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.
In Iran, the National Information Network allows access to web services while policing all content on the network and limiting external information. It is run by the state-owned Telecommunication Company of Iran.
One of the benefits of effectively turning all internet access into a government-controlled walled garden, is that virtual private networks (VPNs), often used to circumvent blocks, would not work.
Another example of this is the so-called Great Firewall of China. It blocks access to many foreign internet services, which in turn has helped several domestic tech giants establish themselves.
Russia already tech champions of its own, such as Yandex and Mail.Ru, but other local firms might also benefit.
Roskomnadzor has also exerted pressure on Google to remove certain sites on Russian searches.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told Congress last month that Russia, as well as other foreign actors, will increasingly use cyber operations to “threaten both minds and machines in an expanding number of ways—to steal information, to influence our citizens, or to disrupt critical infrastructure.”
For abstainers, breaking up with Facebook freed up about an hour a day, on average, and more than twice that for the heaviest users.
research led by Ethan Kross, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, has found that high levels of passive browsing on social media predict lowered moods, compared to more active engagement.
Active learning techniques have been shown to improve the classroom experience, leading to higher student success rates and greater student engagement.
As an increasing number of higher education faculty apply the flipped classroom model to their courses, they’re discovering that although the idea of a flip is straightforward, the model is easy to get wrong.
The flipped model puts greater responsibility for learning on the students while providing them with more room to experiment in the classroom. This leads to a shift in priorities, allowing classroom time to move from merely covering material to working toward mastery of it.
As a result of this presentation, you gain a new perspective on what it means to flip the classroom, leading to revitalized teaching. This seminar not only explores concrete strategies for engaging students in the flipped classroom, but it also delves into why technology-free approaches are important. You will better understand how to do the following:
Organize student-led activities to encourage greater communication in the classroom
Create a dynamic session devoted to learning through hands-on work
Integrate unplugged methods of student engagement into flipped and active classroom learning environments
Lean on tools such as sticky notes, flip charts, whiteboards, and dice to inspire new ways of thinking
The flipped classroom model challenges instructors to create learning experiences in which students have the freedom to apply, analyze, and evaluate course content during class time.
The question is: How do you continue finding innovative teaching strategies and tools to engage students in this way?
Although some creativity is required to plan a flip, the process doesn’t have to be intimidating. This seminar demonstrates a number of simple strategies that motivate students to interact with the material and engage with one another. You will learn the following:
Discover a range of “unplugged” teaching strategies used to engage students
Learn to identify opportunities for unplugging devices and creating a tech-free learning experience in the classroom
Master simple ways to integrate unplugged flipped methods into your course
Understand the benefits to including unplugged teaching and learning strategies in flipped course design
Developing new strategies and ideas for the flipped classroom
Increasing student engagement with unplugged methods
Integrating unplugged methods into flipped and active learning classrooms
Using everyday tools to inspire higher-level thinking
Expanding the definition of the flipped classroom
This seminar is intended for faculty and instructors interested in a role change in the classroom. The flipped learning environment requires teachers to give up their front-of-class position in favor of a more collaborative and cooperative contribution to the teaching process. Are you ready to make a change?