Monthly Archives: May 2014


what new technology would you like to see in the TECH Playground? we have a growing list of “hey, it would be cool if you had…” ideas!

  • wearable tech
  • lego robotics kit
  • google glass
  • xbox games for movement/rehab
  • adaptive tech
  • weather station

we’d love to hear about new and exciting technologies that you would use if we had it! come on by 326 willard or drop us a comment below.



diffusion of innovation

how might you use the creative space of the TECH Playground for teaching, learning, and/or research? case studies? inter-departmental or inter-collegial meetings about research? let’s publish together!

come by 326 willard and chat with us about it or drop a comment below.


Perseverance & resilience

Dr. Sue Jacobs dropped by the TECH Playground and we chatted about perseverance and resilience.

in what ways might we foster and develop these traits in our preservice teacher students?

how might these be helpful for them when/if they enter a less-than-supportive school or work environment? in what areas do they need these traits most? bullying & student advocacy/support? technology use?



sustainability in schools

Dr. Sue Jacobs dropped by the TECH Playground recently for a chat about fostering sustainability practices in schools.

do you know of any schools that encourage up-cycling/recycling/re-using/re-doing? how & what are they doing?

how can we foster innovation in this area? what are you doing to practice sustainability?


Professional affiliations

During our inaugural Un-meeting Monday session, we discussed professional affiliations as tribes to which we (want to) belong and where faculty fit in regards to discipline and university (institution).

consider these “why’s” of professional affiliation:

  • shared values
  • comfort
  • sameness vs. otherness
  • shared language
  • beliefs
  • safety
  • no need to mediate
  • professional becomes personal
  • unwritten contract of expectations (severe/punitive)
  • benefits of affiliation (paths/conduits)
  • power
  • knowledge production & protection
  • different evidence counts

if we see our professional affiliations as tribes to which we want to belong, there exists a continuum between Discipline as our  tribe and University/institution as our tribe.

where do you fall along that continuum? why? what affiliations matter most to you?


shared learning spaces

how do you create an inviting and supportive culture within our shared learning spaces? do students feel comfortable questioning accepted theories/themselves/you?

is the development of a functional learning space a top-down effort?  what level of democratic (small d) buy-in do we need from students?

what about research? how do you accept novices? how are experts treated? what is your research environment like?

how can we make our shared space yours? how can you make your shared space ours?


challenges? challenges!

i’ll ask you, internet reader, the same question i ask all visitors to the TECH Playground–what challenges are you facing in your teaching world? what challenges are you facing in your research & service worlds? in your work world?

how do you tackle those challenges? what creative solutions have you come up with?

drop by and chat or share a comment below!



teaching & learning are like…

Dr. Bert Jacobson dropped by the TECH Playground recently and joined a conversation about metaphors for teaching & learning. He likened them to an interest of his–mountain climbing (that’s metaphor relates, don’t you think?!). Here are a few bullet points that emerged from the chat:

  • experiential. the more you do an activity, the better you become at preparing for it, doing it
  • adjustments/adaptation. reacting to new challenges is related to experience of doing the activity
  • critical thinking. reflecting on the activity, imagining/envisioning challenges that may occur
  • situational. also based on experience, being able to read the terrain/situation and knowing how to act/react
  • equipment. choice of tools improves with experience, continual search for newer/better/more efficient tools to make the task easier

think of an interest you have that relates to teaching and learning. come share with us in 326 willard or drop us a comment below!



what creative habits do you practice regularly?

We logged a a few questions in the TECH Playground last week. here they are for you to ponder:

  • in what ways do you challenge yourself?
  • how do you create? how often?
  • in what ways do you challenge your own ideas?
  • how do you look at problems?

we had several great responses:

  • write pros/cons lists from multiple perspectives
  • I read things I know I won’t agree with
  • flip the subject and object of a problem statement

what habits do you practice? come by and share with us in 326 willard or drop us a comment below!


framework literacy

disciplines utilize frameworks to implement standards into the design of instruction and for research.

what elements do disciplines share in common? what’s missing from this list of framework components?

  • entry point
  • purpose/philosophy
  • value reflected
  • theoretical foundation
  • expected outcome