Monthly Archives: April 2012

New Journal

Hybrid Pedagogy: A Digital Journal on Teaching and Technology is a new digital journal that connects teaching and technology in the classroom. They are accepting shor-form articles (approxiamately 1000 words). You can submit an article on their website  


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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Apathetic Students

Dear Colleagues:
I thought you would appreciate the following post by Professor Isaach Sweeney, an assistant professor of English at Richard Bland College in Virginia.  Sweeney talked about “Apathetic Students” ( in his March 26th post and shares one student’s response to his comments in today’s post:  

“As a student who pays for my own education I view myself as my teachers’ employer. I am paying for a service and I should be able to consume as much or as little of that service within the pre-determined bounds that I am paying for. It is your job as a teacher to make class-time engaging and necessary for success in the classroom. I have been through far too many classes where everything covered in the lecture was in the book and attendance offered no tangible benefit to me in terms of achievement on the exams. In these cases as long as the teacher doesn’t score points for attendance, which by the way is absurd, I would simply elect not to attend class on many occasions and still get an A in the class.”

How did Professor Sweeney reply?    

Read “Dear Student” (

Suggested additional reading:

Barkley, Elizabeth F. Student engagement techniques : a handbook for college faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010. Print.

Wootan, Fred C. Not in my classroom : a teacher’s guide to effective classroom management. Avon, Mass: Adams Media, 2007. Print.

Warner, Jack. The unauthorized teacher’s survival guide : an essential reference for both new and experienced educators! 3rd ed.Indianapolis : JIST Works, 2006. Print.

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Posted by on April 27, 2012 in Article, Reading List, Teaching Experience


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How Does Google Search Work?

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Posted by on April 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Learning How to Learn

LOERTSCHER, D. V., & KOECHLIN, C. (2011). Personal Learning Environments in the Learning Commons. Teacher Librarian, 39(2), 23-26.

Students need to be in control of their learning experience. An effective learners will have the following charateristics:

  • Curiosity
  • A desire to make sense of the world
  • Empathy for others
  • Value of self
  • Neeed to take charge
  • Sense of community

Teachers and librarians need to team up to ensure that every student has access to the best tools and resources to support their academic career and beyond. Some academic libraries are creating Learning Commons. The community college library that I work at provides collaborative learning and study spaces to students. We want to give students the opportunity to work together on group projects, conduct discussions, or view a presentation together. David Loertscher states, “The Learning Commons takes responsiblity for building and maintaining flexible physical and virtual environments conductive to the best learning for all types of clients and their needs” (Loertscher, 2011). We are seeing an encourage of student activity in the library.


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Posted by on April 20, 2012 in Article, Teaching Tools, Technology


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Students and New Technologies

It is often assumed that students have used all of the technologies available in the classroom and are already familiar with them by the time we see them. In reality, students of any age have varying levels of comfort with new technologies. Many are baffled when an interface changes and familiar functions have moved to unfamiliar places. When considering technical tools to use in the classroom – be it real or virtual – consider students’ comfort levels and experience.

Skills required for success in online courses……


Computer Skill Questions You Can Ask Your Students:


  • Do you have good typing skills?
  • Are you comfortable with a mouse?
  • Are you familiar with a windows operating system?
  • Are you familiar with online discussion lists/email?
  • Are you a proficient Internet User?


Learning Style—How do you learn (think like a student)?


  • Can you adapt to learning through a new medium?
  • Is conversation important to you?  Do you learn by listening?
  • Do you have strong reading comprehension skills?  Lots of reading involved!
  • Do you follow instructions well?  Are you an independent thinker?
  • Do you need to ask a lot of questions?  Do you need immediate feedback from your instructor?
  • Do you have strong time management skills?
  • Do you need to feel you’re part of a class?



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Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Teaching Tools


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A coIleague came across this website in a book that he was reading.

This website allows you to paste text into the box (preferably long text) and then will calculate what reading level is required to understand it. It could be interesting for both you and your students.


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Posted by on April 17, 2012 in Teaching Tools


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Open-Source Book Program

Guttenplan, D.D. “Big savings for U.S. students in open-source book program.” International Herald Tribune 13 Feb. 2012. General Business ASAP. Web. 3 Apr. 2012.

I saw this in an article this morning and thought I would share it. We all know the price of textbooks can be somewhat astronomical. It appears there are now some open-source text books that are free. If you are looking for a new book to adopt for Physics, Sociology, Anatomy and Physiology, or Biology, this site may have something. If you teach another course, bookmark the site. New texts may be coming.

This information is from OpenStax College’s website ( OpenStax College is a nonprofit organization committed to improving student access to quality learning materials. Their free textbooks are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable, accurate, and meet the scope and sequence requirements of your course. Through their partnerships with companies and foundations committed to reducing costs for students, OpenStax College is working to improve access to higher education for all. OpenStax College is an initiative of Rice University and Connexions and is made possible through the generous support of several philanthropic foundations.

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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in Reading List, Teaching Tools


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