I started asking faculty to present interesting things they are doing to integrate technology into their teaching after last April’s TLT Symposium. Yesterday the second presentation from the TLT Innovators Speaker Series took place on the University Park campus. The talk featured Brian Smith, Associate Professor of Information Sciences and Technology and Instructional Systems entitled “Live and Learn: Supporting Everyday Cognition with Computation.” Brian spends a great deal of time envisioning ways to effectively use the things we do when we are outside of formal learning spaces to create learning opportunities. Brian’s talk focused heavily on those informal learning spaces and ways he has found to tap into them.
Brian and I are good friends, although he may not talk with me after I made him bring his GameBike into the talk … actually he brought it on stage and we couldn’t get the PlayStation hooked to the screen in the Auditorium, but … at any rate the talk was great and the demo was very cool. You see Brian has done a bunch of research into how you can take the mundane of playing video games and turn it into a healthy activity … we showed that off by asking a member of the audience to play a game sitting in a comfy chair eating chips and then on the GameBike doing the same (without the chips). Very effective.
Brian followed Kyle Peck’s talk by doing something a little different — he focused a lot of energy on technology and how it is used to transform everyday opportunities for learning. I thought it was really well done. He even held court at Whiskers afterwards (picking up the bill) talking to us all about some really cool things. Engaging the community in these ways has been both very stressful and very worth while! I can’t thank Brian enough! Some pictures from the event. Here is the direct link to the podcast as an MP3.