Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Forum 2012

The Center for Faculty Development at Metro hosted this year's Spring Forum on Friday, which is a chance for Auraria campus professors to join together and learn about the latest in pedagogy and the scholarship of teaching and learning.  The day was a success.  Here's what I learned:

I attended a session that taught us how to use technology like social media in the classroom.  The feature that knocked my socks off was this webpage called storify.  Storify allows the students to build their own, fun to read article on a topic.  They can search for web content, then simply click and drag it into their story column, add comments, and rearrange it until they find a provocative order of telling what they found.  They can then share the link with the class and get comments from the other students and professor on their work.  This session offered lots of other fun little ideas that I can't wait to explore more in the classroom.

Teaching at its best author Linda Nilson teased us with a fun activity that showed us how our brains work in learning.  She gave out a worksheet and little did we know, half of the room had one set of directions and half had another!  One half was looking at a series of 30 words and writing down a number for how many times they interacted with this thing in the past two weeks.  Words like "tea pot" or "strawberry."  The other half of the room was supposed to count the number of vowels in the words.  Who remembered more of the words when our memory was put to the test?  The folks who had had an emotional connection to the words, the people remembering personal interactions with the things!  Dr. Nilson had lots of other great advice and I can't wait to dive deeper into her book this summer.  

I attended a talk about how to help your First Year Success students be successful.  One of the greatest things I took away was the idea of giving your students a list of things they must do the first two weeks of class:  buy the text book, send the professor an email, drop by office hours, log in to metro connect to find course materials, etc.  This will get students off to a great start!

Lastly, I presented a poster during the lunch hour.  Here it is: