applicable to both faculty development programs and to faculty working directlywith students, contemplative methods create a richer, more engaging learningenvironment by allowing participants to quiet their minds and focus deeply on the material at hand. This interactive session provides instruction and practice in con-templative techniques, offers examples of their use, and supports the integration of these techniques into any discipline or subject area.
Topics: Faculty Professional Development, Teaching & Learning
Contemplative Computing and Our Future of Education
Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Stanford University
A generation of educators have spent their professional lives hearing that technol-
ogy is changing the world, transforming the way we think, and that higher educa-
tion must evolve or become obsolete. In case you didn’t get the message in the
1960s and 1970s, with cassette tapes, television and mainframe computers, it was
repeated in the 1980s when personal computers appeared; repeated again in the
1990s, with CD-ROMs (remember those) and the World Wide Web; repeated again
in the early 2000s with blogs and wikis; and recently, repeated once again in the
wake of social media, YouTube and the real-time Web.
This language of technological revolution and institutional reaction is backward. It
gives too much credit and agency to technology, and makes today’s changes seem
unprecedented and inevitable. Neither is actually true. Contemplative computing—
the effort to design technologies and interactions that aren’t perpetually demanding
and distracting, but help users be more mindful and focused—provides a language
for talking differently about the place of technology in teaching, learning, and edu-
cation. We think of today’s technologies as uniquely appealing to our reptilian, dopa-
mine- and stimulation-craving brains. In reality, distraction is an ancient problem,
and the rise of contemplative practices and institutions (most notably monasteries
and universities) is a response to that problem. Abandoning our traditional role as
stewards of contemplative life is as dangerous for the societies we serve as it is
short-sighted and counterproductive. Contemplative computing argues that even
today, people have choices about how to interact with technologies, how to use
them, and how to make the parts of our extended minds; and that part of our job
as educators is to show students how to exercise that agency.