Professors, students take part in CTX and iFalcon conference

Gustavo Lopez, News Editor

Michael Wesch, during his presentation at the Center for Teaching Excellence and iFalcon conference, outlined a project he had his anthropology students do. The project consisted of pairing up with someone who was on the opposite spectrum of their personal beliefs and ideologies.

Each pair of students was then asked to provide an unbiased and understanding report on their partner. This project was part of Wesch’s presentation during the conference which took place in the Student Center on Friday, Sept. 19.

Wesch is an associate anthropology professor at Kansas State University, who focuses on the effect of the technology and media in education and society. His presentation centered on the use of technology and the importance of asking questions in classes.

Wesch said, “My presentation was to help faculty imagine course as ways to inspire questions rather than ways to get students to memorize answers. Once you start asking questions that’s the gateway to real learning.”

He added that getting teachers to engage their students by asking real, relevant questions and helping them to try and solve them and apply those solutions in the real world.

Along with Wesch, there were also other keynote speakers, including chemistry professor Jeff Bradbury and his panel of students on using iPads in classrooms, and Ken Shelton on why technology matters and how to use the internet responsibly.

During Bradbury’s chemistry presentation, faculty asked questions to the student panel: Lily Shen, Cristina Flores, Elizabeth Garcia Silva and Rene Flores, on the obstacles and benefits of using iPads in class. According Lily Shen the only obstacle she encountered was the fact that some of the apps were difficult to use or that there were glitches.

Rene Flores, engineering major, said, “With the iPad what I can do now, as far as an engineering major is when I write the mathematics I can see the equations, how they behave and how to make sense of it.”

Bradbury said, “We had a student panel basically sharing their experiences using technology in the classroom and how it’s affected their view of education.”

After the presentation, the faculty were treated to a pizza lunch.

Christa Westaway, a part time English professor enjoyed the presentation. “It’s actually helping in my research for the conferences that I’m going to speaking at about student empowerment.

“Coming from English, it’s difficult to translate but while they were speaking I’ve been thinking of how I can implement a final project using some kind of movie program or application in the computer labs around campus. So my wheels are turning,” Westaway said.

Faculty from other schools were also in attendance, such as life science professor Fazal Aasi said, “I’ve learned so much. There are so many new ideas presented so if we utilize them certainly going to increase the retention rate and success. ”

The conference concluded with a presentation on the importance of technology and using the internet as a learning tool by Ken Shelton.