Category Archives: pedagogy

Open SUNY COTE Community Meeting – notes 4/11

Tools & Apps – ipads (Heather O’Brian presenting)

Planbook  —
idoceo —
Explain Everything – students use the app to create presentations and reflections for class.  Of course instructors can use to to create as well.

Explain Everything

Showbie – assignment hand ins.

nearpod – lesson creation

symbalooEDU – link management and sharing (can be embedded into blackboard)

blendspace – digital content collection tool – students use this to create their own collection that goes into their eportfolio.

Next – Sophia Georgiakaki from Tompkins-Cortland Community College

MyOpenMath   —    looks like an LMS

Next – Paul Seeburger, Monroe Community College

online lecture components:
Lecture Videos – used camptasia with TOC
OER Textbook – problems and readings aligned to lecture videos
WeBWork online homework –
Graded Written Assignments and quizzes – submitted as a single pdf

online visualization tool .. direction fields and calcplot3d

graded online discussions
student video presentations (typically between 3-8 minutes) – they are posted to a course wiki – the videos help build community, and serve as a tool for review. they are required to watch and respond to each others videos.  Sometimes he uses student videos in future teaching.

includes time estimates for each component within Blackboard






Lightboards & You

Lightboards can also display figures to be marked up.
Lightboards can also display figures to be marked up.

If there is anything that makes me happy, it is when a new tech item actually fits into how education properly functions.  Last week, we finally pulled the trigger and ordered the manufacture of a Lightboard from the SoMAS Ocean Instrument Laboratory.

This is why a Lightboard is so awesome… it lets an instructor do what they already are great at… write on a surface (traditionally a chalk board or a white board) while explaining concepts, but facing towards the students. The reason that this works, is because we are going to record this to video – not teach in front of a live audience.  That way, you can point the camera into a mirror, or flip the video in post-production so that it is readable to the audience.


Open Book Thoughts

These are clips from many different educators talking about the use of open book student assessments.

…more significantly would allow students to trade information with each other throughout the test in ways which would be extremely difficult to monitor.

“With new technologies, new cognitive possibilities arise. Educators need to create new activities when new technologies are introduced into the classroom. If the calculator is used to add 2+2, it is the capacities of the calculator that are solving the problem; when calculation is “off-loaded” onto the calculator, the student is free to solve more complex problems.” – Jenkins, 2009

classes have moved away from traditional tests and towards project based and/or essay based exams.

Gamify the test?

exam duration is set to match the time necessary to answer the questions, without much slack.

demonstrate mastery of their art through practice

“for today’s graduates into the digital age, possession of knowledge is far less important than the acquisition, analysis, and synthesis of that knowledge”.

Just so you know what we are sending…

This letter went out to all SBU students that had previously registered clickers (and were registered for class in the Fall 14 semester) from within our Blackboard system:

Dear Student

As a previously registered clicker user you are receiving this code so that you can have a free Turning Account and ResponseWare license which will last without further payment for 4 years (48 months).

This license code is for you, do not share this with anyone else.

To Create an Account and Activate License:

Create an Account and Register Devices:
1. Log into – go into any course, then Tools -> Turning Account Registration. You will be taken to the Turning Account Registration website.
2. Complete the necessary fields below Sign Up and click Create Account.
3. Complete additional information and click Save.
4. Sign in with Username and password.
5. Click License tab.
6. Click Purchase.
7. Enter 4SBU and submit.
8. Enter your license code: fakecode
9. Click Redeem.

Any questions can be directed to our Technical Support Team at or 866.746.3015.

Detailed instructions are attached as well

Stony Brook University’s first local Summer Institute

Faculty using low tech response cubes during a presentation
Faculty using low tech response cubes during a presentation

Attending the Summer Institute here on campus this week, primarily in the role of technology support and as a representative of TLT, was a really great experience.  There were many informative presentations given to prime the participating faculty for the workshop work that they would be diving into, including one given by Jennifer Frederick from Yale University’s Center for Scientific Teaching. The possibly confusing point here, is that while these Summer Institute sessions are all aimed at the departments involved in STEM education, and so therefore you are addressing a room filled with Biologists, Physicists, Mathematicians, Computer Scientists, Chemists, Engineers, etc….  “scientific teaching’ is not about teaching science, but rather teaching using effective methods that have been proven using scientific methodology.

It makes a lot of sense. These are primarily researchers. Don’t stand in front of them and tell them what they are doing wrong in the classroom and how to change it.  Show them what years of data have  to say about different aspects and strategies in teaching. Show them where they can find out data about the schools that their students are coming from (a great reason to hold these events at an individual institution or region is how you can really drill down to local issues – did you know that no schools in the Bronx even offer Physics in high school? (other than a charter school that doesn’t count because the students that go to that school don’t actually live in the Bronx)).

As soon as studies and data started to be presented to the faculty participating, I could feel them losing up and the defences coming down.  They became more comfortable and realized that they were home among their peers.

Structure of the Summer Institutes


  • Engage in teaching and learning through interactive presentations, mini-seminars, group work, and discussions
  • Work in small groups to develop instructional materials for a general topic area
  • Design and adapt instructional materials that integrate active learning, assessment, and diversity and that have clear learning goals
  • Present and revise instructional materials based on fellow participants’ review and feedback

Three tenets of scientific teaching were explored everyday.

Active Learning (or Teaching)

Common activity teaching techniques that were demonstrated and then used in the faculty presentations included:

Think – Pair – Share
Student Response Systems (traditional clickers and low tech response cubes)
POE (Predict Observe Explain)

IMHO the event went very well and CESAME did a great job bring it to SBU.  I hope everyone involved was happy with the outcomes and that the participants feel a bit revitalized the next time they are stepping into a classroom.