July 30, 2008

Mandatory Cell Phone Programs to Boost Pedagogy

Filed under: Uncategorized — bentljo @ 4:05 pm

Montclair State Univeristy; Mandatory Cell phone program

Looks like Montclair preceded us in their use of mobile apps.  They eliminated landlines in dorms and created a whole program around cell phones much like we are doing.

Have “clicker” functionality, location based services, had emergency notification services before VA Tech massacre.  Use Rave Guardian to optionally notify campus police of their intent to go from point A to point B.  Police monitor their progress.  If the student does not actively notify the police that they made it OK (app on the phone) then police call to make sure they made it OK.  If no answer then the location db helps pinpoint the student’s last known location quickly.

They have “dozens and dozens” of applications.


* standardization and proprietary nature of devices (single biggest challenge, but not for us, at least not after full implementation)

* Networks

* Marketing to Value

* Administrative overhead

But, the whole project hits the sweet spot for the students; it’s what they want and like.

Now to the classroom:  pitching learning as more interactive and enjoyable.  “Bridge the gap between how students are living and learning.”

Use student portal to opt-in to phone apps (Blackboard announcements, grades, groups/classes, etc.).  Can also create their own groups.

Use Lecture123 to create video podcasts for the phone.

Found that English class didn’t like using a cell phone in class.  But Business class did like it.  Their conclusion is that the subject matter made a difference.  I wonder about faculty implementation though.

Uses RAVE to take text polls.  We need to incorporate this functionality into our poll taking software since we’ll never have 100% iPhones on campus.  They also allow students to create their own polls.

Asked students to blog from cell phones.  They were surprised to learn that students had to be taught how to do so.

Created cell phone activities in their “Freshmen Experience” courses; sounds like our University Foundations class.


July 29, 2008

CT ’08, Day 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — bentljo @ 3:09 pm

Adrian Sannier gave a great keynote this morning.  He makes me think FHU is on the right track; we just need to keep moving and move faster.  He singled out Kevin Roberts from ACU as a shining example of what kind of innovation he had been talking about.  ACU and FHU are one of only a few universities nationwide that are implementing iPhone/iPod Touch and/or MacBook programs as a means to an end (improving student learning outcomes).  Validation.  But it’s a little early.  Now we must deliver.

Attended John Camp’s session on the 21st Century IT Department.  Much practical advice, and useful, but seems to be counter-Adrian Sannier somewhat.  Thus, I admittedly zoned out about halfway.  Too “Big IT”; too rigid.  Maybe I’m just too small but the keynote this morning didn’t make me think so.

Heading into “Mastering Smart Classroom Design”.

July 28, 2008

MIT Tour

Filed under: Uncategorized — bentljo @ 8:07 pm

Inside the TEAL classroom; Technology-Enabled Active Learning.  Talk about getting the idea juices flowing!  Great job guys, with the room and with the presentation!



The room has 13 tables with 9 chairs each.  Students are assigned in teams of 3 with permanent seating assignments.  Whiteboards are on all outside walls and a couple of interior pillar/walls.  Each whiteboard has a camera on it.  There is a button underneath each whiteboard that when pressed will display the whiteboard on all the projectors.  About half the tables had 3-6 workstations on them.

The room has proven itself by consistently improving student learning outcomes (backed up by much data).  They use clickers to gauge comprehension and speed.  Group work is emphasized and is highly valued.  “Our students used to graduate thinking they know it all.  They couldn’t however work in teams so they would try to do it all themselves and be marginalized as a result”.  They feel the teamwork is as important as the subject matter.

Things they want to change/would recommend: eliminate the corners; more of a round room is ideal.  There are too many tables; around 9 they think is max.  Provide dedicated space for the TA’s, who they highly value.

They ask for suggestions/ideas.  Well, here are mine:

* use triangular tables for the 3 person teams

* put widescreen monitors in front of every student instead of 13 projectors (possibly cheaper too)

* use a mixer to split the widescreen in half; show the powerpoint on one half, other input on the 2nd (whiteboards, document cameras, etc.).

* possibly provide a drawing/input pad per student to provide a way for students to display on smartboards without having to stand in front of the group if they are shy

* try live class blogs during lecture portion

First Session, Designing 21st Century Learning Spaces

Filed under: Uncategorized — bentljo @ 4:08 pm

Exploring the concept of the Incubator Classroom: Too many ideas to list, but here are my raw notes:

3 screens in one classroom? 1 for PowerPoint, 1 for web sites, 1 for video conferencing (guest lecturer as an example).

San Jose State has 500 classrooms they plan to be “smart” by 2010. They have 5 levels of “smart”.

Smart classrooms demand an FTE increase.

University of San Jose:

* plans to have 500 classrooms “Smart” by 2010

* Have 5 levels of “smart”

* Pecha Kucha = “antidote to death by PowerPoint”

20 slides, 20 seconds each

6 minutes 40 seconds per presentation


The IDEO way

ELI conference on learning space design

“The Stage” = the place to see and be seen

designed booths to increase the “stickiness” of the university; students spend time

Incubator classroom:

3 screens

2 smarboards on wheels

24′ x 24′

seats 50 comfortably

video conferencing

laptop integration


Millenial students

want to use technology

Mellenial faculty member

learning includes content, pedagogy, technology

flexible space + supported faculty+innovative faculty

student impact=76% enjoyed

implementation needs only 1 change per semester in order to measure success; started with WOW factor, ended up with 1 change

started with laundry list from Cox (or Coks) center at Emory U

biggest learning was to not use someone else’s laundry list

500 person classroom (lecture hall);

used blog projected on side wall

students wrote blog entries as class progressed

james grizee, San Diego State U

1st application preferred those who would utilize most equipment.

2nd application prefers faculty with most departmental support.

When they give faculty their laptop they must sign contract stating they will attend 15 hours of workshops

When they sign contract to use Incubator classroom they agree to attend 3 workshops on how to use.

How to you manage all the digital displays? Who owns them? What are they used for?

One of their goals was to get the faculty member out from behind the lectern and out into the students.

They use SP Controls for lectern replacement. “SmartBox” for single screen rooms.

Multi screen – non-linear delivery

Video conferencing; great but not feasible; everyone just uses Skype! It’s simple and it works. Simple, simple, simple.



July 26, 2008

Testing the iPhone client

Filed under: Uncategorized — bentljo @ 11:22 pm

Just making sure I’m up to speed on the iPhone.


Campus Technology ’08

Filed under: Uncategorized — bentljo @ 2:41 am

I’ll be attending Campus Technology ’08 in Boston next week.  I plan to use this space to post ideas, thoughts, and photos from the conference.  I’m learning about mobile blogging with the iPhone so bear with me.


Filed under: Uncategorized — bentljo @ 2:38 am

Improving academics and the student experience in the small private Christian university setting, and maybe beyond.  That’s what this blog is about.  I am the CIO at Freed-Hardeman University.  We are starting a program to try and do just that this fall called the iKnow Initiative.  Every incoming freshman as well as all upperclassmen who opt into the program will receive a MacBook computer and their choice of an iPhone or iPod Touch.

But, it’s not about the technology; it’s just a tool.  The Initiative is broadly based and rooted in academics.  It started in Information Technology.  Can IT be an effective catalyst for academic improvement?  We’ll find out soon enough.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.