Two technology-driven projects at Princeton are improving teaching and learning in beginning German. Jamie Rankin, coordinator of language teaching and pedagogy and a senior lecturer in the department since 1991, introduced both approaches at a November 19 Lunch ‘n Learn seminar.
The first project is a database that provides teaching resources for graduate student instructors. The database links the syllabus with day-by-day teaching ideas and digitized materials. As a result, even first year instructors with limited teaching experience can develop a feel for the rhythm and pulse of a class, while making pedagogical choices based on their individual classroom experience. Students gain access to these materials as well as past tests for practice.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is interested in promoting the application of digital technologies to academic research as well as learning and teaching. The Foundation also supports investigations of new technical approaches to the archiving of textual and multimedia materials that require improved search and storage techniques and improvements in user-interfaces.
At the April 17 Lunch ‘n Learn session, Ira Fuchs summarized several of the most recent Foundation technology initiatives. He began by showing a diagram that illustrates the interrelationships among many of the Mellon-funded technology initiatives. Each node in the diagram represents a specific initiative. The lines reflect relationships between and among the nodes.
At OIT’s Lunch ‘n Learn on October 25, Kevin Guthrie ’84 discussed the new forces and organizations emerging from today’s rapidly evolving networked economy that pose new challenges for the academic enterprise and for our scholarly projects. He highlighted some of the major forces from the commercial information economy that are “colliding” with the prevailing approaches of the scholarly community. The collision of the world of networked digitized information, with its new methods of access and formats of communication, introduces challenging questions of scale, scope and control for the academy.
Guthrie is the president of Ithaka, a not-for-profit organization committed to helping accelerate the adoption of productive and efficient uses of information technology for the benefit of the worldwide higher education community. Ithaka is affiliated with JSTOR and ARTstor.