On October 16th, ASPIRE leaders Sai Gajjala and Arpita Mandal, presented a very interesting talk on using technology to support teaching and learning. Their Beyond Powerpoint message was well received by the group, which had a lively conversation about appropriate uses of social media to engage students. …just imagine having Abe Lincoln, Fred Douglass and the Civil War generals interacting on a “faux” Facebook page… now that might get an 8th grader interested in the day-to-day lives of 19th century Americans…who says there are no new tricks?
Great Job Sai and Arpita!!
On October 10, at the first workshop of the year, ASPIRE President, Katie Kull, opened a conversation with a provocative question: Where do you want to teach? She used the question to guide the session that focused on comparing teaching and learning conditions in public urban/suburban, rural, and private schools.
Katie had the group vote at the beginning and end of the session on their preference. More participants voted positively for working in urban/suburban environments after reviewing data on the emerging availability of resources and opportunities to make substantive positive change in schools that enroll students who face challenges in succeeding in their educational lives. Among the resources noted were the growing engagement of the community and opportunities to work with more highly qualified colleagues.
Participants shared their own experiences in working with high needs students and much of the discussion referenced work on the positive impact of building community among students and providing them opportunities to interact with role models. Video clips highlighted important work that is underway at San Francisco State University to mobilize stakeholders who want to change the status quo. The conversation was lively and thought-provoking. Several new-to-ASPIRE upper class students noted afterwards that they wish they had gotten involved in ASPIRE earlier.
Great Job Katie!
On Wed. Oct 3, ASPIRE members joined other campus leaders in presenting a panel discussion to freshmen enrolled in a section of the Freshman Year Student Expeience. The group focused on Things They Wish They Had Known as Freshmen. While the conversation was lively, the highlight of the interaction was adjourning for lunch at the Indian Sizzler on Main Street!