Learning Technologies on Display During Five Minutes of Fame

Article by Robyn Ness
Originally published in a different format

TELR's Five Minutes of Fame took place on April 24, featuring 10 innovative eLearning achievements and technologies submitted by Ohio State faculty, staff and students. This session marked the event's fourth year and its second occurrence as part of the Academy of Teaching mini-conference sponsored by University Center for the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT), formerly FTAD. Approximately 90 people attended.

The fast-paced format of the presentations allowed only five minutes per topic -- presenters who ran over time were gonged to keep the program moving along. After the last presentation, audience members used clicker response pads to cast a vote for their favorite.

The winner of the popular vote was a demonstration of the Pulse SmartPen by Ohio State undergraduate and Digital Union student employee Jonathan Diehl. Diehl wow'ed the audience with a live display of the device's audio recording and data syncing capabilities. Pulse pens are available for short-term evaluation from the Digital Union.

Another crowd favorite was the BioRap, a musical number produced by entomology professor Susan Fisher to help introductory biology students understand DNA's structure and function. After playing the rap video, Fisher read an assortment of thank-yous from grateful students who used the video as a study aid. Hear this catchy tune (and brush up on your DNA knowledge) at www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1UPf7lXeO8.

Chris Hill, an academic program specialist in the College of Education and Human Ecology, showed off the $50 interactive whiteboard he assembled using a Wii game controller, an infrared light pen, and free software. Hill also gave examples of how he uses the system for in-class exercises in his English courses for the American Language Program. Instructions for this project are available on Hill's blog at esltech.wordpress.com/2009/03/31/interactive-whiteboards-faq-wii.

Other presentation topics included a demonstration of the GigaPan camera system, ongoing wiki authoring in an anthropology course, use of video podcasts in ESL pronunciation coaching, integration of University Library resources into Carmen, development of a web-based climate model simulation, and two uses of video games/virtual environments to produce machinima (computer animation).

Video clips of all 10 presentations will be posted on the Five Minutes of Fame webpage at telr.osu.edu/5minutes.

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