App of the Week – Storehouse

storehouseThis week’s app of the week is the Storehouse app. Storehouse is a free visual storytelling app for iOS that allows you to create stories using a combination of images, videos, and written narrative. Once you are done creating your story you can share it through the app or through your social media accounts. To download it for iOS for free click HERE. To learn more about this app, watch the video below. If you have used this app in your life or in your classroom please let us know by commenting on this post! We would love to learn about your personal experiences and we would love to share them with other Texas Wesleyan folks!

P’s of Inquiry

P’s of Inquiry CETL Workshop

Open House Raffle Winners

Thanks to all faculty and staff who came to the CETL Open House. Congratulations, to Elizabeth Howard & Gaith Albadarin, you are the lucky raffle winners! Come by the CETL to collect  your prize.

If you were unable to attend the CETL Open House, please be sure to check out or calendar and new badge system to see all of the happenings this fall! Hope to see you at the CETL soon.

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 II (when digital computing, cybernetic feedback, and early notions of hypertext and the Internet first appeared) and the emergence of the World Wide Web (when these concepts entered the mainstream of public life).

And these texts illustrate the genesis of concepts, ideas, and products that today are commonplace and are still very relevant and significant. Chapter 1 of Mindstorms, “Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas,” was one of these texts. I thought that reading the whole book and discussing with colleagues would be interesting for all of us.

Papert was a student of Piaget’s in the early 1960s and some of his research and theories developed from Piaget’s constructivist theory to a constructionist theory. He was part of the team that developed the LOGO programming language at MIT and his reflections on how programming allows children to think about thinking and consequently develop intellectually in different ways fascinates me.

Some of the additional items that we have discussed and shared in our face-to-face meeting was Mamamedia.com, a children’s website developed by some of Papert’s students and that are build with the constructionist learning theory principles. (view ad for mamamedia.com below). We discussed children learning independently by watching a brief section of the TED talk (embedded below) while discussing the work of Sugata Mitra. In reference to a quote on page 37 that said:

Education will become more of a private act, and people with good ideas, different ideas, exciting ideas will no longer be faced with a dilemma where they either have to “sell” their ideas to a conservative bureaucracy or shelve them. They will be able to offer them in an open marketplace directly to consumers.

we discussed the work of Salman Khan and his Khan Academy, and  we also discussed code.org. One other quote that, in my opinion, is worth highlighting is:

The educator must be an anthropologist. The educator as an anthropologist must work to understand which cultural materials are relevant to intellectual development. Then, he or she needs to understand which trends are taking place in the culture. Meaningful intervention must take the form of working with these trends. (p.32)

If you have read this book and have any thoughts that you would like to share, please leave a comment here or email me at ameira@txwes.edu.

 

 

App of the week – WritePad

WritepadScreen Shot 2014-08-29 at 1.52.40 PM is an app for iOS and Android that allows you to take handwritten notes in your tablet, which are then recognized with a handwriting recognition software to typed letters. It also offers a spell checker and a shorthand feature that fills-in words that are often used. To download it for $4.99 for iOS click HERE. To download it for Android for $4.99 click HERE. To learn more about this app, watch the video below. If you have used this app in your life or in your classroom please let us know by commenting on this post! We would love to learn about your personal experiences and we would love to share them with other Texas Wesleyan folks!

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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