Addy’s Ch1 Reflections

This week’s book club meeting was great! We discussed Chapter 1 of Seymour Papert’s Mindstorms. Every semester a different CETL staff person identifies the new book for the book club and joins the group for the discussions. In the face-to-face meeting I shared that the reason I selected this book is that, a few years ago, I participated in a New Media faculty and staff seminar where we read and discussed texts from The New Media Reader. According to The New Media Reader website: The texts are from computer scientists, artists, architects, literary writers, interface designers, cultural critics, and individuals working across disciplines. They were originally published between World War […]

2014 Fall Book Club Schedule

Book Title: Mindstorms: Children, Computers & Powerful Ideas About: Mindstorms has two central themes: that children can learn to use computers in a masterful way and that learning to use computers can change the way they learn everything else. Even outside the classroom, Papert had a vision that the computer could be used just as casually and as personally for a diversity of purposes throughout a person’s entire life. Seymour Papert makes the point that in classrooms saturated with technology there is actually more socialization and that the technology often contributes to greater interaction among students and among students and instructors. Meeting Times: Mondays, noon- 1:00pm (every other week) Location: CETL Lab […]

2014 Fall Book Club

This Fall, join the CETL for a fun weekly reading and group discussion of Seymour Papert’s Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas. Meetings will be held bi-weekly at the CETL office or other physical locations as well as virtually via Google Hangout. Participants will receive a copy of the book and are invited to share their thoughts online through the CETL blog and other social platforms. Full schedule to be posted soon. To sign up please fill out the form below: Book Club Sign-Up [contact-form-7 id=”6408″ title=”Book Club Signup”] Previous Book Clubs

2014 Spring Book Club Schedule

Book Title Cognitive Surplus: How Technology Makes Consumers into Collaborators About Beginning on January 31st, the CETL book club will dive into Clay Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus. Shirky begins with the premise that, since World War Two, Americans have had a considerable amount of free time. “What?!” you scream, “I don’t have ANY free time.” Shirky says that you do, or rather you did before watching TV. Most of our free time, our “cognitive surplus,” has been spent consuming — mostly consuming the entertainment offered by television. This is changing, as new social media technologies offer the opportunity for almost anyone to produce and share media instead of merely consuming it. […]

Fall Book Club Update – Teaching Unprepared Students

During our most recent book club meeting, we examined two more critical components of improved retention and student success from Kathleen F. Gabriel’s Teaching Unprepared Students.  Chapter five explored Learning Styles and the Science of Learning and chapter six offered tips on Embracing Learner-Centered Education. There was an abundance of passion for improving teaching and learning throughout our meeting. Several book club members shared various strategies for helping students become more responsible for their own learning. Gabriel provides several tips such as Learning styles inventory assessments Sharing with students the research on how people learn and ways for them to discover how they learn Encouraging students to learn on a […]

CH 5, Learning Styles and the Science of Learning: Tapping Brain Power

CH 5 begins with a quote by the father of American psychology William James; “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.”  Although the quote is probably a bit narcissistic as I believe that humans have probably always understood that the mind can control one’s life, I do believe that the statement has validity.  Indeed, my philosophy on education is that it teaches students to learn.  In fact, students should be responsible for their own learning so that they gain ownership of their intellectual and learning abilities. How do we as professors help promote this notion to […]

Fall Book Club Update – Teaching Unprepared Students

Our book club met for the second time on Friday, September 27th and was led by Dr. Gladys Childs, Professor of Religion. We enjoyed thought provoking and at times comical dialogue surrounding Chapter 3 – The First Week of Class and Chapter 4 – Begin with Consistent Contact. We shared helpful strategies aimed at establishing an engaging, communal classroom atmosphere. We discussed ways to help students connect with the syllabus, such as an open ended syllabus quiz based on questions that starts with “Where would you find…?” When I found the image here, I reflected on my course syllabus and thought “I sure hope this is not an accurate depiction […]

Chapter 4: Not so boring after all…

I picked Chapter 4, “Begin with Consistent Contact (Attendance Matters),” because I thought it could not possibly be as boring as the title suggested. Yeah. Go to class. Duh! Fortunately, the chapter was not only NOT boring, but contained a number of good suggestions for encouraging student attendance, participation and consultation. We have all noticed the relationship between student engagement and student success. When I was an undergraduate, I missed only one class in the four years I was at school. I think about that sometimes, and realize that my consistency was facilitated by two things: I was a residential student and during the day at least, I rarely had […]

Fall Book Club Update – Teaching Unprepared Students

High achievement for all learners was the overarching theme for our first book club meeting Friday, September 13. As we began our discussion, we acknowledged our shared characterizations of unprepared students and our motivation for reading this book. We soon realized the complexity and challenges of unprepared students in the classroom today. We shared strategies to motivate students to take more responsibility for their learning. At the top of the list was setting high expectations at the start of the semester. You could feel the passion brewing amongst the participants as we discussed chapter two’s suggested strategies of not coddling or dumbing down the curriculum. The author’s suggested guiding principles […]

2013 Fall Book Club

Following up a very engaging and fruitful 2013 Summer Book Club where the focus was on Collins and Halverson’s Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology. The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America the CETL is pleased to announce the 2013 Fall Book Club. The Fall Book Club will showcase Kathleen F. Gabriel’s Teaching Unprepared Students.’s description describes the book as follows: “As societal expectations about attending college have grown, professors report increasing numbers of students who are unprepared for the rigors of postsecondary education—not just more students with learning disabilities (whose numbers have more than tripled), but students (with and without special admission status) who are academically at-risk […]

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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