Engaging Students Through Technology Symposium 2010

Third Annual Symposium

Friday, October 15, 2010, 10:30 am to 3 pm

We live today in a state of 'continuous partial attention'. Instant access to people and information can both engage and distract us. New tools break down classroom boundaries and change the nature of college education. This year's symposium explores the creative ways faculty are integrating technologies into teaching, the challenges they face, and the disruptive nature of mobile technologies in lecture contexts. The day's program included faculty presentations, hands-on exploration and small-group discussions. The symposium was open to Penn faculty and instructors. A photo gallery, podcasts, a five minute excerpt and the full hour-long video of the student panel, and videos of Regina Austin, Carol Muller and Ralph Rosen are available online.

View Video Recordings 

Faculty Panel: 10:30 am to noon : Cohen Hall Rm 402

Regina Austin
Regina Austin

Carol Muller

Ralph Rosen

Masao Sako

Mark Yim
  • Regina Austin L'73, William A. Schnader Professor of Law, Penn Law School, directs the Documentaries and the Law project and is one of five Penn faculty profiled in the Nurturing Student Creativity with Video Projects ELIXR MERLOT module for faculty development. She will discuss student-created video projects. Her students create documentary, appeal and clemency videos as part of their legal studies. (Video
  • Carol Muller, Professor of Music, School of Arts and Sciences, will discuss student use of Google products (Maps, YouTube, Docs) and online networking tools to create interactive musical histories. Her West Philly Music website showcases student projects over several years. (Video
  • Ralph Rosen, Professor of Classical Studies, School of Arts and Sciences, will share reflections about Facebook and its potential for communication with students. Ralph's fall 2010 course Scandalous Arts in Ancient and Modern Societies compares ancient and modern notions of artistic transgression, and challenges students to examine closely the criteria, both then and now, used to evaluate such material aesthetically, morally and politically. (Video
  • Masao Sako, Assistant Professor of Astronomy, School of Arts and Sciences, will discuss the capabilities of Google Earth and Google Sky, and their applicability to classroom activities. Google Earth has integrated professional-quality images of the night sky with its powerful geographic visualization tools. He will share ideas for using such tools in teaching and learning.
  • Mark Yim, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, will share ideas for handling disruptive technologies such as student use of laptops and cell-phones during lecture classes.

Student Panel and Tech Sessions: 1 to 2 pm - Three concurrent sessions

  • Peter Decherney, Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and English, facilitated a panel discussion with current Penn undergraduates about the ways in which new technologies enhance and reduce learning both in and out of class. We thank our four student presenters: Rivka Fogel, Thomas Jansen, Pranav Merchant and Tatiana Peisach. (Video
  • Zotero provides new ways to manage online resources for research and publication preparation. Nick Okrent, Information Literacy and Undergraduate Services Librarian, Penn Libraries, and Nancy Bellafante, WIC Desk Intern, Penn Libraries, presented this hands-on session.
  • iMovie is an easy way for students to produce powerful videos. Jesse Turnbull, Digital Media Lab Assistant, Penn Libraries, and Sarah Jacoby, Digital Media Lab Assistant, Penn Libraries, presented this hands-on session.

Discussion Group and Tech Sessions: 2 to 3 pm - Three concurrent sessions

  • Bruce Lenthall, Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and Adjunct Assistant Professor of History, School of Arts and Sciences, guided a discussion of student-created websites for class projects. His students have created a 1970s Reader through collaborative web design.
  • Google Maps: Learn how to make your own maps with annotations, HTML, videos and images. David Toccafondi, Vitale Digital Media Lab Coordinator, Penn Libraries, provided hands-on guidance and Richard Berman, Urban Studies Faculty, School of Arts and Sciences, discussed student project experiences with Google Maps.
  • Screen Movies and WordPress Blogs: Screen Movies are a great way to provide short, specific directions to students about new technologies and software. John MacDermott, Director of Instructional Technology, School of Arts and Sciences, and Shawn Zamecheck, Media Services Coordinator, School of Arts and Sciences, reviewed easy-to-use tools and show examples of screen movies. During the second half of this session, Rashmi Kumar, doctoral student, Graduate School of Education, discussed WordPress blogs.

Undergraduate Student Panel - Bios

  • Rivka Fogel is a senior in the College majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. She studies contemporary poetics and is pleasantly surprised at the different ways that technology has increasingly become a part of her work.
  • Thomas Jansen is a senior in the College majoring in Architecture, sub-matriculating into the School of Design. He is the former Photo Editor for 34th Street Magazine, Web Development Editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian and currently a lab consultant at the Vitale Digital Media Lab.
  • Pranav Merchant is a senior in the College majoring in History, the study of which has been a significant reason for his use of technology. His interest in technology spans a variety of fields, including medicine, the sciences, and business, as well ethics. He is currently on the Student Technology Advisory Board.
  • Tatiana Peisach: Tatiana Peisach is a senior in the College double majoring in Cinema Studies and Visual Studies. She loves new media and technology and has been on the Student Technology Advisory Board the past 4 years. Last summer she worked as an Intern at an internet design company called Hard Candy Shell. She is now writing her Visual Studies thesis on social media communication and how it is impacting the 'net generation'.