Interactivity Foundation's Newsletter 1.6
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Summer Fun:The IF Discussion Card Game

 by Shannon Wheatley Hartman 
 
The Interactivity Foundation is developing a discussion card game that can be used in classrooms, the workplace, or at home to help instill improved discussion practices. This game was originally developed for a writing workshop held at Dartmouth College and facilitated by IF fellow Shannon Wheatley Hartman and professor Timothy Ruback.
 
Many college courses are designed to help students improve their reading and writing skills by telling students to ground their thinking in the texts and ideas of others. They are told to have a “conversation with the text.” It’s a new way of reading and writing for many students, and for many, the lesson comes slowly.It may come slowly because the analogue may not be very clear for them. Those who use this analogy presume that students might need guidance to learn how to read and write at the university level but surely they know how to converse. What if this is not the case? What if college students do not already know how to have a conversation?  (Read More)
 

IF, Water, and Wisconsin

- Dennis Boyer
IF has long had a public participatory presence in Wisconsin, with three Fellows located.  IF continually looks for occasions to partner with other public conversation efforts.  The Wisconsin Fellows found an interesting potential opportunity about a year ago when they started exchanging ideas with the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters (WASAL).

It turned out that WASAL was launching a Waters of Wisconsin effort just as IF was starting a Future of Freshwater Project, with one panel meeting in Wisconsin. For WASAL this effort was a revisiting and updating of water issues examined about ten years ago. A number of WASAL water specialists joined the IF water panel and a number IF water project panelists served on WASAL water exploratory sub-groups.
 
WASAL then organized a Resilient Wisconsin Day (RWD) to bring public sector agency staff, educators, scientists, community organization representatives, and interested citizens to hear presentations and hold conversations on the intersections between policy on climate, energy, and water. IF was given a role in conducting a discussion on climate and energy policy possibilities, with Fellow Adolf Gundersen and Wisconsin Public Discussion Coordinator James Schneider conducting a session that both used IF process and IF materials.
 
IF Fellows Pete Shively and Dennis Boyer participated in other sessions and distributed IF materials related to RWD themes. All Wisconsin water project panelists attended and some had featured roles in presentations and sessions. Over 160 participants attended RWD and about 40 participated in the climate and energy discussions. Wisconsin contract facilitators Karen Stollenwerk and Alan Anderson assisted Gundersen and Schneider with the discussion sessions.
Featured Editorial:

ISA Annual Convention 2014

- Bakyt Ospanova and Saule Sarkenova 

We are professors teaching undergraduates in Kazakhstan (Bakyt Ospanova at L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University and Saule Sarkenova at Karaganda University “Bolashak”). We are also graduates of the IF special training program for international scholars on student-centered discussion, and have used IF’s method in teaching our courses. Last month we presented a paper highlighting IF’s student-centered discussion method at the Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, held March 26-29, 2014 in Toronto, Canada.

We presented a paper entitled “Making Students Active in Passive Learning Environment. Student-Centered Discussion as an Active Learning Method” at the panel devoted to the active learning techniques for international studies students. The other presenters at the panel represented universities from the United States, the UK and Cyprus. (Read More)


 

IF and the 2014 American Democracy Project (ADP) and The Democracy Commitment (TDC) National Meeting

-  Nneka Edwards

  The ADP/TDC National Meeting is an annual conference that brings together over 600 attendees, including provosts, other administrators, faculty members, students and community partners to share, motivate and educate each other. The focus at this meeting was on sharing civic learning and engagement ideas, best practices, research and curricular and co-curricular programs.  

IF Fellow, Suzanne Goodney Lea and IF coordinator Nneka Edwards lead a successful workshop focused on faculty training using the IF method of learning through deliberative discourse.  
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The Water for the Future Project

- Nneka Edwards

Fellows Dennis Boyer and Shannon Wheatly Hartman are collaborating on the Water for the Future project.  They have been using online media such as Facebook to gather concerns about the topic.  This is an innovative approach as their Water for the Future page has been quite active as contributors provide articles and facts about water and the world.

September's newsletter will feature:

 
  • Highlights about IF's summer activities
  • A description of the developing reports
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