Food for Thought Fridays

IPFW is embarking on a new venture this fall called Food for Thought Fridays. Each Friday, beginning in early October, area students and teachers will have a FREE opportunity to interact with an IPFW professor or faculty in a two-way videoconference at their school. Sessions will take place from approximately 11:30 to 12:30, and a schedule of presenters and topics will be posted in advance. Interested students and teachers must pre-register and participation is limited to 4 locations per presentation. Contact me at schaufes@ipfw.edu for more information. You can also watch the ACELINK website for the schedule.


A Good Read for IVC Pros

I've been reading a great book called, Engaging the Online Learner, by Rita-Marie Conrad and J. Ana Donaldson, published by Jossey-Bass, 2004. The book is based on a framework for engaging online learners which the authors call "the Phases of Engagement". The book also provides specific ideas for tested activities that help improve the online learning experience.

I got really excited when the authors began Chapter 1 by showing the links between the constructivist and problem-based learning philosophies within a collaborative context. This combination naturally creates a student-focused, engaged learning environment, which is ideal for teaching with emerging technology. The authors stress that engaged learning requires "engineering" by the instructor or teacher, and they proceed to share practical techniques.

Key chapter titles and topics in the book include "Adapting Classroom-Based Activities," "Choosing an Effective Communication Tool," and "Measuring Online Engaged Learning." The second part of the book is packed with actual activities that teachers/instructors can use to engage learners in the two-way interactive or other online environments.

PS-- IVC is a common acronym for "interactive videoconferencing"


Free Virtual Field Trips

Through our partnership with TANDBERG, Allen County educators have access to FREE virtual field trip content. ACELINK offers a limited number of free virtual field trips to partner schools using Tandberg two-way video equipment. You can now take your students inside the Smithsonian or interact with the National Baseball Hall of Fame...and be back in time for lunch!

To register for this program, teachers need to send their name, school, email and phone number to me at schaufes@ipfw.edu. You'll be notified by email as soon as new programs are announced, and requests will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. You'll also need to work with your district/building technical support staff to request the use of equipment in your district.


IPFW Offers Guest Lecture Series to Schools

Using the Allen County Education Network to provide network capacity, IPFW faculty will take a leading role in the delivery of rigorous and engaging content through this emerging technology.

During the fall 2005 semester, various faculty will present 45-minute interactive discussions on their research areas or other relevant topics. The series will be offered on Fridays from 11:30 - 12:30, beginning September 9. Both students and teachers will be able to join a two-way interactive conference with IPFW faculty, and there is no cost for Allen County schools to participate.

ACELINK staff and the Center for the Enhancement of Learning & Teaching (CELT) will be providing technical support for the project. Tandberg two-way video equipment will be used to connect with IPFW from the schools.

Stay tuned for more information and a schedule of presentations. If you'd like to be notified of opportunities as they are planned, send an email to schaufes@ipfw.edu.