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Todd Suomela

The Necessity of Looking Stupid | Just Visiting - 0 views

  • I’ve found students to be very insightful when it comes to understanding and assessing their own learning and very forgiving of my “mistakes.” Just about 100% of what I now do in the classroom has been “authorized” by student feedback, not given through end-of-semester evaluations, but collaborative discussion.

    Ask students if something worked, and they will tell you.

    The best part of moving the professorial pedestal out of the room is that all of us get to be a little less fearful, and little more brave.

Todd Suomela

vSTEM.org - 0 views

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    "The simulations on this site are meant to give students the ability to experiment on traditionally static textbook problems and examples. We believe experimenting with a flexible, dynamic system can give students deeper insights into core engineering concepts than that gained from solving for single snapshots of a system. Tweak variables; solve for unknowns; experiment; see what happens and figure out why. This site is also used to augment hands-on experiments, by tracking student training on lab equipment and comparing lab with simulated data.

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Todd Suomela

Rescuing Student Participation Through Digital Platforms - DML Central - 0 views

  • One problem is that participation is largely taken for granted and under theorized in many classrooms. The way we make use of a term like participation is in need of rescuing: moving away from a limited view of participation as it is often linked to motivation, engagement, or hand-raising and toward the view that participation as a concept is more generative when connected to the idea of membership in communities of practice (Wenger, 1998). Our limited view of participation is evident by simply turning to the language included in most syllabi: often, syllabi list “participation points” as part of the grade of the course. I find this to be an odd way to think about participation. What we often mean is that we will give students some points for “talking in class” and “raising their hands.” But demonstrating engagement by hand-raising and talk are fairly limited views of participation, and in fact, these ways of being are more connected to performance — acting like a student — than participation. We certainly want students to participate more than 10 percent, or even half, of the time. Are they participating when they are listening and pondering the ideas of their peers? Of course they are, but how do they demonstrate that? In thinking about course design, we should consider how students become members of our classroom community and our disciplines. Social media sites can open up other avenues for participation, and further, connect students to communities of practice outside our classrooms that they hope to enter.
Todd Suomela

the social-rhetorical challenges of information technology - digital digs - 0 views

  • This is why a survey coming from IT asking me about the usefulness of the technology in the classroom seems tone deaf to me. The problem isn’t the technology or if there are problems with the technology then they are obscured by the limits of the physical space. I would like for students to have enough space to bring their laptops, move around, work in groups, share their screens (even if only by all moving around in front of a laptop), and have conversations without getting in each others way.  I’d also like to be able to move among those groups without worrying about pulling a muscle.
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    For Matt to make his points about the interaction between physical space and technology.
Todd Suomela

Welcome to the GEODE Initiative! - 0 views

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    "The Geographic Data in Education (GEODE) Initiative at Northwestern University is dedicated to improving public understanding of our world through education about the Earth's physical, biological, and social systems. Toward that end, the GEODE Initiative is engaged in a program of integrated research and development in the areas of learning, teaching and educational reform. The GEODE Initiative develops and studies curriculum, software, and teacher professional development. "
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