| Spring 2019
Welcome to this semester’s edition of Teaching with Technology, a newsletter from the Instructional Design Center. Here you will find the latest technology-related news and resources at Ramapo College. This newsletter also features a profile on Ann LePore, Associate Professor of 3D Design and Animation.
The IDC Has Moved!
The Instructional Design Center has relocated to ASB 223. Please come by the new lab for help with Moodle, Google Apps, and other technologies. IDC workshops will be hosted here as well.
Faculty Development Day is February 20
The Instructional Design Center and Faculty Resource Center have teamed up to bring you a wide range of fascinating and practical workshops. Please participate in one or more of the workshops below. To view workshop descriptions, click the workshop titles.
Introduction to Structural Equation Modeling
Suicide Prevention Training: What Faculty Members Can Do
Open Educational Resources (OER): What’s It All About?
5 Ways to Boost Student Communication in Class
The Discussion: Pros and Cons of Online Course Evaluations
Faculty Profile – Ann LePore, Associate Professor of 3D Design and Animation
A quick glance at Professor Ann LePore’s lab and office says a great deal about her commitment to technological innovation and exploration. Spread across the table are microchips, computer parts, wires, and tools. We caught her on a day when she was in the midst of building a 3D printer from scratch. It goes without saying that Professor LePore is adept with technology, but it is her creative and artistic approach to technological tools that is most impressive.
“We’re really good at pushing buttons, but I want my students to think about the gestures and meanings behind technology. We spend time exploring ‘the why’ of physical computing,” says Professor LePore. This often entails taking things apart and putting them back together in a different way to explore the outcomes and results. Her physical computing course draws a mix of computer science majors and visual arts majors, who come into the course with different sets of expectations and concerns. Professor LePore says, “It’s magical when they come together and support each other.”
Professor LePore builds student confidence and self-agency by giving them the basic building blocks for design and letting them discover new ideas and methods. It is important to her that students understand they can have a role in the world beyond just that of consumers. Her students become creators of objects and products, and they help each other demystify the tools that we use every day: microprocessors, electrical circuits, computers, mobile devices, and more.
One of Professor LePore’s goals for the future is to establish a makerspace at Ramapo as an integral part of the new Library and Learning Commons. A makerspace is where innovators gather to create, invent, and learn, usually with tech tools like 3D printers, software, electronics, hardware supplies and tools, and more. She hopes that the makerspace at Ramapo is a flexible space with tools available faculty, students, staff, and eventually the public.
Even if your course is not related to building interactive processor-art in class, there are many things that other faculty members can learn from Professor LePore. She offers, “Failure is an important part of the process. If you are afraid to fail, you can’t take any risks, you can’t experiment, and you really can’t learn. To make the best of a failure, document it, figure out why it happened, and then to move on from there; it’s the best thing that can happen to you.”
Come learn some great tech ideas directly from Professor LePore on April 18 from 1:00-1:50 pm, when she will lead a workshop on 3D Printing in ASB 223 (the new IDC lab).
Resources for Teaching Online
We’ve added a great new section to the IDC website with a host of resources available to instructors for online courses. These resources include best practices, articles related to research and implementation, and technology and training resources. Check out Resources for Teaching Online.
On-Campus Training Opportunities
Weekly Workshops – Be sure to check out all of the great workshops offered by IDC this semester. To view the workshop schedule and register, visit our training web site.
One-on-One Support – Contact the IDC or drop into the lab (ASB 223) if you need personal support with Moodle or any other instructional technologies.