From Simple Minds to the Swivl... Get Ready to Engage!

Concurrent Session 6

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Brief Abstract

Do you need ideas to engage a multi-demographic of students?  Come demo the successful learning activities I created for my diverse student body. Kill the PowerPoint. Improve your student engagement.  Come learn about SimpleMinds and the Swivl.  There will be a demo of the Simple Minds mapping app that the presenter uses regularly in class.  It is very similar to a Venn diagram maker and it is used as a visual option to map out concepts discussed in class.  It is an awesome visual for your visual learners!

There will also be a demonstration of the Swivl as an example of creative uses of video capture.  When you think of the Swivl, think of video capture on steroids! It is an incredible “video reflection and skill development cloud platform for teachers and students.” The Swivl is a small compact robot that acts as a personal camera crew that offers hands free control and a wireless mic. You only need to attach any iOS device or pocket camera to the Swivl robot. Both iPhones and Androids devices are excellent to use with the Swivl.  The Swivl has hundreds of impactful uses, including self-reflection, presentations, student feedback and flipped classrooms. For teams, the Swivl can be used for video observations, creating best practices libraries and professional learning communities and student teaching. Check it out today!


My Academic Overview I have a Bachelors of Arts in Economics from the University of Maryland at College Park (Go Terps!) I have a Master of Arts in Public Policy from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. I earned my Juris Doctorate from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC as part of enrollment in a joint degree program. Teaching I have been teaching at NOVA for six years. I have been teaching the law since 2001 when I began teaching legal research and writing at the University of District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law. Teaching is probably in my blood. Every woman in my family, except myself and my sister, are school teachers. I was raised on family dinner table discussions about learning methodology and best teaching practices.

Extended Abstract

The session will focus on creating interactive lessons to engage a diverse student body without relying exclusively on PowerPoint.  I have found that key to a successful engaged classroom, is to structure your lesson activities to appeal to all learning styles.  In that spirit, I will demonstrate the different ways I collectively incorporate videos using the Swivl, interactive lessons, and lecture capture software into my class lessons.  I will also demonstrate the Simple Minds iPad mapping app that I use regularly in class.  It is very similar to a Venn diagram maker and I use it as a visual option to map out concepts we are discussing in class.  My visual learners find the mapping diagram very helpful.

After I have demonstrated the different interactive learning tools, the next part of the session is the breakout session in which I will lead participants in brainstorming activities. Participants will sample and experiment with ways they can use these tools in their class lessons.  The brainstorm session will also include creating a sample class agenda with peer critique of the sample agendas.  These peer critiqued sample class agendas will be shared with all participants and will also serve as an additional takeaway for the participants.  After discussing and critiquing the sample agendas, if time permits, participants can then demonstrate and teach a quick five minute class using the sample agendas they created.  

The participants will receive the following takeaways 1) a copy of the checklist I use for creating my interactive class lessons; 2) new ideas and techniques to engage students; 3) new ways to motivate students to reach a deeper learning; and 4) participants will also draft and peer critiques sample class agendas to take back with them to use in the classroom.