2009 (01) February »
Associate Director’s Column
Author: Kristi Verbeke
Hello everyone and welcome back to the Winter semester! For my kickoff column of the semester, I’d like to start by telling you about some of the Winter events occurring at the OTL. We started the semester in January with our annual Semester-Start Up. A four-day series of workshops for faculty designed around various teaching and learning themes. This year, we had a wonderful turnout. Our success would not have been possible without the help of some of your colleagues and fellow faculty members, Michael Barbour, Abby Butler, Linda Hulbert, and Mark VanBerkum. They all generously offered their time to present workshops on topics near and dear to their hearts. So, I’d like to extend a warm thanks to the four of them for spending the week with us!
For the rest of the semester, in addition to our regular workshop calendar, we have many other events planned. The Digital Humanities Collaboratory (DHC), hosted by our faculty fellow, Julie Thompson Klein, has an exciting series of monthly presentations geared towards integrating digital resources into teaching. On January 30, Jeff Pruchnic from English, along with three of his graduate students, engaged faculty in a lively discussion about their use of wikis in Wikidelica: Open-Author Technologies and Just-In-Time Pedagogies. February 27, Julie and Anne-Marie Armstrong, Instructional Designer for the OTL, will be further discussing digital humanities in their presentation, Digital Humanities: Mapping the Field. More events are planned for later in the semester. To check the schedule, feel free to consult the Digital Humanities Collaboratory page on our website.
In addition to the DHC events, we will also be featuring other faculty speakers. On February 18, William Crossland from Anatomy (a 2008 President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching recipient) will discuss how he has adapted his teaching for what he calls the “wired” generation. We’ve got other faculty who are planning to give presentations as well and will announce those events as more information becomes available.
And finally, the response to the OTL Book Club was overwhelming positive so we’ve scheduled another book for discussion. This semester, we will be reading Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled – And More Miserable Than Ever Before, by Jean Twenge. Twenge takes a closer look at many of the students we’re seeing in our classes today and documents the self-focus of what she calls “Generation Me”. Through her book, she examines data which illustrate how different young adults are today and presents stories which bring these individuals to life for the reader. Join us on April 1 from 12:00 – 1:30 as we discuss the implications of this book and attempt to better understand the “Generation Me” students in our own classrooms. All participants will receive a copy of Twenge’s book and lunch at the discussion. Registration is limited to 10 people, so register early on Pipeline and contact me to arrange to pick up a copy of the book.
That’s just a sample of the things going on at the OTL. In addition to our events, the OTL staff is always available on a one-on-one basis to assist and collaborate with you on any instructional project or need. Do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 313.577.1980. We look forward to seeing you this semester!