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Vibrant and Valued Learning

March 5, 2012

Technology Day 2012, called “Worth a Thousand Words: Digital Imagery in the Classroom” was recently held at BMCC’s main campus.

Faculty and staff shared the ways they incorporate images into classroom instruction, and reflected on how an increasingly digitized world affects lifelong learning.

Case in point?  During her Opening Remarks, BMCC’s Senior Vice President Dr. Sadie Bragg, shared an all-too-familiar story about her grandson.

“My two-year-old gets my iPad and says, ‘Grandma! iPad! Open! He knows you need a code to access it,” she said. “He finds Sesame Street’s Web site by himself and plays the rest of the morning. He even knows how to take a picture on the iPad, and he’ll smile for the camera. I’m not making this up!”

Bragg—who called Technology Day “a legacy”—asked attendees to reflect on what the day’s theme—“A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”—means to them, individually.

“Think about what that theme means to you in today’s tech world,” she said in closing. “What we do today is just setting the stage for our future students, who will continue to be even more tech-literature than they are today.”

Interactive activity

The morning kicked-off with a “Demofest,” outside Richard Harris Terrace, in which BMCC staffers and faculty showcased educational programs such as Alpha Search, Google Earth, SharePoint and more.

Technology Day’s special guests included Plenary Speaker and New Jersey-based educator Chris Shamburg and film and television producer Warrington Hudlin, this year’s Keynote Speaker.

Shamburg’s presentation, Remix as an Educational Activity, focused on ways combining images, sounds, words and pop-culture can enhance classroom learning.

Shamburg entertained the crowd by asking BMCC employees to make noises out of paper cups, crushed potato chips, their natural voices, and more, which Shamburg recorded with a program called Audacity, creating a story enhanced with sound effects.

“The funny thing is, I don’t love writing code and can’t really suggest what type of computer you should buy,” he said. “But I love what technology lets us do, and how it empowers people.”

Two of Shamburg’s personal favorite educational Web sites, he explained, were FanFiction—in which students write missing scenes from some of their favorite stories, and Machinima, an entertainment network for gamers that encourages real-time animation.

Five minutes of fame

During lunch, guests learned even more about technology use in the classroom through a serious of “mini” presentations called, “Five Minutes of Fame.”

The presenters were BMCC educators Dorthea Coiffe, David Krauss, Amanda Licastro and Jason Schneiderman, who talked about BMCC’s Centralized Moving Image Site, the Bioscience Education Network, WordPress and Skype.

The afternoon faculty-led sessions, held in both Richard Harris Terrace and Hudson Room, focused on blogs and wiki’s, Visual Sociology, E-Learning, teaching with images, and more.

John Gallagher, Director, Media Center, then interviewed Warrington Hudlin, a film, television, and internet producer, who discussed the ways technology has affected today’s movie industry.

“I think the most impressive thing Warrington spoke about is that after decades of a successful career as a film producer, he is ready to leap into something very new with an open mind and great enthusiasm,” said Gallagher. “He has the spirit of a pioneer.”

Learning from the pros

Victoria Mondelli, Director, Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship and Dorothea Coiffe, an Assistant Professor and Librarian at BMCC, co-chaired the 2012 Technology Day Committee.

“I think the day went very nicely; it flowed seamlessly.  Part of the fun was the lunchtime ‘Five Minutes of Fame’ presentations that were chock-full of information, visually attractive, and fast-paced,” said Mondelli. “This was a new format this year.”

According to Mondelli, what set this year’s Technology Day apart, was the “investigation and showcasing” of the effective teaching and learning strategies educators employ using still and moving images.

“It is a dynamic topic,” she continued. “Our guest speakers were very knowledgeable and engaging in this area, explaining ways of teaching effectively with audio visual content, and the wide world of multimedia and film.”

Technology Day was organized with the cooperation of the Office of Academic Affairs, CETLS, the Media Center, the E-Learning Center, the College Computing Center, and the Office of Instructional Technology.

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  • Dr. Sadie Bragg pointed out that technology impacts even the youngest of kids.
  • Technology Day educated guests about the impact of images, music, and media in learning
  • Industry insiders shared their media expertise

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