Category Archives: events

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Turning Technologies Open House

Turning Technologies, maker of the student response system, TurningPoint Cloud, will be here to demonstrate and discuss the new version of their software. Feel free to drop in at anytime.

8/27/14 – Melville Library Classroom A – 9:00am – 12:00pm

FAQ — when getting your participant list through TurningPoint Cloud – the server address at Stony Brook University is



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.

Innovation + Disruption Symposium Keynote, plus additional talks

Skip to around 9 minutes in to hear Clayton Christensen’s keynote. It is definitely the story of those who pay no attention to history are doomed to repeat it, with great storytelling analogies involving the steel and automotive industries. I was particularly interested in the bit about how the only companies to survive the industry disruption were those who set up a silo operation whose task it was to take down and control the main companies interests. (edX anyone?)

Also some interesting points about the significance of our Alumni and how so few things we do for students contribute to their ultimate support of our brand. (And how those things that do matter are not given any consideration in any meaningful way.)

Around 2 hours 20 minutes in, is a talk by Karen Harpp which has a very interesting description of the engagement of alumni and the current students for a particular class on the development of the atomic bomb. This included face to face and video conference interaction with the alumni. She also discusses a nice project that went over the course of several weeks where students did roleplay on twitter.

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how alumni participated during the course

In between the Keynote and the talk about the innovative course talk, was a panel of college presidents, which I found to be rather disingenuous. I couldn’t help but think that these people got their positions because of their ability to talk and represent themselves well, not necessarily because they were actually suited to be candidly talking about disruption happening in higher education.


and Now for a TweetUP

on location in SAC A setting up
on location in SAC A setting up

Meet and Tweet with Three Wildlife Conservation Heroes

Conservationists Russell Mittermeier, Carl Safina and Patricia Wright work all around the globe, but one place unites them all:
Stony Brook University

These faculty are three of six finalists for the 2014 Indianapolis Prize, the world’s leading award for animal conservation.

Please join Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, as he opens this historic, interactive Earthstock event. Don’t miss theopportunity to meet and tweet alongside three of the most important and heroic wildlife conservationists of our time at the#IndyAtSBU tweetup.

Mingling and refreshments afterward.

Noon to 1:30 pm


Register in advance to attend in person (form)

To follow and join the conversation go to #IndyAtSBU via Twubs

About Stony Brook University’s Indianapolis Prize Finalists

Russell MittermeierRUSSELL A. MITTERMEIER, PhD,@RussMittermeier @ConservationOrg, is the president of Conservation International and an adjunct professor in the Department of Anatomical Sciences. He has been nominated for his efforts to understand and educate others about the worldwide threats to biodiversity, his global efforts to conserve primates, and his work to create protected areas in some of the world’s highest priority hotspots.


Carl SafinaCARL SAFINA, PhD,@carlsafina, @BlueOceanInst, is a research professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences and a visiting professor and board member of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. Founder of Blue Ocean Institute and known as the “voice of ocean conservation,” he has been sounding the alarm for the preservation of marine animals and the oceans that house them.

Pat WrightPATRICIA WRIGHT, PhD,@patcwright, is the founding director of Centre ValBio and the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments and a professor of anthropology. She has been recognized for her tireless work with lemurs in Madagascar, including the development of Ranomafana National Park, the home of 12 lemur species, some of which are listed among the world’s most endangered animals.


Representing the Indianapolis Prize

ShumakerROBERT SHUMAKER, PhD, @IndplsPrize, is Vice President of Life Sciences at the Indianapolis Zoo, which administers the Indianapolis Prize. He is internationally recognized as a leading expert on orangutan behavior and cognition. He’s been a faculty member at George Mason University and Drake University. Dr. Shumaker started his career at the Smithsonian National Zoo and also served as the senior scientist at the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa.


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