Week 5: Making the Grade

Our topic for this week is “Assessment.”

I plan to have us watch one of the Dan Pink videos posted on the Schedule this evening, but if stuff happens and we don’t get there, you will definitely want to familiarize yourself with Pink’s perspective before proceeding further. (Choose between the 11 minute animated version and the 18′ 30″ TED Talk). Then read “The Case Against Grades” (Alfie Kohn) and “Imagination First” (Liu and Noppe-Brandon). If you get to Lombardi’s piece on “The Role of Assessment in Authentic Learning,” and /or Peter Elbow’s “Ranking, Evaluating and Liking,” that would be great.

You may post about whatever issue (or set of issues) raised in these materials resonates with you the most. Assessment is a complicated topic and we have complicated (and sometimes contradictory) ideas about how it works and how it should work (in general and in our particular field.) This should be an interesting session, and I am eager to read what you have to say.

For those interested in annotating via Hypothes.is, there’s a good public thread available for the Kohn reading and I’ve started one for Lombardi’s text here (for the GEDIVT) group.

Image: By State Library of Queensland, Australia [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

Week 4: Mindful Learning

Once again, everything is on the table as long as it engages the readings for next week and /or the topic of mindfulness in teaching and learning. You might want to respond to the readings in the context of the videos and discussion we shared this evening. You might want to reflect on your current understanding of pedagogy — connected or otherwise — knowing that this might change. And you might want to go back to Gardner Campbell’s article on networked learning as experiential learning to see if there are some new connections you might want to make in light of our F2F session today.

Whichever path you take we look forward to reading your work and talking with you about it. We will be working with Langer’s concept of “Mindful Learning” during class next week, so please make sure you’ve read those texts and can access them during our class session.

Week 3: Engaging the Imaginations of Digital Learners

Praying Mantis on Tinker Cliffs

Now that we’ve thought about networked learning as experiential learning it’s time to think about how we learn and how the web has facilitated a shift in the way we think about different kinds of learning and learning experiences. The readings for next week develop some of the ideas we addressed in class about participatory cultures, gaming, and arc of life learning. Different people (teachers and students) respond to learning environments in their own unique way and there is no “one size fits all” approach to engaging today’s student. But most people  agree that imagination is an essential component of motivation, and next week is all about firing up the imagination for digital learners. For your posts, please read materials and write about whatever issue (or set of issues) resonates with you the most. Feel free to use Hypothes.is to engage others around specific issues in the readings (especially in the Thomas and Brown selection.) This should be an interesting session, and I am eager to read what you have to say.

Welcome — First Week Blogging Prompt

Dear GEDI’s! I write in great anticipation of meeting you all in person on Wednesday. I am eager to get to know you and to begin a journey of self-discovery, reflection, and collaborative inquiry that will take us not just through the end of the semester, but, if we do it right, far far beyond (perhaps to a galaxy far, far away….).

Once we’ve made introductions and worked through the logistical details, we will talk a bit about connected learning and how we will use the network in this course. After all of that, I hope the following will give you some guidance and inspiration as you set up your blog and formulate your first post:

Blogging guidelines for week one:

Everything is on the table as long as it engages the readings for next week and /or the topic of networked learning. You might want to respond to the readings in the context of the discussion we shared this evening.

You might want to reflect on your current understanding of pedagogy — connected or otherwise — knowing that this might change. Whatever approach you take, know that it will be fine, and that your colleagues will be attentive, interested readers.

Bonus Force Points:

Check out and play with Hypothes.is, an amazingly powerful web annotating tool.

Double Bonus Points:

Read and maybe even add to the Hypothes.is conversation about Gardner Campbell’s article on Networked Learning as Experiential Learning. (If you’re looking for me, my screen name in Hypothes.is is “Laika57”.)

Can’t Let it Go — Inclusive Pedagogy With #Gedivt

We are deep in the heart of the Contemporary Pedagogy Syllabus and last week’s session on Inclusive Pedagogy left me reeling — in a good way. Talking with a diverse group of people about how to cultivate inclusive and diverse classrooms is always interesting, and often quite challenging, but this session was especially noteworthy for …

“Much to learn, you still have.” ~ Yoda

Hello and Welcome to GEDI Fall 2017! I am SO excited to get going on this journey with you this Fall. This is my second year GTA-ing for the Contemporary Pedagogy course which is an important part of the Graduate Education Development Institute or GEDI. I have learned a lot from not only taking the course as a student but also being able to GTA for it with two people I respect immensely (Dr. Nelson and Dr. Matheis) and making friends from all walks of life that I would never have met, had I not been involved with GEDI. Developing my identity as an educator, I have found that I get inspired when I am able to inspire others – facilitate curiosity or help them find their fire for teaching and learning. I hope to do the same this semester and am looking forward to meeting you all. My hope is that by the end of this semester we would have gone through a variety of paths and journeyed through some simple, some difficult, and some uncomfortable conversations and as a result will find ourselves having both taught and learned in a manner from which each one of us can derive significance and value. Looking forward to meeting all of you!

The GEDI Journey

I am so excited that today is Wednesday! Not just because we are getting close to the weekend and this weekend is both the Rocky Mountain Showdown and the season opener for Virginia Tech. I am excited because tonight we have the first meeting for Contemporary Pedagogy! I will be one of the facilitators for the class this semester, and I am really looking forward to it! In preparing for the class, I looked back at several blog posts that I wrote when I took the class in Spring of 2016. It was fun to see how my ideas were shaped by the various materials and discussions that we had, and I still remember many of the conversations that we had in that class. In one of the blog posts that I wrote that semester, I wrote a letter to future engineers meant to encourage young people to go into engineering and understand how impactful and far-reaching engineering can be. (A little bit of background may be helpful here: I am a graduate student getting an MEng in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Engineering Education and I want to help students as they pursue degrees in engineering). I thought it would be fun to edit that letter now to be a letter to all of you who are starting Contemporary Pedagogy this fall (to see the original blog post, go here). Dear current and future creator, developer, problem solver, educator, world changer: My name is Amy and I love learning about the world around me. I love exploring and seeing new things. I love creating new things and making things better. I love hearing other people’s stories and learning about other areas and cultures and perspectives. And I love helping other people learn about the world around them and achieve their goals. This is why I love being an educator. Before starting a PhD in Engineering Education, I never really thought much about teaching. I had been in many classrooms and had teachers who taught a lot of different subjects in many different ways. But my focus was always on getting a good grade (for more on that, see my blog post here). I have learned so much since then! Learning is about so much more than getting a grade, and educators can do (and do!) really cool things to facilitate learning. In Contemporary Pedagogy, we get to explore and learn about so many topics related to teaching and learning. I am hopeful that we all will learn and grow together in an effort to become better educators. So I encourage you — creators, developers, problem solvers, educators, and world changers — consider what teaching and learning mean to you. For me, it is about helping others, learning about the things around me with the people around me, and changing the world in small but meaningful ways. Sincerely, Amy I am so excited to see what this semester, this GEDI journey, has in store! I hope this experience is as rewarding for you as it is for me!

Who am I…?

Have you ever had a tough time in classes when you want to say something and the moment is suddenly gone?

Have you ever thought so deeply about the answer to a question that by the time you reach a thoughtful conclusion it is too late?

Have you ever raised your hand in class and slowly lowered it because the professor did not notice or you decided to not say what you had to say anymore?

Well…that is me for sure! I am an Introvert!


And quite frankly I am completely satisfied with it. I believe that it is a part of my true authentic self. Yes! I know you all are getting ready to write your blogs about your authentic teaching self. For the past few weeks spending time with you all in class has been a fantastic experience for me.

As I read your blogs every week, I observe that you are making the connections, that you are trying, that you are putting forth your ideas for us related to the information we present for your perusal. And even though in the moment it may be confusing, disorganized or elusive, you are sharing your thoughts about the concepts presented and I enjoy reading your thoughts SO much. But, something is missing…

Last Spring, when I took GEDI, something was missing for me too till I got to the post about MY true authentic teaching self…you know what it was? My voice…because


Yes they do…and yet, I realized while I wrote this post last year that my voice and being able to communicate my ideas IN CLASS was super important. Not only for the benefit of my professor or my participation but because I needed to hear my voice in the classroom in order to find and be my true authentic self. Some of you may be inspired by my post, some intimidated and some not find it useful…but I know one thing – I want to hear your voice. I want you to speak up, I want you to raise your hand and keep it raised till you are called upon to speak.

You know who you are –


Let us hear you speak!