Thoughts on the change in education

I admit that I think a lot about the effectiveness of teaching. Probably because I am both a student in my PhD program and a lecturer for Clemson University, this is a topic I think about way more often than I probably should. And I believe that it is necessary and prudent for all instructors to explore the change in education and how it can or should effect decisions they make within their classroom.

No longer do universities hold the key to information, but physical classes and even online classes (to some extent) do have the asset of quality, timely feedback and relationship with experts in their field. How will this affect change in education as we currently know it?

As the landscape of higher education opportunities change, with that be enough to warrant the cost of physical campuses and four-year degrees?

I think, for me, what it always comes back to is: how can I provide something of value to my students? What does the time I spend in face-to-face labs and lectures add to their knowledge base and life experiences?

If the answer is nothing or something that is easily forgettable at the end of the semester, then I am not doing my job well. And it is time to make changes to the course to help accomplish those goals. Positive change in education is not just timely, it is necessary.

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Great, simple tips for sharing photography

Great, simple tips for sharing a love of photography (even the technical aspects) with beginners. Varina and Jay Patel are two well know photographers that I have followed for several years on Google+. I love how in this article they find a way to share photography with their 13 year old in a way that is not at all difficult or complicated to understand. The moral of the story is that the technical aspects of manual photography does not have to be scary or difficult. I hope that in #GC3400 I have the opportunity to share that with @ClemsonGC students as they begin to find their way around manual mode on their DSLRs.

Reshared post from +Jay Patel

What is our philosophy to teach kids photography?….Simple hand them the camera don’t tell them there is a auto more. The results from this approach are wonderful. Now only if we can get adults to forget that there is something other than the manual mode.


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Tips for Teaching Photography to Beginners
A few useful tips for teaching beginners the basics of photography.

Entrepreneurship education goes MOOC

Entrepreneurship roundtable summer 2014 featured a diverse range of entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship roundtable summer 2014 featured a diverse range of entrepreneurs

MOOCs are no longer just a small fad. The 6-week Coursera course on Entrepreneurship mentioned in this article had 23,000 students enrolled, including students from more than 180 countries. With high speed internet, education is no longer for an elite few and in my opinion that is a very good thing.

As many of you may know, I launched an online course on entrepreneurship (GC4510-008) this summer. 9 @ClemsonGC students enrolled in the course and participated from all over the easter United States. Certainly no comparison with 23,000 students, but still I felt like material covered in the course and the conversations generated between students was really interesting and I hope extremely valuable for the students enrolled. Even though we never met in person, we all had the opportunity to meet several times synchronously online. Continue…

Effectiveness of flipping the classroom

Alright, it is infographic time again! As many of you may know, I am a bit fascinated with alternative options for learning and flipping the classroom is one of the recent buzz words in the world of higher education. I love that ClemsonGC is a hands on, lab-based program. In the lab, you can see when someone really “gets it.” Those moments when everything comes together and all the theory makes sense in practice, not just in lecture.

In the world of education, “flipped classroom” has become a recent buzz word, but what does it really mean? There has been much research done on the topic lately and some of it finds that flipping a classroom has dramatically successful results and other research shows no difference or even a decline in student success using this method. As with any educational tool, if used in a way that doesn’t help students grasp the material.  Continue…

Entrepreneur Mindset

So, you probably know that I am a little obsessed with infographics and this one displays one of my favorite topics of the last few months- entrepreneur mindset. I’ve been reading all kinds of studies about this in recent months. My interest lies in whether it can be taught or if it is something in our DNA and some people just “have it.” I mean was Steve Jobs born Steve Jobs or was he a product of his environment? If it can be taught, shouldn’t that be our number one priority in schools? Entrepreneurs create business, create jobs, build the economy. Wouldn’t you say we need more of that??

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The Entrepreneur Mindset – Blog About Infographics and Data Visualization – Cool Infographics

The era of “regular” jobs is coming to an end. The Entrepreneurial Midset i…

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A Beginner’s Guide to HTML & CSS

A Beginner’s Guide to HTML & CSS

LESSON 1 • Terminology, Syntax, & Introduction
LESSON 2 • Elements & Semantics
LESSON 3 • Box Model & Positioning
LESSON 4 • Typography
LESSON 5 • Backgrounds & Gradients
LESSON 6 • Unordered, Ordered, & Definition Lists
LESSON 7 • Images, Audio, & Video
LESSON 8 • Building Forms
LESSON 9 • Organizing Data with Tables
LESSON 10 • Coding Practices & Additional Resources

A Beginner’s Guide to HTML & CSS is led by designer & front-end developer Shay Howe. He also offers an advanced guide with lessons being posted weekly into March 2013-

Click here to begin: A Beginner’s Guide to HTML & CSS.

Computational Photography from GA Tech

This Photography course is about to start at the end of February. It is free and all online and includes a certificate at the end for completion. Could be really interesting to learn the more mathematical end of photography and “painting with light.”

About this Photography Course

Course Format

The class will have lecture videos, which are between 5 and 12 minutes in length. The course will consist of four/five projects, with programming requirements.
Next Session: Feb 25th 2013 (8 weeks long)
Workload: 5-7 hours/week


  • Will I get a certificate after completing this class?

    Certificate of Completion will be provided by Georgia Tech C21U

  • What resources will I need for this class?

    You will need access to a camera.

Read full listing and sign up here: Computational Photography

Washington college instructors are ‘flipping’ the way they teach

In a trend called flipping the classroom, new technology tools and different approaches to learning are changing the way some college faculty teach their courses. That may mean turning a lecture into homework so more class time can be spent on practice and problem-solving.

For years, Scott Freeman taught Biology 180 — a gateway class — by standing in front of his students at the University of Washington and lecturing about biological systems, evolution and the chromosome theory of inheritance.

And Freeman always received great reviews from students, even though 17 percent routinely flunked his class — a failure rate he considered “gruesome.”

Freeman knew what was wrong: His students weren’t adept at applying information in a new context to solve problems, and he told them so. But one day, a student threw the ball back in his court. He just wasn’t doing enough to prepare her for the tests — she needed his help to practice.

“I thought, I am so busted,” Freeman said. “She is right. That still rings in my ears.”

Freeman is now part of a new wave of Washington college instructors who are rethinking the college lecture hall. They’re finding better ways to spot students’ weaknesses, helping them practice new ways of thinking and shoring up basic materials — often with the aid of new, easy-to-use tech tools.

Some are seizing on a relatively recent idea: “flipping” the class, by turning a lecture or other basic materials into homework, and spending more class time in practice and problem-solving. Other colleges are using the new tech toolbox to save money while reaching more students — a necessity in these days of steep budget cuts to higher education.

Students say classes that make the most of tech tools and give them opportunities to practice skills are still the exception, not the rule. But when done right, they make a course both more challenging and more enjoyable.

The new tools allow faculty members to home in on the areas where students need the most practice, assistance and instruction, said Beth Kalikoff, who directs the Center for Teaching and Learning at the UW.

“There’s every reason to be excited about it,” she said. “It’s student-centered. The reason faculty members are seeking it out is that it supports student learning and engagement.”

Recording lectures

A Thanksgiving snowstorm that paralyzed traffic two years ago prompted Guy Hamilton, who heads the biotechnology program at Shoreline Community College, to try new software that allowed him to record lectures and post them online. He set up his MacBook in the basement and began lecturing to his computer.

“The students just loved it,” he said, especially because they could watch lectures on difficult topics over and over. When Hamilton graded the final exams, he found his students had done 15 to 20 percent better than expected.

That was the end of live lectures for Hamilton, who now records all of his lectures and spends class time on group discussions and problem-solving. “I won’t do it any other way now,” he said.

Most of Hamilton’s students are working adults who already hold four-year degrees. They can play a recorded lecture anytime, even while commuting on the bus. And Hamilton can monitor which students watched the assigned lecture, and which did not.

Among the state’s technical and community colleges in the Puget Sound area, Shoreline is the heaviest user of the software that allows faculty to record lectures.

Many weren’t even aware that “flipping the classroom” is an educational trend; they’re just doing it because it makes sense, said Ann Garnsey-Harter, director of Shoreline’s virtual college and e-learning support services. Students like recorded lectures because “you can go back and listen again to what was said — you can go back as many times as you want,” she said.

READ MORE: Washington college instructors are ‘flipping’ the way they teach | Local News | The Seattle Times.