FIR – Incubator Classroom-the blog post

Faculty-in-Residence Report
Incubator Classroom Support

Description of the Position: support faculty and provide pedagogy related to technology available in classroom. Observe faculty and facilitate teaching in classroom and smooth use of technology.
–I need to say that I really enjoyed working with the cohort of IC faculty this semester, I learned so very much just watching the different approaches to the technologies. Ruth was so pragmatic about creating a valuable technological experience for her students, David was quite calm about the possibility of failure and his backup plan was to just do it without as he had previously. Cathy really adapted the space and technology to fit her class and made it part of the experience and Suzi struggled so bravely. In the end the most trying technology ended up being Elluminate and that was mainly because I had no previous experience with it, and had a helluva time trouble shooting it on top of the occasional AV problems that plagued us in the IC.

That said the support staff which came in from outside the IC at the last minute Leon, Patrick, and Bhargav all did an amazing job and I understand full well that we would have crashed and burned without their expert work and commitment. In particular Patrick’s quirky sense of humor and commitment astonished me.

Goal: consult with faculty teaching in the Incubator Classroom about pedagogical uses of the available technology tools
–This part did itself most of the time, the faculty were excited about the technology and did a ton of research and work on their own.
Goal: have weekly scheduled office hours in the Incubator Classroom
–Easy peasy, in fact the regular schedule in the IC helped me out an amazing amount with my personal productivity.
Goal: facilitate and support the Incubator Classroom faculty with a web-based community of practice
–So this is probably where I fell down the most, between my daily interactions and Peter’s learning community it was only at the end that I started communicating online with the whole cohort.
Goal: coordinate, organize and host a showcase of the Incubator Classroom
–Mary Fran did this, and I just participated.
Goal: Administer a student survey Spring 2010
–This ended up being a last minute dealio, and I realized that I was quite dissatisfied with the nature of the survey. On top of that now someone is stuck trolling through the results (please not me).

Workshops and Individual Consultations

I did extensive consultation with Cathy about selecting and preparing an easy to use content creation tool for the web.

Ad hoc consultations took place on a weekly basis as faculty introduced new technologies or encountered issues. I also provided intermediary support between faculty and the technical staff wherever possible in an attempt to advocate for the faculty using the space.

–I should have kept a log of this, seeing the faculty every week during office / class hours made all of it run together. Cathy and I ended up deciding on Google sites for students to make online associative arguments and later portfolios. I am still conflicted about that based on the help I had to provide and the difficulty in tuning the output. I don’t think I would have wanted to do DreamWeaver though because it would then have required a webspace and the questions would have been off the hook.

Spring Forum: – an overview of my presentation for the spring forum.
-unsure how effective this is on its own, it certainly benefits from the explanation. – video as captured during the spring forum of the presentation made by the Technology Learning Community.
-judge for yourself, this is lazy video with the presenter distracted. As with ANY video capture it benefits from having a seasoned camera operator. Hopefully this gives a decent overview and presents reasonable documentation.

Evaluation/Evidence of Tangible Results – this is a quick capture of the survey results. I have not been asked to do any analysis of the results. The survey as administered is a reproduction of the previous semesters and is quite complex. If the opportunity arises I would like to rework this a bit in the future.
-rawr data

Suggestions for Improvement

I became FIR at the last minute because of personnel changes and was constantly playing catch-up. Overall we succeeded, but it is difficult to suggest changes under these circumstances.
-it was really a joy to be FIR, and after the fact I walked away with a paycheck and a plaque as a thank you. I learned quite a lot, and met some quality people. I look forward to working in and around this position with the assumption that it will never happen again like this perfect storm.