CTL Blog

Reaching Out to Students

We’ve tabulate the results from the ticket out from Fall 2007 Convocation on Monday. The following list groups the various "Reaching Out to Students" ideas into trends that Naomi Story & Shelley Rodrigo identified. Please read through and consider responding to this post. Things to consider:

  • Which of these suggestions will you do? when? where? how?
  • Which of these suggestions have you done in the past? How did they play out?
  • What other categories do you see emerging in this list of suggestions?


Not a New Page…a New Chapter

I liked Jim Mancuso’s metaphor that MCC is not just turning a new page this academic year, but an entire new chapter. I think the CTL is also starting a new chapter with the recent return and/or turnover of new staff in the CTL. As a part of our new chapter, the CTL is kicking off a new program called “Focus On“. The purpose of this program is to give the CTL a pedagogical topic to focus on for each semester. Our kick off topic is Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs). We hope this semester that everyone will participate by talking about, and possibly trying, CATs sometime during the Fall semester. Hopefully you all filled out your “ticket out” at the end of the Convocation. Those of us in the CTL will look at those results and report back to you all later this week.

Filling In

I thought I would “cheat” and make my blog posting this week an easy one. For those of you who do not know, Donna Guadet, Mesa CC’s fabulous instructional technologist, decided she missed the classroom and moved over to Scottsdale CC as a full-time math instructor. To allow MCC to run a full search to replace our instructional technologist position, I will be the acting instructional technologist for the 2007-8 academic year.

I just finished five years, full-time, in the English, Humanities, and Journalism department teaching writing and media studies classes. My scholarly interests generally include the interface between technology and humanity. My various scholarly projects are usually about teaching and learning with technology, technologically mediated professional development, and cross-media narrative studies. I have been blogging about my various scholarly interests for the past year and a half and just upgraded to my own domain.

Besides helping with workshops, course design, and various programs in the CTL, I will also be working on my own interests of scholarship at the two-year college (specifically how do we seek funding and do it). I will also be working on revising the ETL (excellence in teaching and learning) courses.

So swing by if you:

      need help with some funky teaching and learning technology,
      want to chat about redesigning your course,
      like to share what projects you are working on, and/or
      just need a place to hide for a while!

Working Students

Recently there were articles in both the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed about working students in higher education. Probably not a surprise to most of you, there were many statistics that emphasize, and reemphasize, the hurdles that many of the working students at MCC must go through to attend college. The report discussed in the article from Inside Higher Ed claimed that “the working poor who take college courses think of themselves as students first and employees second.” The report also listed recommendations to help working poor students; all of those listed in the article have to be implemented by either the federal government (or other student aid decision makers) and individual institutions. None of the recommendations focused on what individual instructors can do in their specific classes.


Streaming Media Resources

I was the one who initially put together the streaming media guide in preparation for some media classes for MCC faculty taught by Richard Felnagle of the English Humanities department and myself. The guide is horrendously out of date, but the class itself was fun class to teach, and I learned a lot. I really enjoyed teaching it with Richard who delivers a great portion of his own instruction for his on campus and distance-learning students via our Helix Universal Server. (more…)

Top ten signs of a modern techno-geek…

10. The first thing you think about when you get in a car is returning all those phone calls you haven’t had time to return.

9. You never watch a TV show at its scheduled time (go Tivo!)

8. While in the customer service waiting line, you call the customer service number on your cell phone and get faster service.

7. You use the alarm on your cell phone to wake up in the morning.

6. You regularly email yourself (and maybe even respond!).

5. When you say or do something you didn’t mean, you think “Undo.”

4. You use Google to research answers to all you unknown questions.

3. You don’t forward the “please forward this to 10 of your friends” messages to your friends (unless they really are profound).

2. You are regularly disappointed that you can’t surf while driving.

And…the number 1 sign of a modern techno-geek…

1. You send yourself a voice mail message then, when listening to your voice mail, you don’t recognize the caller!

Einstein Rocking Out

So Where Do You Get *YOUR* Stuff?

Melanie posted earlier about her favorite photo online storage and organizing sites. The CTL also has in the past offered workshops on how to obtain content for use with instructional projects that is legal and honors copyright law.

I’d like to quickly add a few to the list that I’ve found helpful over the past year or so.


Hot Pocket

My last post was serious so here’s another quick funny post to contrast it. On the way back from the Red Mountain campus yesterday I was having another good conversation with my ride, Charlie Levine. Right in the middle of it my right leg started feeling really hot for some reason. I felt bad because Charlie and I were having a good talk and during his part of the conversation I was fidgeting around in my seat and thinking to myself, “Why in the world is my leg on fire?!”. It took me about 3 minutes of discomfort to finally do something about it, and I discovered that a 9-volt battery that I had put in my pocket in preparation for some video work that morning was being shorted out by my key chain. (Which by the way creates a very hot set of keys.)

So here are my 9-volt battery safety tips:

  • Don’t touch them to your tongue unless you want a shocking experience (it’s okay to do this once when you are a kid and your older sibling triple-dog dares you)
  • Don’t touch them to your metal watch band while it’s on your wrist (I did this once on purpose just to see what would happen)
  • Don’t carry them in your pocket with anything metal. (It gives new meaning to the term Hot Pocket) Ouch!

Memory and Learning for Life

After car-pooling with her to the MCC Red Mountain campus yesterday, Donna and I had a conversation that she encouraged me to write about in a blog post. So this one’s for you, Donna. 🙂

I’m currently enrolled in an educational psychology graduate class at ASU entitled “Fundamental Theories of Learning.” Tying it together with some of the technology skills and the environment I work in has been an excellent experience. In the class one of the papers we read was entitled “The Seven Sins of Memory” — based on the book of the same name written by Dr. Daniel L. Schacter from Harvard University.


MCC Faculty – Favorite Podcasts – April, 2007

Responses (from 14 MCC faculty) to a request for top three favorite podcasts (most are available inside iTunes)…if you did not get a chance to submit your favorites, you can add them in the comments area below:

Technology Related