Orlando: Student Engagement & ACCESS updates

I really wanted to blog the entire time we were in Orlando, but unfortunately my little laptop completely stopped working on Wednesday. I was actually without technology, at least the access to tech that I’m used to, for several days. I felt alarmed at first, and then resigned to my fate, and finally kind of relieved! I did not answer e-mail, post on the blog, check my Facebook, or anything else for four solid days. It felt refreshing; like doing a cleanse!

But now, back to business:

The ACCESS day was full of many activities from morning til night. We began the day with a lovely breakfast sponsored by Cengage Learning. A big thank you goes out to Kara Kindstrom and all our friends at Cengage.

We started the morning sessions with a TeamUP presentation by presenter Victoria La Placa Basnett on active learning. I am happy to say that this was a very engaging presentation! I personally have been to many presentations on higher education that focused on “active learning” and “engagement” that did not employ the techniques the presenter was talking about. This was not the case with Ms. La Placa Basnett’s talk. She had us really thinking and participating. One of the points that I took away from the talk is to think about our era in terms of when we went to school and then think about today’s students and how different things are for them particularly in terms of the information they have access to through their laptops and phones. I also thought it was helpful to think about what motivated us to go to undergrad and what might be motivating our students to be in our classes – it may be very different!


I also appreciated that the presenter understood that we were an audience filled with faculty. She demonstrated how to prepare a presentation and then, based on the feedback from the participants, she was able to skillfully move through the presentation seamlessly. I think this was a wonderful example of active engagement. In order to engage learners, it is so important that we remain responsive to them throughout the session. It felt tailor-made to our learning needs – which is a real treat!

During the second part of the morning session, I talked for a bit about various ACCESS updates. For two different presentations, I tried something new which is called Prezi. I mentioned this in a previous post.

Well, I don’t think it was a complete failure…but I certainly need to practice my navigation skills! I think I figured out that if you minimize the wording on the presentation, the zoom effect is not as dramatic and hopefully will minimize that dizzying feeling caused by all the zooming in and zooming out.

Click here to view the ACCESS updates Prezi. Once you click the link, you can click the play button for each piece of the presentation. There is a plus and minus sign you can use to zoom in or out on each section. Try it out and see what you think!

Updates, in brief:

  1. ACCESS has launched the newly revised website, please save the following address in your favorites file as this is now the “go to” place for all things having to do with Associate Degree Early Childhood Teacher Education. www.accessece.com
  2. The blog, has become a good source of ongoing information about ACCESS activities but also in terms of a place to share ideas. As of today’s date, this blog has 36 posts, and 45 followers (subscribers). Our biggest day was October 11, 2011 when we had 112 views. This is great! I was very pleased to hear from so many ACCESS members that they find the blog to be helpful. If you are interested in writing for the blog, please contact me directly at cnepstad65@gmail.com I would very much like to see more ACCESS members sharing things this way.
  3. Partnerships: ACCESS has partnerships with ECADA, NAECTE, CONNECT, and Voices of Practitioners. Please stay tuned for future blog posts about each partnership.
  4. ACCESS is in the process of developing a Handbook of Assessment in Associate Degree Early Childhood Teacher Education. I am spending my sabbatical working on this project! So far, I am in the process of finishing a literature review with annotated bibliography about “assessment of student learning in higher education” with an emphasis on “ECE teacher preparation in Associate Degree programs”, when available (not much assessment research out there focused on our specific field within the community college framework). The second half of the handbook will consist of practical applications including sample rubrics and assessment plans as well as a variety of stories about how various programs make use of assessment data.

This is where you come in! We need more samples. Please send your rubrics, key assessments, assessment plans or reports, to my e-mail cnepstad65@gmail.com

The goal is to make the Handbook an open educational resource, which means that we are freely sharing what is written and what is contributed. We are not working through a professional publisher or charging a fee, we are simply pooling our resources to develop our own handbook in an effort to provide the most current research and practices to fellow ACCESS members. By the way, one of the most brilliant examples of an open educational resource is one I use with my son and recommend to my students. It’s called Khan Academy and if you haven’t seen this before, I encourage you to check it out.  If you want a really good summary of what Khan Academy is and a striking example of the potential of open educational resources, please take a few minutes to check out this TED talk which explains it really well. Save it for later if you don’t have time now, but all of us should be aware of this powerful (and free) resource. Enjoy!

That describes the first half of the morning!


2 Responses to “Orlando: Student Engagement & ACCESS updates”

  1. 1 Dawn Levasseur November 9, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Carrie, this is all so exciting! I wish I had been there, but plan to be in IN in June. Is there a way we can see the keynote address? It is a topic of great interest to so many. Thanks! Dawn

  2. 2 cnepstad November 9, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Hi Dawn!
    I don’t have the presentation but Victoria has sent me the reference page which gives you a good feel for what was discussed and what we saw that spurred our thinking. Some of the video clips, which you will see on the reference page, were really thought provoking. I hope this is helpful.

    look forward to seeing you in June!

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