Friday, June 4, 2010

How Rewarding it is to Share Knowledge with Like-Minded People!

"Innovative Pedagogy and Course Redesign: Crossing the Disciplinary Divide" - this is the theme of this year conference I enjoy going to. It an annual meeting of like-minded people from NY and other states of the USA. There were 27 institutions represented this time from about 10 states and there were a number of foreign scholars -- interestingly enough, they were from Russia, St. Petersbugh, Julia Sharapova, and a young scholar Ajara, from Beshkek, Kirghistan. I enjoyed the guest speaker of this year plenary session, Dr. Therese Huston, a cognitive psychologist from Seattle. She is the author of a just published book "Teaching What you Don't Know." Therese is a very dynamic presenter and very engaging and inspiring. We had a lot of fun at the session - she ran it for about 2 hours. Therese forced us to think out of the box! I was immediately thinking about inviting her to our college for the General Courses' design discussions or for creating a center of Academic Excellence - to encourage people's creative thinking and understand that it is OK to teach out of your comfort zone and there are ways how to be successful in that... I go to this conference to get inspiration and confirm my constructivist ideals and pedagogical initiatives. I am always well received and appreciated. It is here I was giving a Moodle workshop with Mary Anne Campo, when we first introduced Moodle at MSMC. I know for fact that Ramapo College switched Blackboard to Moodle after my workshop in 2008 and their Resource Teaching Center invited me to conduct a Moodle workshop for Ramapo faculty who planned to design their new courses based on Moodle. I also presented a session on Web 2.0 tools and pedagogical recidivism. This year presentation was about Global collaboration at IT4ALL with M4T workshops.

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