Center for Digital Learning at SUNY Geneseo

Ada Lovelace Day 2021 at Geneseo

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Portrait of Ada Lovelace Portrait of Ada Lovelace by Alfred Edward Chalon, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Center for Digital Learning invites you to join in our first-ever celebration of Ada Lovelace Day on Tuesday, October 12. To help us mark the occasion, Prof. Anne Pellerin (Physics) will give a Zoom presentation on the important contributions of women to the field of astronomy, and Prof. Lytton Smith (English) will run a hands-on Zoom workshop on writing poetry with Python. We want to make ALD a regular Geneseo thing, and you can be sure that we’ll be coming to you for help in planning future celebrations!

Geneseo Ada Lovelace Day 2021

Registration required

  • 12:00 p.m.: Prof. Lytton Smith (English/CIL), Python Poetry. This hands-on, one-hour Zoom workshop will use Trinket.io to introduce you to the basics of code-inspired poetry. You’ll learn about some of the exciting writers producing digital poetry today, generate two poems of your own, and think about how the poetics of code can also help your offline writing. No knowledge of code required! Register now.
  • 1:30 p.m.: Prof. Anne Pellerin (Physics), Women in Astronomy. Prof. Pellerin will give a half-hour Zoom presentation on the important contributions women have made to the field of astronomy, with time afterwards for questions and discussion. Register now.

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It's our birthday!

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Graphic of the CDL squirrel wearing a birthday hat in front of a piece of cake.

Happy first birthday to us!

Where has the time gone?

This week marks the CDL’s first year of existence. In this time, we sought to develop our mission statement, as well as create our leadership organizational structure and collaborative partnerships with other highly regarded and effective departments on campus such as CIT, TLC, CDL, Milne Library, and DAPA. We also aimed to establish an online presence through our website and other forms of communication, develop a strategic plan for the future of digital learning at Geneseo, and launch workshops to help faculty, staff, and students increase their knowledge of and facility with digital tools for teaching, scholarship, creative practice, and productivity.

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Cultivating human connection in online learning

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Note: This post was co-authored by Abby Henry and CDL Student Affiliate Emma Raupp

Laptop and cup of coffee Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

As digital classrooms became the “new normal” in lieu of physical classrooms during the pandemic, many social aspects of learning took a hit. Without in-person meetings, many students came to feel isolated from their peers and instructors. Feeling disconnected from a shared learning environment lowers our motivation to participate and keeping up with coursework quickly becomes a struggle. There are many factors in this widespread sense of burn-out — a decline in mental health, political stressors, and family crises are just a few that come to mind — but one factor with a feasible solution is the lack of genuine human connection in digital learning environments. We don’t want students to feel alone if they’re struggling, but the unfortunate reality is that they often do. One solution to this problem is fostering a stronger human connection between instructors and students, in the hope of creating a more supportive digital learning community.

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Is this how they see us? Creating an antiracist online module for a course on visual culture

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Portrait of Michelle Obama at National Portrait Gallery At the media preview of the portraits hung in the galleries of the National Portrait Gallery of the Obamas. The portrait of Michelle Obama is by Amy Sherald. Photo by Victoria Pickering (vpickering) on Flickr, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Editor’s note: This post is one in a series by Geneseo faculty who in Intersession 2021 taught courses that either focused centrally on issues of racial justice or incorporated those issues via dedicated modules and interwoven content. To find all posts in this series, part of Geneseo’s project of becoming an antiracist college, look for the tag “intersession 2021”.

In July 2018, I received a grant from Geneseo’s Teaching and Learning Center to create a series of modules for the course Visual Culture Today. My student assistant, Thomas Mossey (a sophomore at the time), joined me in front of a computer screen as we tried to figure out how to create a module on representations of African Americans in mainstream media. Tommy prepared several examples for me to look at, but all of them were difficult to use as a tool of empowerment. We found stereotypical representations easily: Aunt Jemima, Mammy, and countless other caring Black women of indeterminate age. That summer, we centered the module on such stereotypical representations and asked students to watch racist cartoons showing white people in “black face.” We asked students to reflect on whether and by whom (if anyone) these cartoons should still be seen.

In fall 2018, I taught this module in a face-to-face classroom. We talked about the idea of “re-presentation” and that often media distorts rather than reflects reality. As part of the learning materials, students were directed to a video, Blackface: A cultural history of a racist art form, that discussed this racist practice.

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Reflection on teaching: Covid-19 and beyond

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Puddle in pavement reflecting person above Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

The Center for Digital Learning and the Teaching and Learning Center at SUNY Geneseo are excited to invite faculty and staff to a conversation reflecting on the past year of pandemic online teaching: how it’s felt, what it’s taught us about ourselves and our students, and what it’s shown us about teaching and learning both online and in general.

The Zoom event will be held Tuesday, May 11, 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Please register to join the conversation.

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