Getting students to engage at a commuter school is particularly challenging. Students are too easily tempted to park, go to class and drive back home. How do you make a campus sticky? Give me some ideas.
Students tweeting in the back row driving you crazy? Some faculty members are suggesting we flip this by recognizing mobile devices as an educational tool that can enrich rather than distract the class. A few colleagues sent an article¹ to me on smartphones in the classroom. The author provides 44 suggestions on how the phone/tablet/laptop can be used to enrich the classroom experience for students and faculty. He categorizes them into 5 general categories, saying mobile devices in the classroom can be used to improve collaboration, communication, creation, coordination and curation. Setting the alliteration aside, the content is pretty good. What do you think?
A Few Notes on Access: According to a recent Harris Poll², college students nation-wide are well connected with regard to the digital world.
- 54% use a single mobile device during a typical school day
- 89% use a laptop for college-related work every week
- 56% use a smartphone for college-related work every week
- 33% use a tablet for college-related work on a weekly basis
- 96% have wireless Internet access at home
- 91% have wireless access on campus
If you give a faculty member a tablet, all of her students a tablet and surround the class with the infrastructure needed to support this technology, what do you think will happen to the teaching and learning environment? Improve? Decline? Other?
In two weeks, we will have a few thousand new students starting Crafton Hills College. Most of them will be stepping on to a college campus for the first time in their lives. They need your good advice. What should they do to make the first week a successful week?
Was there a moment you knew you belonged in college? A specific moment you engaged? Describe it.
FADE IN. EXTERIOR. CRAFTON HILLS COLLEGE QUAD. DAY. A student stands overwhelmed, not sure where the “Classroom Building” is. Other students walk past briskly. Class starts in 10 minutes. Her anxiety rises. She needs help right now. What do you recommend?
Locate parking. Add classes. Buy books. Calendar exams. See friends. Rise early. Pay fees. Study late. Stand in line. Read syllabi. Find classes. Meet professors. Take notes. Start readings . . . Repeat all week.
Any advice for someone who is going through this for the first time?
Julia Lawrence’s recent article in Education News (“Americans Opinion of Higher Ed System at Record Lows”) suggests we have lost some traction with the public. Concerns over the cost of education have been a longstanding concern (rightfully so) but recently, more and more members of the community are wondering about the value of education. This is new and needs to be addressed by all of us in higher ed. My question (for my Crafton Hills friends/colleagues in particular) is as follows. Imagine a single mom is thinking about sending her child to Crafton. She is going to pay for everything (books, tuition, food, housing, etc.) but she is not certain if it will be worth it. What do you tell her? What will her son or daughter experience at Crafton that merits the cost?
Rebell’s recent article in Education Week (Rebell, Michael A. “Racial Equity 50 Years After King’s Speech.”) talks about progress with regard to the “achievement gap” in higher ed. He points out that students of color made some strong academic progress immediately after the Civil Rights Movement, but improvement has been flat for the last three and a half decades. This is frustrating. How are we not resolving this issue in higher ed? Here’s my questions for you, “What are the qualities of a higher ed experience that resonate with students of color in particular?”
One common trait that is often found in successful people is a well-developed and mature spiritual life. This most often comes through a religious practice of some sort, but it can be found in very secular lifestyles as well. I feel like this is known and understood by my friends and colleagues; however, most of them seem to recoil at the idea of discussing spirituality in public institutions. It seems to me we should promote spiritual development if we want students to become well-rounded and successful human beings. I am not talking about endorsing any particular expression of spirituality here–no official religion. But I am talking about the idea of making spiritual develop something we actively weave into our institutional goals, classroom instruction, campus activities, and general college life. Any thoughts?