Book Club Week 3: A few peanuts from sunflower seeds

I have an old mayonnaise jar filled with trail mix on my desk. I periodically have to shake it up, because otherwise the cranberries and the peanuts drift to the top and the sunflower seeds all wind up at the bottom. This week we discussed two more chapters (5-6) from Halverson and Collins: one about how alternative learning venues are bridging the gap between traditional schooling and lifelong learning, and one about how educational systems have changed from apprenticeship to public schooling to lifelong learning. Here is one of the peanuts that came to the top for me this week: the amazing success of home schooling. In the Biology Department […]

This Week at the CETL – 07.08.13

Hi everyone! We’re revising our fancy HTML email template, so this week’s update is just good old plain text. I may get crazy and use italics! It’s a quiet week in the CETL as most of us head to Blackboard World to learn more about our learning management system. There’s LOTS of things that Blackboard can do, especially as we work to develop more hybrid and online courses, so we hope to bring back lots of tips, tricks, and new information to share with everyone. Next week, however, we’re back in full swing. Our summer open house is July 16th. This one is geared mainly for staff, so help spread […]

App of the Week – OnLive Destop

When using your iPad have you felt frustrated about not being able to edit your Microsoft Word papers or Excel spreadsheets? Are you a PC, not a Mac, person? Well, how about running a PC desktop out of your tablet? OnLive Desktop is a a free app that allows you to work anywhere with a virtual PC platform in your iPad. You create a free online account which gives you 2GB of free cloud storage, where you can add your word, powerpoint, and excel files and when you log into the app in your iPad you will be able to edit them or create new ones. There are additional plans […]

Thoughts on The Startup of You

Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha’s book The Startup of You isn’t a book about teaching and learning. It’s not even a book about higher education. I do think it’s a valuable read for anyone in higher ed, however, as the career advice it gives could easily be translated into curriculum and organization suggestions for colleges. The premise of the book is that today’s economic climate is very competitive. Gone are the days of the “company escalator”, when one joined an organization right out of college and stayed for 30 years. Now, with the mobility required due to global economic forces and the increasing number of work that is done by […]

Embracing the Active Learner

Here’s a slide share (with some embedded videos) from Blackboard on “5 Ways to Embrace the Active Learner.” Though I think the “digital natives are changing the world in an instant” rhetoric is a bit overblown, it’s hard to argue with the fact that our students are coming to us with a different set of expectations and behaviors. The question for instructors is: to what degree to we modify our courses to meet these expectations or when do we act to modify those expectations and behaviors? Either way, knowing what those expectations are is very important.    

App of the Week – Dragon Dictation

Dragon Dictation is a very easy to use free app for iPhones and iPads that uses voice recognition and allows you to turn what you speak into text. To download this application click here. This application is also available for desktop users, but it will cost you from $79.99- $179.99 bucks to get it. It is a great tool to save ideas about research projects, or just to write an email or tweet without having to actually type. This application is often used by professors in the medical humanities as well as by doctors when “writing” patient reports. However, it could be used for essay writing activities. For a quick […]

This Week at the CETL – 06.24.13

Book club, book club! We’re two weeks into our summer book club, which has already generated some good conversation here and on the blog. If you’ve signed up, remember our next meeting is this Thursday, the 27th. Anyone can follow along on the blog. We’re certainly stating a new book in the fall “Teaching Unprepared Students by Kathleen Gabriel” so stayed tuned for more info. Speaking of more info, have you checked out the CETL blog lately? There have been lots of new posts! There are summaries of the book club discussions, a two-part review of The Innovative University, and our popular “App of the Week” series. If you’re interested […]

Book Club Week 2

In the second week of discussions of  Collins and Halverson’s Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America our focus was directed to Chapters 3 – The The Technology Skeptics’ Argument and Chapter 4 – The Development of American Schooling. Chapter 3 provided a strong counter view of Chapter 2 -The Technology Enthusiasts’ Argument by showing some of the challenges of implementing technologies into schools. Two of those challenges are: 1) the disruption of the balance on a system that has achieved a sort of equilibrium by applying years of experience on what works and what doesn’t; and 2) the disruption of the traditional power […]

Ways to Prevent Cheating in Online Courses

By Ed Tech Du Jour – MAIN COURSE: Dr. Heather Farmakis and Whitney Kilgore share helpful information for instructors to preserve the integrity of the course across different online learning platforms.This show will be a brief review of the rationale behind online cheating and offer strategies/tools to enhance the online learning experience, promote academic honesty, and deter cheating. http://facultyecommons.org

Thoughts on the Innovative University (Part Two)

(You can read Part One here) The central disruption universities must deal with is online education, particularly the sort of online education that targets previous non or limited consumers of traditional higher education. I am certainly not familiar enough with the literature on disruptive innovation to argue against their characterization of the problem, but I am familiar enough with online education to argue with their characterization of the solution. One of the suggested innovations universities must undertake is to offer more online programs. This increases the number of tuition-paying students, increasing the university’s revenue. Yet they treat such an increase as if their are little to no associated costs. Even if […]

About the CETL

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Texas Wesleyan University (CETL) promotes a student-centered university by providing resources and professional growth opportunities to faculty on enhancing instructional practice, integrating technology, and promoting essential student skills.

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