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Season 3 Episode 7

Trusting the Models

In this episode, Trusting the Models, we are joined by, Brian K. Smith, Associate Dean for Research and The Honorable David S. Nelson Chair at Boston College’s School of Education and Human Development, who shares his thoughts about artificial intelligence and it implications for teaching and learning.

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Asking the right questions can help AI mean more by Brian K. Smith

In 1922, Thomas Edison said, “I believe that the motion picture is destined to revolutionize our educational system and that in a few years it will supplant largely, if not entirely, the use of textbooks. I should say that, on the average, we get about two percent efficiency out of school books as they are written today. The education of the future, as I see it, will be conducted through the medium of the motion picture where it should be possible to achieve 100 percent efficiency.”

Season 3 Episode 6

I Still Believe in Learning

In this episode we discuss ChatGPT and its implications for teaching and learning. You may notice a difference in our intro and outro to this episode. The text, background music and narration were all generated by various AI programs.

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The video is a demonstration of ChatGPT generating the text for the introduction to this podcast:

The next video is a demonstration of a free music generating solution:

This final video demonstrates a free online text to speech generator, reading the outro text written by ChatGPT:

Season 3 Episode 5

Owing the Why

In this episode, Owing the Why, we are joined by Tania Tetlow, the 33rd President of Fordham University who shares her thoughts about leadership, innovation and change.

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You can also find the podcast on the following platforms:

Apple Podcasts

Spotify

Stitcher

On Oct. 14, Tania Tetlow was formally inaugurated as Fordham’s 33rd president, making history as the first layperson and first woman to lead the University.

Season 3 Episode 2

LITE

In this episode, we talk with Nicole Zeidan, Assistant Director, Emerging Educational Technology and Learning Space Design, who shares her thoughts about the intersections of innovation, technology, teaching and learning.

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Learn more about LITE:

Imagine, if you will, that you’re a professor of medieval studies and you want your students to experience and understand the period. You could talk to them about the architecture of the Chartres Cathedral in France. But technologies at the recently opened LITE Center in the lower level of the Walsh Family Library will allow students to walk through the cathedral using virtual reality, getting a 360-view of the vaulted ceilings, the stained glass, and more.  Or perhaps you’re a researcher studying a lesser-known site. You could borrow a 360-degree camera from LITE and photograph the site, then take the images back to the center to be rendered for immersive viewing. You might also create a podcast to discuss your research, or a video on greenscreen that uses the site as a backdrop. Continue reading

Season 3 Episode 1

Choose Your Adventure

In first episode of Season 3, we discuss innovation. As we begin a new normal, what did we learn? What do we want to keep and what do we want to discard in our teaching practice? What do we mean when we talk about innovation?

Intentional Techno-pedagogy in Response to Rapidly Changing Instructional Environments

Historically, the integration of technology into teaching and learning environments, known as techno-pedagogy, has occurred fitfully, often in unpredictable ways. The chaotic nature of technological adaptation is the result of many barriers. These barriers can be categorized as cultural – the hermetic nature of schools which are often slow to respond to innovation; financial – the cost of technology acquisition and training to both educational institutions and their constituencies; political – the bureaucratic nature of education and the attendant regulatory and policy barriers to innovation and finally, methodological – the time-consuming nature of identifying evidence-based instructional practices and the resistance to the wide adoption of those practices. Despite these obstacles, schools have gradually transformed into technologically integrated environments.

It is important to categorize the methods of technological transformation in education. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, technology integration happened in two ways: intentional and accidental. Technology integration into instructional environments began apace with the dawn of the so-called information age. The gradual ubiquity of personal computing capacity and the development of the Internet resulted in a cultural transformation that inevitably impacted schools. The affordances of these resources (hardware and software, broadly) resulted in the transformation of both schools’ physical plants – computer labs and internet access, as examples – as well as the technology expectations placed upon teachers. The institutions of education (universities, school districts) and the rapidly developing educational technology sector responded to these shifting cultural expectations by developing technological solutions to address instructional needs. These solutions, in the form of both hardware and software, could be classified as intentional. That is, these solutions were intentionally designed for use in instructional environments. Intentionally designed educational technology has a mixed record of success. Success as measured by broad adoption coupled with a positive and measurable impact on student learning outcomes. An example of an intentional integration is interactive whiteboards. At first, hailed as a remarkable innovation that would dramatically change teaching and learning, interactive whiteboards have failed to deliver on that promise. Examples of failed software innovations abound. It can be concluded that intentional integration, techno-pedagogical solutions specifically designed for classroom use, do not guarantee success.

The second type of integration is accidental. Accidental integration fits into a discovery model of techno-pedagogy. In this scenario, technology adaptations infiltrate educational settings in several ways. One way is covertly, students bring technology tools and practices with them to school. Schools often respond by banning these tools. Examples are laptop bans in higher education and smartphone bans in K-12. In some instances, educators have responded to this covert infiltration by adapting their practice to accommodate the technological habits of their students, resulting in accidental integration. In other cases, schools become persuaded by broad societal adoption of technical habits, resulting in technology integration. My students all have smartphones. How can I leverage these devices in my classroom? Using tools not specifically designed for classrooms (podcasting, Twitter, and TikTok for example) – are also examples of accidental integration.

The pandemic resulted in a novel type of technological adoption. This type might be called coercive. In this unique instance, schools had no choice but to leverage technology to continue to provide education to their students. In fact, providing students (and instructors) with technology became an equity issue.  Whether the education provided during the pandemic was effective remains to be seen. Regardless, millions of students and hundreds of thousands of educators now have experiences of learning and teaching online. The resistance to technology has now been rendered almost moot.  In fact, education is faced with a novel problem. If online learning at scale was effective, why go back to face-to-face learning? If online learning was ineffective why were millions of children promoted and graduated? Prior to the pandemic, higher education faculty were resistant to online learning while much higher percentages of students preferred it. Now, post-pandemic, many higher education faculty and instructors would prefer to teach remotely, while large number of students want to return to face-to-face instruction, desiring the community and connection of campus life. Large percentages of both learner and instructor populations, having had experiences of remote learning, have no desire to return to the physical campus.

Colleges and Universities find themselves in the peculiar position of having to justify physical presence requirements. While there are societal imperatives for physical presence requirements at the K-12 level (public safety, childcare, laws), instructional justifications are less clear. A traditional classroom with a teacher-centered approach, by far the most common educational experience, can be easily replicated using web-conferencing solutions. Higher education instructors and learners express valid arguments for remote learning, which include transportation costs, childcare needs and convenience. The arguments are especially valid for adult, non-traditional learners who now make up the majority of university students. In face of these arguments, how can colleges and universities respond? Beyond simply mandating physical presence, what can higher education institutions do to persuade learners that their physical presence has educational benefits?

Innovative teaching and learning spaces present the best argument for returning to face-to-face instruction. Schools have been developing learning commons and maker spaces, providing hardware and software generally unavailable to teachers and learners. These innovative laboratories of learning may present the best rationale for physical presence, providing learners and instructors with tools that would otherwise be unavailable is a powerful argument for coming to campus. Intentional integration, schools accepting their responsibility to be innovators in technological adoption, may offer a way forward.

Season 2 Episode 22

In this episode, Burying the Book, Anne and Steve are joined by, Melkana Brakalova-Trevithick, Professor of Mathematics at Fordham University, who shares her thoughts about the language of math and how to address the challenges of math instruction.

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Show Notes:

The anecdote from the episode about a mathematician burying a math textbook with frustration when he was a teenager  can be found in:

Mathematics: Frontiers and Perspectives: 2000  editors: V. Arnold, M. Atiah, P. Lax and B. Mazur, IMU, 1999

under the Chapter Mathematics as Profession and a Vocation by Yu. Manin, 153–159

For engaging videos about math concepts check out 3Blue1Brown

Numberphile is also great!

The Museum of Science on the Golden Ratio

The Golden Ratio in Nature

Interview of Yuri Manin by David Eisenbud

Yuri I. Manin’s richly diverse body of work justifies the term “Universal Mathematician.” In an academic landscape defined by discrete specialties, this work, as mathematics, philosophy or commentary, defies compartmentalization. Throughout his career spent investigating disparate branches of mathematics and physics, searching for – or pointing to – uniting characteristics, he has earned a host of accolades and an audience extending beyond these disciplines.

Some papers about Equity, by Rochelle Gutierrez (UIUC) for example:

Context Matters: How should we conceptualize equity in mathematics education? published in Mathematics Education Library, volume 55, Equity and Discourse for Math Education.

Embracing the Inherent Tension in Teaching Mathematics from Equity Stance, Democracy & Education, vol 18, 3, 9–16

The first 6 books of Euclid’s Elements

The mathematician Oliver Byrne’s “The Elements of Euclid”, updating the ancient geometry text with colorful design language. 

Some books on deductive reasoning:

Richard Hammack, Book of Proof, published by R. Hammack, 

Daniel Velleman, How to Prove it, Cambridge University Press, 2019.

Season 2 Episode 21

In this episode, Tactile Learning, Anne and Steve are joined Louie Dean Valencia, Assistant Professor of Digital History and Coordinator of the Center for Public History at Texas State University, who shares his thoughts about encouraging students to learn through collaboration, curation and creation.

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Show Notes

Antiauthoritarian Youth Culture in Francoist Spain

How did kids, hippies and punks challenge a fascist dictatorship and imagine an impossible dream of an inclusive future? This book explores the role of youth in shaping a democratic Spain, focusing on their urban performances of dissent, their consumption of censored literature, political-literary magazines and comic books and their involvement in a newly developed underground scene.

Portrait of a Prolific Professor

Dr. Louie Dean Valencia-García is a prolific, recognizable scholar at Texas State University. An assistant professor in the Department of History, Dr. Valencia-García has made impressive strides as a leader in the field of digital humanities, and his publications and research endeavors have been met with enthusiasm and praise.

Far-Right Revisionism and the End of History

In Far-Right Revisionism and the End of History: Alt/Histories, historians, sociologists, neuroscientists, lawyers, cultural critics, and literary and media scholars come together to offer an interconnected and comparative collection for understanding how contemporary far-right, neo-fascist, Alt-Right, Identitarian and New Right movements have proposed revisions and counter-narratives to accepted understandings of history, fact and narrative. The innovative essays found here bring forward urgent questions to diverse public, academic, and politically minded audiences interested in how historical understandings of race, gender, class, nationalism, religion, law, technology and the sciences have been distorted by these far-right movements. If scholars of the last twenty years, like Francis Fukuyama, believed that neoliberalism marked an ‘end of history’, this volume shows how the far right is effectively threatening democracy and its institutions through the dissemination of alt-facts and histories.

Season 2 Episode 20

In this episode, Hard Facts, Anne and Steve are joined by Stephen Holler, Chair & Associate Professor of the Department of Physics & Engineering Physics at Fordham University who shares his experiences bringing physics education to bear on issues affecting the local community.

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Fordham and Bronx Schools Collaborating on Air Quality Project

Through a new initiative called Project FRESH Air, Fordham is working with local middle and high schoolers to combat climate change and generate new air quality data in their communities. 

“We want to set up a network of air quality sensors around the city and map out the air quality—particularly in the Bronx—and help students become scientifically literate activists in their communities,” said Stephen Holler, Ph.D., chair and associate professor of Fordham’s physics and engineering physics department, who is co-leading the project with Usha Sankar, Ph.D., an advanced lecturer in biological sciences. “Through our project, we can start a dialogue about climate change and say, ‘Let’s do something to fix it together.’”

A webinar will be held on April 13th at 6:00 PM to discuss Project FRESH Air with the community and the participant schools. For the Zoom link and log in information, please email twiceoverpodcast@gmail.com.