Innovation Showcases

University of Malta (Valletta Campus)

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Stavros Pitsikalis, Research Associate, Department of Preschool Education Sciences and Educational Design, University of the Aegean , Dodekanisa, Greece

Expanding Critical Thinking Components in Foreign Language Instruction: A Model for Leveraging Nontraditional Contemporary Sources

Innovation Showcase
Weihsun Mao  

The comfort of constant change from one technology to another often masks the lack of critical thinking components in well-established curricular content. Our efforts are centered on “how” to use new techs at the expense of the “what” of our respective disciplines. However, learners of all ages must be taught ‘how to think, not what to think’, as the scholastic mission of gaining critical thinking and problem-solving skills is perpetual, and importantly can also improve the engagement even of material that lacks an obvious critical thinking component. This paper attempts to explore how to draw on materials on the WWW and social media to supply the ‘what’ for learning ‘how’ to think. It argues that one route to increase students' ability to think critically, deeply, and constructively, learners need to be exposed to a variety of perspectives and experiences, which social media/www offer to a greater extent than prescribed textbooks and traditional teaching material. I will present a model, based on experiences obtained from teaching at a Californian Community College, for exploring web resources that can provide substantial, diverse, and relatable content feed for developing critical thinking ability while simultaneously improving foreign language competency. It features examples of talks and speeches on social media that provide students with true voice, choice, and a wider audience for students to engage. It demonstrates technologies employed to overcome difficulties of converting the non-traditional raw materials into lessons that are learnable and digestible at the learner’s language level. Finally, it discusses the pedagogical devices.

Using a Medicine Wheel Logic Model Approach to Native American Studies Program Development View Digital Media

Innovation Showcase
Martin Reinhardt,  Joe Lubig  

Using a Medicine Wheel Logic Model (MWLM) approach to Native American studies program development is one way that the Northern Michigan University Center for Native American Studies draws on local Indigenous cultural traditions to help guide their efforts. The MWLM used in these efforts comes from Anishinaabe cultural traditions. It incorporates identification, planning, implementation, and reflection. A focal point of this session will be the Native American Studies Sustainable Online Programming Project (NASSOPP). NASSOPP was partially a response to the COVID pandemic and the need to pivot to an online presence in order to sustain curriculum delivery during a time of crisis.

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