• Campers

    Josh Wells

    Dr. Joshua J. Wells is an assistant professor at Indiana University South Bend. He holds a joint appointment as an anthropologist in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and coordinates the social informatics program in the department of Informatics. He has degrees in anthropology and computer science. He is also the current chair of the Digital Data Interest Group within the Society for American Archaeology, which serves the interests of over 1100 technocratic members of North America’s largest professional organization of archaeologists.

    Josh's research interests include anthropological investigations of human-technology interactions that result in redefinitions of established sociocultural patterns and concepts of humanity. This involves studies of both past and modern populations. In the modern world, Josh investigates the ways that new technologies affect roles and expectations within governmental functions, business practices, and classroom organization. He has important experience in contract- and grant-funded research where he has used his skills with geographic information systems, computational modeling and network analysis of sociocultural behavior, pedagogy in higher education, and outreach education in the social and physical sciences. Josh’s archaeological research focuses on how changes in Neolithic technologies were tied to the growth of complex political systems, economic networks, and ethnic identities in the American Midwest and Southeast almost 1,000 years ago.

    My Posts

    Notes from free and open source software session

    Monday, May 2nd, 2011 | Josh


    Please feel free to contribute your favorite software or practices to the presentation. Keep it alive. Share.

    What colors is TEAL in digital humanties?

    Friday, April 29th, 2011 | Josh

    <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.