When Google selected Belmont media studies professor Dr. Sybril Bennett as one of its 8,000 Google Glass Explorers in June, the company likely didn’t expect that this single, beta sample of its new wearable computer would jump start the digital creativity of nearly 60 college students. But thanks to Bennett’s desire for her students to embrace and respect innovation, she set aside concerns for the risks (her glasses cost $1,500) and introduced both sections of her “Digital Citizenship & Society” class to the futuristic technology.
“It’s incredible, and it’s a beast,” said student Kristoff Hart. “Having this piece of technology sit right above your eyes is weird, but there are so many ways to use it.”
The students’ hands-on experience with Google Glass allowed them to better understand how the technology works. Students in each class were then split into five groups and asked to create a proposal for a new software application, or app, for the product. In presenting their ideas, each group had to examine the benefits, economics, marketing and potential competitors as well as weigh the pros and cons of their “creation.”
Former Tennessee Gov. Winfield Dunn shared his experiences with Belmont students as part of a convocation lecture on Wednesday. Students learned how throughout Dunn’s adult life his over-riding business and professional interests centered on healthcare. He was also very involved in the growth and development of the Tennessee Republican Party, first in Memphis and later throughout the state, and has remained active in the political life of Tennessee for more than 50 years.
Dunn was governor of Tennessee from 1971 to 1975 .He was the state’s first Republican chief executive in fifty years, and he was only one of six Republican governors since the Civil War.
His accomplishments as governor were numerous. In addition to his successful efforts in reorganizing Tennessee’s executive branch, Dunn created the Department of Economic and Community Development. Also during his tenure, highway construction boomed and state employees received much needed pay raises.
Perhaps most noteworthy is that his accomplishments occurred in the context of a divided government. Dunn worked productively with a Democratic-controlled General Assembly, and extended state appointments to members of both parties. Forty years later, his administration offers political observers a model of cooperation, moderation and legislative achievement.
The convocation was made possible through support of Richard Treadway, chairman of Polaris Hospital Company and co-founder of Psychiatric Solutions Inc. Treadway a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the Massey School of Business at Belmont University and is a distinguished member of Belmont’s McWhorter Society.
Painting a bird flying in the moonlight reminds Tam Mai of his mom, who married young and lived a difficult life in poverty. Brush strokes detail a small boatman crossing a large river and make Mai reflect on how he forsook his teachers as a child. Mixing the reds, oranges and yellows of fall leaves give him strength. A brightly colored landscape brings to his mind the romantic dreams he wants to accomplish with his wife.
These and a dozen other Mai paintings are on display in the Leu Art Gallery where on Monday the University hosted a reception for Mai, a Wheeler Hall custodian.
Mai, who has worked at Belmont for a decade, immigrated to Nashville as a political refugee. He speaks little English but with fellow custodians and his son, a Belmont alumnus, working as translators, he addressed the Belmont community during the reception. (more…)
The featured speakers of the 12th annual Humanities Symposium discussed “Encountering Otherness” with students on Wednesday in Beaman A&B.
Amy Shuman, CeCe Big Crow, George Yancy, Robert Barsky and Eduardo Corral shared ideas and participated in a dialogue about their understanding of the theoretical and methodological connection for encountering others. Each speaker touched on what the theme meant to them.
Barsky, a philosopher, saidthat “encountering otherness” is essentially a relationship between sameness and difference.
“You absolutely need the other to exist as a self. We fundamentally need one another,” Barsky said.
He also said that at the core, we are all identical. “The distance between you and the other may be one difference in path.”
The panel discussed the importance of unity and how to exemplify this concept and show respect for others in everyday life. They also encouraged students to attend the other symposium events continuing this week.
The Humanities Symposium seeks to stimulate intellectual conversation through its 31 events, which together will engage in a week-long conversation designed to increase interactions with different cultures, religions, political views and historical understandings to dislodge the default view and open students to broader understanding.
Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s 2011 U.S. Professor of the Year national winner Stephen Chew taught nearly 160 Belmont faculty how to improve student learning through metacognition, depth of processing, the effective use of examples and cognitive load. Chew, professor of psychology at Samford University led the workshop entitled “Improving Student Performance by Addressing Student and Teacher Misconceptions about Learning” through Belmont’s Teaching Center in August.
Chew reviewed common misconceptions among both students and teachers that undermine learning. Workshop participants explored principles derived from cognitive research on learning that can help both teachers and students improve student learning. A discussion about how a teacher must balance a variety of interacting factors to help students achieve the desired level of learning provided a general take-away message.
“As we proceed through 2013-14, the workshop will serve as a platform for some other Teaching Center activities and will provide a common point of conversation for many faculty,” said Dr. Michael Pinter, director of Belmont Teaching Center. “For example, in October we will invite workshop participants to come together again to describe for each other some ways they have implemented Dr. Chew’s concepts on learning in courses they are currently teaching.”
The August 2014 Teaching Center Workshop will host Ken Bain, author of “What the Best College Teachers Do” and “What the Best College Students Do,” to lead the faculty in a discussion reflecting the idea from the 2013 workshop.
The Teaching Center is available to provide Belmont’s faculty with practical ways to support their efforts to learn more about teaching and learning as an important component of their over all professional development. From events offered through the center to individual teaching consultations, faculty can come to the Teaching Center to find the resources they need to further their exploration.