Title III Team Accomplishments and Activities

INCREASING THE INTEGRATION OF LIBERAL ARTS & PROFESSIONAL STUDIES

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   (Word doc, rev.12-01-2010)

Conference ideas, memory research will benefit College's computer science students

The 41st Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education at Midwest Airlines Convention Center, Milwaukee, March 11-13, was attended by Sister Christine Stoller. Each day featured a keynote speaker.

Useful Sharing” by Sally Fincher of Kent University, as the Outstanding Contributions to CS Education awardee, opened the conference. Dr. Fincher explored some of the ways educators can share details of their practice and how they learn what works from others. This exploration examined some barriers and inhibitors to successful exchange and ways we represent our teaching to ourselves, to each other and for posterity.

The second day featured “Science Education for the 21st Century: Using the Insights of Science to Teach/Learn Science" presented by Carl Weilman. Dr. Weilman examined the failures of traditional educational practices, even as used by very good teachers, and the successes of some new practices and technology that characterize this more effective approach, and how these results are highly consistent with findings from cognitive science.

Lastly, Michael Wrinn of Intel presented "Suddenly, All Computing is Parallel: Seizing Opportunity Amid the Clamour." Wrinn highlighted how models of parallel computing are evolving and a number of approaches that have been tried in academia and industry.

The chosen breakout sessions helped spur ideas to incorporate media and useful tools into the introductory programming course, and suggested curriculum for computing courses. With more than 1,000 attendees, there was ample opportunity to make connections, further discussion on ideas, capstone courses, successes and challenges of teaching online, and talk about tools such as Alice, Scratch, and Greenfoot

Ideas gleaned from the conference will be shared among students currently enrolled in Computers in Education and Curriculum and Methods-Computer Science. Class sessions and curriculum of CPS course offerings for Fall 2010 will feature ideas obtained from the conference, including Dr. Weilman's review on how the working and long-term memory work.

 

Title III funds used to upgrade classroom biotechnology equipment 

To upgrade the biotechnology used in the classes where we teach recombinant DNA analysis, Sister Lorita Gaffney of the Natural Science Department applied for $1,000 in Title III funds to purchase a digital camera and hood for gel documentation, which allows for computerized data presentation and analysis.

Currently Sister Lorita's students use a Polaroid handheld system with special Polaroid film �" both of which are becoming obsolete.

 

Each year the department works to upgrade some of the technology for use in both the liberal arts curriculum (general biology) and in the professional sequence of the major program. In her application for the funds, Sister Lorita writes, "As we teach about DNA technology, students need to know how to cut DNA and run a gel which separates DNA pieces according to size. One needs to take a picture of these results to analyze results and use the cut DNA for cloning purposes (the cloning is done in Genetics class)."

Sister Christine and Sister Margaret Ann attend technology conference in Boston

Sister Christine Stoller and Sister Margaret Ann Wallander headed to Boston in July for the 16th annual Education Campus Technology conference.

The keynote speaker was Chris Dede, the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. In his address titled "Emerging Interactive Media: Implications for Teaching and Research," Dede overviewed an array of Web 2.0 interactive media now readily available to transform higher education.

Breakout sessions focused on making applications such as Flickr, Twitter, podcasts and screencasts come alive and provide new venues for interactive and collaborative learning.  A technology classroom set up in the exhibit hall demonstrated the emerging technology of various exhibitors and its use in academia.

The Sisters plan to integrate the knowledge acquired in Boston into their courses. Sister Christine will work toward maximizing user productivity in Web 2.0 technologies. Sister Margaret Ann plans to incorporate these technologies into the College learning experience.

In addition, College inservice sessions during the 09-10 academic year will feature Web 2.0 applications and topics, such as Google calendar, video conferencing with Google Talk and Skype, tagging and Delicious, copyright and fair use in the digital age, and screencasting with open-source software.

Title III funds paid for the Sisters' conference fee.

Erik Hoyer: My externship (or, for whom the jellyfish bell tolls)

Silver Lake College biology professor Erik Hoyer inspects shells during a summer '09 externship at Neville Public Museum in Green Bay.

Behind the scenes at the Neville Museum there are hundreds of natural history items that have not been looked at for almost 20 years; only a small fraction of these have had any research into the species identification, habitat and natural history.  Additionally, item donation documentation was disparate, drawn from four different sources; those items without donation information needed to be assigned numbers.

During my month at the museum I was able to utilize my biology background to aid in identification of a variety of bones, fossils, plant pressings, coral chunks and shells.  Additionally, I was able to help the museum identify which items were truly unique (such as a set of antlers from an animal that was shot by Theodore Roosevelt) and which without value (a thoughtfully donated chunk of limestone the museum has been storing for 50 years).

While much of this information drew from my educational background and experiences, the externship also allowed me to “bone up” on my invertebrate identification, which has been important as I am teaching Invertebrate Biology this fall.  Additionally, the class will be taking a field trip to the museum this semester to meet the curator, view the natural history items behind the scenes, and see the current exhibit about spiders.

Upon reflection, I believe that this sort of outreach by our school is both valid and necessary. By allowing the museum to have my expertise at no cost to them, I was able to gain insight in collections management, forge a relationship between our school and the museum, and promote the name of Silver Lake College. It was valuable to me professionally and personally, and I hope to take advantage of similar opportunities in the future.

Accomplishments of Title III team: October '08 - May '09
  1. Interviewed and hired all personnel as listed in the grant application narrative.
  2. Acquired one portable SmartBoard as the initial installment of equipping all SLC classrooms with a SmartBoard. The rest of the SmartBoards will have permanent mountings.
  3. Funded the attendance of several faculty and/or administrative personnel at  conferences/workshops that will help strengthen the SLC institution.
  4. Determined which outsource vender would best serve SLC in the role of assessing the current IT resources. IT Network assessment has been completed.
  5. In the process of selecting who will be the academic IT consultant to use in determining how the assessment done can be used for the betterment of SLC.
  6.  Developing a 5-year professional development plan in conjunction with the Director of Human Resources. Scheduled for completion July 2009.
  7. Work is progressing on the development of the three signature courses for the revised Liberal Arts core and the finalization of the matrix to be presented to the faculty early in the 2009 fall term.
  8. Two SLC students have been placed in experiential learning internships in Germany and one faculty member has been selected for an externship opportunity for summer 2009.
  9. Sponsored an all-SLC personnel in-service day on May 21, the topic was on Change and how we can deal with the realities of change in today's world, now and in the future.
  10. Submitted a Performance Report to the U.S. Department of Education as of April, 2009.