This semester I am collaborating with one of the Boston College Higher Education faculty members, Ana Martinez Aleman, on a new technology e-learning project called “MediaKron” for her Higher Education in American Society course. MediaKron is an online multimedia platform that was developed at Boston College as a means of presenting and enhancing course content. The College received funding from the Davis Educational Foundation, and after an initial pilot of the program, it is now collaborating with other higher education institutions to develop their own projects off the platform.
What is MediaKron?
MediaKron is a multimedia platform that enables instructors to input their own “data” and connect it in unique ways. You might think of it as an updated version of the multimedia CD-ROM that was in vogue in the 1990s, but with all of the sophistication, internet-enabled enhancements, and social sharing of the Web 2.0 age. It is also similar to projects such as Ted-Ed (although far more sophisticated in what it can do). The MediaKron website itself describes the project as:
I currently serve as the American College Personnel Association’s (ACPA’s) Coordinator for Standing Committees. Standing Committees are organizations in ACPA that represent some of the social identities present in the student affairs profession and in our work with students. In my role, I represent, coordinate the work of, and advocate for the Standing Committees for/on Women, Men, Graduate Students and New Professionals, Disability, Multicultural Affairs, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Awareness.
Although our mission is clear, the name “Standing Committee,” is often a source of confusion for new (and even experienced) members. I often get asked:
- Why are they called “Standing Committees?”
- What are the “standing committees” of?
Here’s the answer…
I had the privilege of doing a teaching observation of a colleague this semester. I always love the opportunity to learn from other’s approaches to the learning process. I thought I would share some of my reflections and observations hoping it may help you too.
The instructor and I both share an approach to teaching where we attempt to reduce the barriers of authority in the teacher-student relationship. This instructor always greets her students at the start of class with a hearty “Good Evening Scholars!” Her stated reason for doing this is to establish mutual authority in approaching the subject matter and to begin the socialization of the students as scholars. It’s a wonderfully simple way of setting the stage for the classroom and for communicating a co-constructed student-teacher relationship. It’s one that I will likely “borrow” for the future.