Contributor Blogs

September 2014

Screenshot for September 2014
University of Idaho

How do you engage with students locally in the classroom and at a distance in a manner that builds community? This is a challenge we grappled with this month as we are hosting more courses in our lab that have a hybrid group of students: some local who meet face-to-face and some at a distance who meet virtually. The challenge that instructors typically deal with is that when they design their courses they must favor one group over the other. As a simple illustration, if you have a graduate course with nine people meeting locally and three people participating via videoconferencing, it becomes very difficult to promote discussion between participants in both contexts, and even very expensive video capture systems do not do a very good job of displaying multiple users in an effective manner.

To tackle this challenge, we wanted to stay away from extremely expensive solutions that would not be replicable in schools or other institutions but rather considered how we could use existing technologies that may have been designed with other purposes in mind to give all students an equal voice in the classroom. To create a prototype, we purchased a multichannel video surveillance system designed for security installations and mounted these cameras at our discussion stations in the face-to-face classroom. The surveillance system allows us to place a camera on each individual in the class and merge all of these video inputs together into a single video source, which may be used as a webcam.

EDISON Cloud Take II

University of Idaho

Edison Cloud – Implementation

Here is a reminder about what Edison-Cloud is from DesignSoft:  EDISON Cloud version is a unique new learning environment for electricity and electronics. Teachers and students can use multimedia screens, virtual instruments, sound, and animation to create, test, and safely repair circuits. Lifelike 3D components will captivate the students as they build circuits and simultaneously see the corresponding circuit schematic.

August 2014

Screenshot for August 2014
University of Idaho

August marked the end of the summer for the Doceo Center as most of our staff dispersed to the four corners of the world (or at least Idaho). Yet, this did not stop us from moving forward several key initiatives and gearing up for the Fall semester. In the month of August, we wrapped up our series of summer institutes, announced a brand-new K-12 open education MOOC, hosted various tours of our facilities, rolled out an innovative Online Teaching Studio, and began gearing up for Fall research and outreach efforts.

First, the Northwest Inland Writing Project (NIWP) Summer Institutes took a new form this year as a collaborative effort between NIWP, the Idaho Common Core Network, and the University of Idaho Doceo Center of Innovation + Learning. Two regional institutes were held for two weeks each. The first institute, with 24 teachers in attendance, took place at the University of Idaho’s Research Park in Post Falls during the last two weeks of June. This institute was facilitated by Mary Orr from NIWP, Barbara Crumb from Idaho Common Core Network, and Cassidy Hall from the Doceo Center. The first two weeks of August brought 17 teachers to attend at the Doceo Center Lab in Moscow with facilitators Jill Diamond from NIWP, April Niemela from Idaho Common Core Network, and Cassidy Hall from the Doceo Center. The focus for the institutes was to support the teaching of writing with the use of technology to meet common core standards.

July 2014

Screenshot for July 2014
University of Idaho

In the months of June and July, the University of Idaho Doceo Center for Innovation + Learning conducted four Technology and Open Education summer institutes for practicing K-12 teachers. Each institute lasted three days, involved up to 30 participants, and was organized according to grade level, with two institutes focusing on elementary and two focusing on secondary educators.

In total, over one hundred K-12 teachers from all over the state of Idaho participated in the summer institutes, representing all grade levels, a variety of subject areas, and all regions of the state, ranging from Blackfoot and Pocatello to Boise and Meridian to Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint.

To our knowledge, there has never been any professional development experience quite like this attempted anywhere. Though some work has been done with open education, the scale and diversity of the institutes and our vision for empowering educators across the state to develop open education literacies that they can take back to their schools for enacting change represents a grassroots, broad-spectrum approach to open education and technology integration that is very unique and untested.

THE Journal: 5 Lessons from a Learning Lab

Screenshot for THE Journal: 5 Lessons from a Learning Lab
University of Idaho

THE Journal featured an article about the Doceo Center that highlights some of the lessons learned through our professional development efforts. The 3-page article was entitled "5 Lessons from a Learning Lab" and includes a number of quotes from Doceo Center staff.

The full article may be viewed online.

June 2014

Screenshot for June 2014
University of Idaho

Summer is anything but an academic break at the Doceo Center, where we have spent the month of June presenting at conferences, leading summer institutes with K-12 teachers, and gearing up our lab for the fall semester, which will shortly be on our doorstep.

In the month of June, we presented at two major national conferences: UBTech and NASDTEC. At the University Business Technology (UBTech) conference, we presented two sessions that focused on our outreach efforts to K-12 teachers and our work with higher education faculty in our innovative learning technologies lab. Our sessions were well attended, and the center was also identified as a finalist for two AMX innovation awards, which are meant to honor innovations with technology in higher education.

At the annual conference of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC), we led a session with representatives from institutes of higher education and state departments of education on the complex topic of preparing teachers to be technologically competent in classrooms and what this entails for colleges of education and states in determining licensure requirements and coursework.

May 2014

Screenshot for May 2014
University of Idaho

With the school year winding down, the month of May provided us with an opportunity to wrap up projects, prepare for the summer, and begin exploring new technologies for the coming year. We have placed a 360-degree panoramic photo of our lab available online, and some of the exciting new technologies that we introduced to the lab this month include an interactive table and a portable educational gaming station. The interactive table has a 55-inch, 40-point touchscreen display that we are currently upgrading with an advanced graphics card and other high-performance hardware. With this table, teachers and students will be able to gather around a common display and interact with learning objects together. The portable educational gaming station includes an Xbox One, 50-inch display, and Xbox Kinect mounted on a mobile cart, which we plan to use to support educational gaming studies and the use of motion-based games for physical education.

April 2014

Screenshot for April 2014
University of Idaho

The month of April finally witnessed the ribbon-cutting of our Doceo Center lab, which is something that we have been looking forward to for a long time! The event and subsequent open house were well attended by both special guests and interested members of the University of Idaho community.

Representatives from state government, the State Board of Education, the university, the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, and various colleges were in attendance, including senators and the new president of the University of Idaho.

EDISON Cloud Web-Based Multimedia Lab for Exploring Electricity & Electronics

Electricity and Electronics Modeling Software

Greetings! My name is Dave Campbell, and I am excited to share with you my experience with EDISON Cloud.   The challenge is how to affordably teach a normally lab intensive hands-on Introduction to Electricity and Electronics course to distance learners.  A big part of the solution, EDISON Cloud, not only solves a significant part of the problem but, it has great advantages for 6-12th grade classrooms as well as my college course.

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