Academic Excellence Part 2

Uploaded by celtkeene on 28.04.2010

so i
was awarded along with a couple other institutions
um... national science foundation grant
four years
to study the morphological and molecular evolution
of tropical vine passion flowers
what i'm doing here at Keene State is that I
have three genes that we need to sequence
for our project there are six total and we're doing three here at keene state and three at california
my primary
is willing to involve undergraduates in our work
and that's what my main
tasks was
here's an example in our
classrooms we're using textbooks that are three years old
three or four years old
so let's say
we're taking a course in communication technology
those textbooks will have no information in them about the iPhone
which has a huge impact or Twittering
or anything like that has had a huge impact
on our society and the way we communicate
you know that's up to date information
the information we're giving our students in our textbooks is old
we have to find ways to engage
them in current stuff that's going on
and by engaging them
in current funded research what we're doing is were
allowing them to be a part of the new
stuff that's going on these guys are not consuming knowledge they're producing knowledge
i think that that is what's really important
you know if you are an employer or if you are a professor who
is looking for student
are you going to choose a student who has been a consumer?
or are you going to choose a student who has been a producer?
i have a bigger effect as a teacher on these research students without any doubt
it has a big impact
as learners they become invested in education
involved in a project that's bigger
than just a week long laboratory they do in a class
we are producing a first-class education
not only engaging them in the classroom but engaging them in active research
i don't care whether it's you're writing a novel or designing a building
whatever engaging students in that kind of thing
is going to make them on the competitive scale up here
rather than down here

one of the things i like most is digital storytelling because it allows for creativity in students work
and you know
we know that
storytelling is very traditional we transfer knowledge like parents and
read the stories to their children and there's a knowledge transfer from
generation to generation also from one person to another person
so that's a traditional way but digital storytelling is a new way we integrate a lot of
technologies like the video audio visual and also internet
so that makes those stories more vivid
and more visual to the students
so that's a good way of learning we have a lot of visual learners
we have a lot of auditory learners we have reflective
all kinds of learners and a
visual storytelling can accommodate
those different learning styles especially visual and auditory learners
so when you teach a story
the traditional way of storytelling is through auditory conversation verbally
transfers knowledge
when the students hear the story
from the storyteller and also they see the visual things they make
of the meaning of the story to the visuals they see on the screens
from my own experience teaching students there's no way you can teach everything to the
students so i would say
the most important for our students is how to develop themselves as lifelong learners
this past semester in the womens studies 101 we have
replaced traditional modes of learning with technology
so by way of a webpage these students have been using that technology
in order to complete assignments so that they have made video diaries using webcams narrative
commentaries as well as the final projects which is a Youtube video
and they all get posted to the webpage so this has been very innovative and
different as opposed to how I've taught the womens studies 101 in the past at this institution
biggest challenge was this is new to me
and the students i'd never utilized technology in this way
and was very unaware of how to do so CELT has been an enormous help in that
to promote
this whole new way of thinking and creating a class the biggest highlight is that its
further the learning beyond the classroom and beyond just paper in the past
I've always had them do twenty page papers
and i feel that while they could tell me quite a bit
their learning or engagement didn't
go beyond that paper
and with all of this now now that the have one place to go and they can access that via
technology the work of the other students... the students are now coming in and commenting
about what others have done which i think really promotes their learning and
and furthers it beyond what they can do just within the classroom The course that we're talking about is called
Nicaragua and change and is part of the integrative studies program
it was really great because it was open to all students but I hadn't really heard about it mainly

you know sociology students but carly came
back to my apartment one day and she was like you're not gonna believe where this trip is
going and I was really excited i'd never been abroad
and it sounded like a great idea this semester we went to
nicaragua to visit a cooperative we've had a relationship with for a number of years

and we communicate with them to find out what we will do when we're together together and this
year they're interested in
they already have a school they already have a church they have a community center a youth center
they just
got electricity in two thousand seven and what they needed was place for very
young children
to develop and so the project that we worked on
was working together to purchase some paints to design like this would look
like and to spend a day it was a short project so it was an opportunity for
for us and the students to really stepped outside of our culture and
living the life of somebody from another part of the world and see something from
another set of eyes from another dimension yeah i think it kind of opened my eyes again

I lived in Keene the majority of my life I guess I travelled to different parts of the united states but it's not until you travel out of
the country
and really get different feel for how fortunate united states it is in how
much we have compared to other places
so yeah i was definitely an eye-opening it made me appreciate what I
have but also make me want to give back
people who have less and are less
Sky Stevensen our global education office director i said a lovely phrase
today recently she said we can bring keene to the world
and we can bring the world to keene and the programs like this and there are many of them
now on campus they do exactly that so i think that the word of mouth on trips
like these are that they're incredibly positive that their there's something
that is truly experiential that they help students
to learn more than they think they can in the classroom although i think learning by reading
is fine too
but it's a one more added dimension to the education that they're receiving here at keene state
i definitely feel more of a responsibility to
engage other people on campus and talk to them about what i saw for and somebody
come back from
a trip abroad
you look at their pictures and hear the story
but you can't really relate to it until you've done it yourself and then once you come back you
just have so much
knowledge that you just want to share with everybody and i think that's really what
changed me just you know being more of a
citizen of the world rather than just a citizen of keene new hampshire or the united states