Greetings from CAST

Though you just heard from me yesterday, I’ve got a few things to say today that just can’t wait.  You’ll find a link to this post in your e-mail later today.   Here’s some updates of CAST’s work this semester.  We’ve been busy.

Yesterday CAST’s Technology Group held its first Technology Tools of the Trade.  Though somewhat lightly attended, the event was a great kick-off to a new way for us to share the together we use with each other.  Maybe you were grading.  Maybe you forgot about it.  Maybe, like so many, the time didn’t work with your schedule.  Nonetheless, here’s what you missed.

5 presenters took their place at round tables.  Attendees moved from table to table watching and engaging with the presenter for 10-15 minutes before moving to the next table in a speed dating-esque fashion.  Below is a run-down of the specific topics at each table.

  • Chris Sabino (me) showed the attendees how to create forms (surveys really) in Google docs.
  • Gitte Maronde showed the attendees how to create blogs quickly and effectively.  She had a very nice handout as well.  (Speaking of which, I’ll make any materials from yesterday available to anyone who wants them.)
  • Michal Eskayo showed attendees how to use online jeopardy in their classes.
  • Liliana Marin showed attendees the wonders of Google earth.
  • last but not least, Ephrem Rabin took a break from Blackboard and introduced attendees to Jing

If you wish you could have made it, don’t fret.  The CAST technology group will be having a long technology session on Friday Nov. 4 from 10-12 and will have a 2nd Technology Tools of the Trade on Tuesday Nov. 15 from 2:30-3:30 in room 102.  At TTotT 2, presenters will present on the same topics, if there’s a demand or new topics.  Vincent Wiggins has already agreed to do a presentation on Animoto.


Also, if you’re wondering what the Pedagogy and Research groups have been up to, check out the now approved CAST meeting minutes on the CAST page at the top of this screen.  The big initiative from the Pedagogy group is to get an “observation collective” in place in which faculty observe one another in a non-evaluative way.  If you’re interested, click here.  The research group has many plans that will soon come to fruition.  One of them is to compile a list of faculty actively doing research.  Another is to host a grant writing panel with members of our faculty who have had success obtaining grants. More pressing, the research group is hoping to team up with Dave Richardson and Kamran Swanson to host Great Books debriefs on the Tuesdays following the Great Books discussion weeks.


Other news…If you haven’t been to 1046 in a while you may have missed that we finally have some bookshelves.  Feel free to fill them at will.  CAST is working with the HW Library to see what journals and other publication HW has subscriptions to in hope of requesting other resources.  Also, I had the pleasure of meeting with Vanessa Smith who is the gallery director for the Department of Art & Architecture.  More pertinently, she manages the permanent art collection for the whole college.  She took at look at 1046 and told me that she’d put in a request for artwork to cover the bare walls.  These steps bring us closer to have a lounge that feels like a sanctuary and not just another classroom.


One last thing…If you’re untenured or going through post-tenure review and would like evidence that you attended FDW events, e-mail me.  I’m in the process of scanning all of the sign sheets so I can easily e-mail them to interested parties.

Thanks for reading!

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