• What colors is TEAL in digital humanties?

    <http://icampus.mit.edu/projects/TEAL.shtml>: “The Technology Enabled Active Learning (TEAL) project has revamped the way Introductory Physics classes are taught at MIT. Physics is an experimental science, but many of the introductory level classes taught at MIT involve no hands-on laboratories. Modeled after the Studio Physics format instituted by Professor Jack Wilson at Rennsaeler Polytechnic Institute in 1994, the TEAL format combines lecture, recitation, and hands-on laboratory experiments into one classroom experience which, in this case, meant revamping the classroom itself. Animations and simulations have been incorporated into course materials to help students visualize and understand the complex interactions inherent in electromagnetism.”

    This past year I have been experimenting with “Technology Enabled Active Learning” (TEAL) in a humanities-heavy course, a 50 person, freshmen-level introduction to human origins and prehistory. The course discusses anthropological concepts of culture and cognition, but (caveat) also includes some physical science components. For one class a week, students are divided into groups for collaborative exercises related to the current class topic and their work may be continued outside of class. These exercises include literature research, evaluation of various sources, mapping, and information management. In-class technology is provided through one of the university’s portable laptop computer labs, which can bring 24 machines into the classroom and connect them through a dedicated router (for a minimum ratio of student:computer of about 2:1).

    This coming year, I am ramping-up the TEAL component by moving the class into a dedicated computer lab and making TEAL activities into a daily portion of class and homework activities. I want freshman and other students to learn to use our IT-infrastructure in order to meaningfully contribute as individuals to focused, collaborative products about humanities research. Student acceptance of the practices, and appropriate assessment of individual contributions will be key.

    I would like to have a brainstorming and knowledge-sharing session with other campers about the ways you’ve used TEAL-like practices in your class, or ways you would like to do so.

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