Thursday, February 11, 2016

5 Question Structures to Improve Higher-Order Thinking

Looking to improve the discussions in your class so that they are engaging your students in Higher-Order Thinking?  Here is an InfoGraphic that I found on the Four O'Clock Faculty website.  It has a number of great ideas.  I especially like the Question Flooding idea.  It involves your students generating as many questions as come to mind about the topic at hand.

At first, I was thinking "How can I write fast enough to get all of those questions written down so we can discussion them?"  Further consideration brought me to the realization that this should be a student centric process.  Just getting the flow of ideas is enough to kindle the fire of examination.  Field the questions and then go back to them to see which ones stuck out in your students' minds.  Another idea would be to have your students post them in the cloud through Tweeting (with a specific hashtag) or entering the questions into a Google Doc or Padlet or Etherpad.

Which one makes the most sense to you?  Do you have any ideas that you would add to these 5 question structures?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

TERRORISM: How to Talk to Your Students, Say This, Do Not Say . . .
In this ever-changing world we need to consider how to talk with our students about terrorism.  Not only must we deal with what is coming through the media, but we must also discuss with our students the possibility of that happening in our own schools.

Recently, Vicki Davis (CoolCatTeacher) interviewed Dr. Steven Berkowitz at the University of Pennsylvania about how teachers can respond to this.

Click here to listen to Vicki's 11-minute discussion about Terrorism.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Is this your future classroom? Does this represent your future vision of Education?

This is a student film festival award winner.  It shows some great special effects and portrays some cool technological possibilities, but is this how you envision the classroom of the future?  The teacher is still at the front and the students are following his/her lead.   Is that what we want?

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, December 10, 2015

ISTE Webinar: Global Collaboration in Higher Education resources

The ISTE Global Collaboration PLN webinar that we presented tonight was a HUGE success.  After Anne Mirtshin introduced us, David Stoloff and I began the webinar at 7:00 pm CST with a single member of the audience.  The purpose of this webinar was to explore how Global Collaboration is and can be used in higher education.  I provided the introduction and shared some of the experiences I have had in teaching students from around the world and having them collaborate with learners on the other side of the globe.
Dr. Stoloff shared the many global collaboration projects that he has been doing over the years and provided an introduction to the Connecticut-Taiwan connection that he is presently doing with his undergraduate teacher education students.

David has been working with a professor in Taiwan, Julie Chen.  His intention was for them to to share their experiences as a team, but he has been unable to contact Julie for a couple of weeks and didn't plan on her joining him for the event.  HOOORAY!!!!  About half way through, Julie arrived in our ZoomRoom and they were able to share their experiences and discoveries.  As the evening progressed, our audience increased and it was a great experience for all.

Enjoy the recording of the presentation above and you can review the slideshows below. The website used for Dr. Chen's presentation is the dCCU-ECSU global connections website. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Slideshows Used in the Webinar

Created by Leigh Zeitz

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Global Collaboration in Higher Education: An ISTE Webinar presented by Dr. Z and Friends - Wed @ 7 PM CST

Date: 12/9/2015

--Wed at 7 pm in Iowa (CST)
--Wed at 8 pm on the East Coast (EST)
--Thurs at 9 am in Taipei
Please, check your local time at:

Dr. David Stoloff (Eastern Connecticut State University)
Dr. Julie Chen (Chinese Culture University - Taiwan)
Dr. Leigh Zeitz (University of Northern Iowa)

Session Description:
Join our exploration into the wonderful world of Global Collaboration in Higher Education. as they explore the present and future of Global Collaboration in Higher Education.

Leigh Zeitz will serve as discussant to this project presentation. He will begin with an overview of global collaboration in higher education, explore the types of projects that might be completed as well as share some of his experiences with Global Collaboration across the globe.

Julie Chen and David Stoloff will then discuss their on-going transcontinental project where 1st semester undergraduates are collaborating between Chinese Culture University (Taiwan) and Eastern Connecticut State University.  They will share their successes and challenges as well as plans for the future.  This presentation will use these resources eCCU-ECSU Global Connections. It includes a short video and  a powerpoint presentation.  Undergraduates at these two institutions will be encouraged to share their experiences following the presentation.

Ample time will be reserved for an online discussion on expanding global collaboration for university classrooms.

Session plan:
0:00 - 0:15  Introduction to Collaborative Learning in Higher Education by Leigh Zeitz
0:16 - 0:45 Discussion of the Chinese Culture University - Eastern Connecticut State           University Global Collaboration experience.  
0:46 - 1:00  Questions about the Collaboration Experience and an opportunity for attendees to share their experiences.

Access the Video Conference through
  • You will be asked to download a small program to run Zoom.  After you have downloaded it, DON’T run Zoom.  Return to your browser and go to again.  It will take you directly to our meeting room.
  • Please use your first and last name followed by your province/state and Country

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

World's Slowest Rube Goldberg Contraption - a REAL Learning Experience.

Rube Goldberg Contraptions are defined as "a series of chain reactions designed to accomplish a simple task."  These are incredibly fun and always include a good dose of mirth.  Notice that there is nothing that says anything about the length of time this contraption will take to accomplish the task.  

I just found a video about the slowest and longest Goldberg contraption (Thank you, Marcy Seavey).  This contraption involves all of the slowest materials that you can imagine. It involves a tortoise, a stream of molasses, melting popsicles, and even growing grass that pushes the golf ball along to its destination. 

Below I have included a video of this contraption running from beginning to end.  No, it is not a 6-week YouTube video.  It is carefully parsed and includes time-lapsed photography that takes you from the beginning to the end in 3 minutes.

Wasn't that amazing?  Below is a Behind the Scenes video of how Bob Partington conceptualized and created this sluggish invention.

Wouldn't this be fun to do?  What else would you include to create a slower contraption?


Wednesday, November 04, 2015

11+ Apps to Organize Your Life

This fall I was invited to speak at The Way Up Conference 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa.  This is an organization that is engaged in "Developing Women Leaders to Enhance Iowa Higher Education."

I have spoken there twice before and it is quite an experience.  First off, this conference is completely women.  It is fascinating to listen to the woman's perspective on how things are happening in the world. It is enlightening to hear women discuss their experiences in leadership.

Anyway, I was asked to share something about using technology to benefit professional lives.  After I ruminated a little, I decided to share apps that they might find handy in organizing their lives.  This proposal was accepted and I will be discussing it Thursday, November 6.

This session will be replete with firsts. This will be the first time that I have spoken on using phone apps.  I will be using Google Presenter for my slides - that's a first.  I will be running sharing my phone on the screen and controlling everything from my phone - another first.  Whether I will be directly connected or wifi connected to the projecting computer will depend upon how the wifi and other technologies are configured tomorrow.

While I am going to be suggesting apps that they might find useful, I don't want it to be a show-and-tell.  I want it to be more of a show-and-share.   While I have been doing oodles of research on this presentation, I am by no means an expert on organizational apps.  I plan to begin with sharing about what their phones can already do with Siri and/or Google Now.

To begin with, there are definitely more than 11 apps.  I used that number when I proposed it because I had no idea how many I would find.  At last count, there were 34 apps to be discussed. For the sake of organization, I have identified 9 areas of organizational tools.  I will be sharing suggested apps in each of these.  As I explore each of these areas, I will share what I know and ask the attendees to share their favorites as well.

The Question is "How can we capture all of these ideas for the future?"
I have answered this ominous question with a Google Doc.  I have aptly named it 11+ Apps for Organizing Your Life with Your Phone. This document contains all of the apps and resources that I will be sharing.  It will also be open for public editing so that the participants will be able to add their own suggestions or add the great ideas that they hear in the room from other people.   This way, if any of the attendees want to follow up on these apps, the information is there for them to use.

You can find my elaborate slideshow at:  11+ Apps to Organize Your Life

  • If you attended, please leave a comment about your opinion of the presentation.
  • If you didn't attend, please visit the Resource Page to find, read about and add apps to the collection.  Tell us what you did in a comment below.