Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Students & Faculty on Immersive Learning Project

Student and Faculty Comments about the Summer 2007 Educational Foundations 420 Immersive Learning Project and the Role of the Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections

The Library Insider, June 2007, Volume 5, Issue 6

The comments and observations that follow are those of faculty or students who are participating in Educational Foundations, EDFON 420, a course offered during Summer Session 2007 by Ball State University’s Teachers College, Department of Educational Studies.

Dr. Mark Malaby, Assistant Professor
“The support of the Libraries’ staff, the Archives, and the Center for Middletown Studies has been tremendous, especially considering that we only began course development in mid-April. In a very short period, the Archives staff were able to research an enormous amount of data on Garfield School District and have it ready for our students on the first day of class. The Archives has also been the class meeting place since the first week. This project, which provides an immersive foundational experience for pre-service teachers, has benefited greatly from our partnership with the library, which in turn has allowed us to better serve Muncie Community Schools.”

Dr. Jon M. Clausen, Assistant Professor
“Dr. Mark Malaby and I have been involved in an ongoing conversation regarding how teacher education students were using technology. Spurred on by recent research and popular press articles highlighting inappropriate technology use by students and the reaction of faculty, like banning laptops from the classroom, Mark and I began a conversation about technology’s role on the college campus, in teaching, and student learning. “That conversation has developed into a restructuring of this Educational Foundations course. Our goal is to model technology use as a learning tool throughout the summer session. Two beliefs drive this goal. First, that technology integration and curriculum must be linked, and without explicit connections between them, technology is often misused. Second, effective technology use for learning facilitates changes in instructional practice. “In the restructuring of the course, we have moved from a traditional lecture/discussion format to one in which students are constructing their own knowledge about educational foundations. To construct that knowledge, students are using technology to conduct research, problem solve, and develop products that represent their understanding of the school community. We also hope that our work can serve as a model for others who would like to integrate technology in their courses.”

Erica B. Coleman, Senior Student
“I believe this class has been very eye opening, as far as the Muncie community. I have learned how important it is to take a deeper look at a community before judging it. This class is set up in a very constructive manner, meaning that we learn by doing. It is much more exciting to branch out on our own and explore than it is to be lectured in a classroom. This has been a great experience so far, and I look forward to our final product.”

Sarah Taylor, Senior Student
“The Archives was very organized and enthusiastic in helping with our research. This enthusiasm was contagious as we traveled back in time to learn about a community that I have been part of for four yearsand knew nothing about. Because of this project, I am looking at my career from a very different perspective. It has really opened my eyes to what the job of a ‘teacher’ really encompasses.”

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