Digital Course Components

For my final project I decided to add digital components to a proposed undergraduate course.  The seminar, proposed for seniors, includes a “Science Salon” component, for which students would meet to discuss an issue of scientific and feminist importance. I’ve added three digital components to the course, which would allow students to move conversation beyond the classroom:

I. Science Salon Facilitation (20%)

Twice per month the class will convene for a Science Salon led by two students. Each pair of students will be assigned a primary scientific research article drawn from a neuroscience, genetics, evolution, or psychology journal and present the research to the class. You will provide your classmates with a handout of key concepts from the article including a summary of the: introduction, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion/future directions/applications of the findings. Feel free to make an appointment with me if you have any trouble understanding the article.

You should make use of the White Board and/or Power Point for the presentation. Come prepared with 8-10 questions in order to guide class discussion. Your questions should draw on your own ideas but also encourage your classmates to consider how the week’s feminist science studies reading(s) relate to the article.

II. Salon Live-Tweeting (5%)

Each student will be responsible for live-Tweeting one Science Salon event, posting comments and summarizing the salon as it unfolds on our private classroom Twitter account. After each salon, you will use‘ Storify,’ a digital platform, to collect your tweets and transform them into a curated narrative of your Tweets, which will be posted on our class blog. The live-Tweeting will serve a form of note-taking for the class and ‘Storifying’ as a form public scholarship that gives blog readers a sense of key arguments, questions, and ideas that come out of our meeting.

III. Digital Salon (25%)

Once salon facilitations are assigned, you will sign up to serve as an online respondent to the Salons in the form of four public blog posts. Blog posts should give a very brief summary of the salon and the main ideas generated and discussed. Your response may extend part of the conversation held in the salon or respond to a particular thought or idea in the salon or week’s readings. Blog posts should be roughly 500 words (not to exceed 750) and will be submitted to me before you post to our blog. Once you have received feedback you are invited and encouraged to revise your response before posting publicly. 


My website.

Hi all,

I’ve made a website/digital teaching portfolio here.  It’s shamelessly modeled on Brian Croxall’s site, and I’m trying to get started with blogging on the main page.

Blogging on an academic site makes me feel more academically “naked” than I’d like to feel.  The culture of peer review in academic publishing, frustrating as it is, brings some comfort of professional approval if you can get through it, and I’ve always been more reluctant to throw my undercooked thoughts onto a public forum.  But I’m now inspired to try, and to gradually make them more “cooked.”

Yet blogging has also made me realize that I often have interesting thoughts that I keep to myself.

Another project :)

For my Approaches to Latin American history last class we had to rethink a timeline we did at the beginning of the semester. Everyone plunged into creative memes and drawings. I had little time, but I did not want to be less creative. I made Weirdos and Losers (or a short history of Latin America) in Piktochart. I did it from scratch so it took longer than I thought. I am fairly satisfied with the result (I think it could have been a little better).

The “infographics” is here

What I couldn’t do is to print it in several pages to make a huge poster. Suggestions?


Final Project: course website

For the final project I’ve been working to create a course website:

Right now the content is still missing, and I’m not satisfied yet with the layout.  My main concern was to create an online space to support a variety of assignments.  Some of this functionality you will not be able to see, but the site is linked to wikispaces.  Through this, I can divide students into groups and provide them with pages to work on a debate assignment.  This way each team can work together, but the other teams can’t see their work.  So far it seems to work, but does require students to register to both sites in order to gain full functionality.  I’m wondering if this can be simplified.  I am also using the wikispaces links to set up a course dictionary for the students (like a wiki page).  The word press site will be used to contain the syllabus, announcements, a course blog, and a course photo blog.  I’m still trying to figure out a way to simplify these different functions and perhaps will have one site by the time I teach this course.

Final Project: Online syllabus

For our final project, I created an online version of a syllabus I have to submit. I did it on WordPress. I favored clarity and attractiveness. My main objective is that students have this available within an easy click. Blackboard is OK, but you have to click so many times through the menu that is unbearable. With an online syllabus students can consult it without needing any downloading/printing, and with handy menu to find what they are looking for faster.

My main problem is the theme. I have chosen Motif because it is a full-width theme and it has the menu on the top bar. However, I cannot find a way to remove the widgets from the side. If you go to the theme, they do not appear on the demo. When I tried to customize them, the widget section is empty.

I am still balancing colors/fonts with the contents. Because of all these are pages, there is very little room for formatting. Also, I want to eliminate the comments from all pages but I don’t know how.

I tried to include other tools we’ve worked on during this course such as widgets. Although the syllabus per se is not finished, I would LOVE any suggestions that you might have to improve it. I won’t probably be teaching this class, but I thought it was a great opportunity to polish curriculum-building skills.



TPC+R project: Zaption tour

For my project in this class (for now), I created a Zaption tour, which I hope to use when I teach Conflict Transformation Skills next January & February.  (I have ideas of other projects I hope to complete in preparation for this course, including a second Zaption tour–but this was all I could finish in time for our final meeting on Nov 25!)

My tour uses a video made by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) from the UK.  The video is featured on the Acas website, © Acas, Euston Tower, 286 Euston Road, London NW1 3JJ (2001 – 2009), and was uploaded to YouTube Mar 11, 2011.

My  learning objectives in creating this Zaption video tour for my students are: 1) to let them see an example of well-performed conflict mediation; 2) to give them opportunity to apply concepts from their reading of John Paul Lederach’s Little Book of Conflict Transformation.

If you wish to preview my tour, here is the link:


Digital Storytelling Resources

Here are a few initial resources on Digital Storytelling assignments, rubrics, and examples.

Rubric Example

Yeah, I wanna be a tech nerd. And teach.

First of all, apologies on the post. I had written it but forgot to post it (and then I lost what I had written).

Technology is part of our lives. People may resist it by not having a Facebook account, avoiding smartphones, or barely using e-mails. Yet, technology does regulate the most basic chores of our lives: traffic lights, shopping, buying a plane ticket to go the middle of nowhere… Students today accept technology as part of their lives but, in my experience, they do not know how to use it for boosting their learning.

In past projects with highschoolers, I have learned that students enjoy exploring their own technological skills and applying them for school. For example, when studying the difference between Romanesque and Gothic art in the Middle Ages, a group of boys used Minecraft to “build” two cathedrals. For showing it to the class, the character would walk around the buildings as a student recorded everything with his phone (they did not have the program for screen recording).

I think the use of technology should be across the the curriculum, in the same reading and writing is. In the past I have used Prezi for presentations, Mimio for working on grade 2 fine motor skills, Edmodo for managing classes (schools did not have platforms), and TodaysMeet, to name a few. Ironically (or not), the only professors that used technology the most when I was in college were soon-to-retire ones: one introduced us to the world of libraries, information, and databases; the second one was an art historian who used Powerpoint and the internet for everything; and the third one made us blog for every class.

The purpose for my registering for this program is precisely to give my amateurish, self-taught tech tools a more professional framework. More importantly, I want to know the resources available at Emory. It is very easy to come up with ideas, but it is harder to know who to ask for help. I am currently designing two syllabi: a survey and a thematic one. Therefore, I think the time for doing this course is excellent: right at the beginning of my college teaching career.


Questionnaire for the Working with Data Session

Hi all! Please fill out this short form to let us know what you are working on and how you use data in your projects.

Technology and Teaching Ancient Greek

One of the ways that I’ve integrated technology into my biblical Greek classes is the use of online versions of ancient Greek manuscripts. There are a few places online, most notably the Codex Sinaiticus website, that display high quality images of biblical manuscripts. The online editions are often of better quality than print facsimiles and much easier to show to a larger class. After teaching the students some basic paleographical skills, we will start to read the ancient texts together in class. This not only is an opportunity to bridge the gap between today’s world and the ancient world, but I think it goes a long way in helping to foster new interests in studying an ancient book and its transmission through history.

I often tend to use traditional teaching techniques in my classes but am definitely more interested in learning new methods of engaging students and I think I have a lot to learn from TPC+R in this respect. Also as someone considering a career as an academic librarian, I hope to gain skills that will help me help others with their research and teaching.