Student Contribution

Digital Pedagogy Summer Institute
When Sacred Heart students become teachers

By Jaya Kannan (Director, Digital Learning)
Webpage maintained by Barbara Gerwien, Coordinator, Digital Learning
July 25, 2016

The success of the annual Digital Pedagogy Summer Institute for SHU faculty depends in no small part on the outstanding contributions made by a dedicated team of Digital Learning Student Assistants. Faculty participants have commented that they could not have built their projects in the short span of a week had it not been for the support and expertise these students offer. The 2016 Summer Institute was no different. 

The team of Sacred Heart University students was selected through a rigorous interview process by Ms. Barbara Gerwien, Coordinator, Office of Digital Learning, in consultation with faculty from Computer Science and Media Studies.  Fourteen students served in this role at 2016 Summer Institute. To prepare for this role, they undergo extensive training ahead of the Institute and gain proficiency in several digital tools and platforms. For example, in 2016, the IT department provided these students with the necessary training to use and integrate emerging technologies such as WebEx, Echo360, Flipgrid, Tackk, VoiceThread, and Google Plus communities.

Students are then assigned to specific faculty projects by the Office of Digital Learning. During the week-long Institute, the students provide classroom support for the morning workshop sessions. In the afternoons, they work collaboratively with the faculty participants to develop the teaching objects chosen by the faculty.

Under the guidance of the Summer Institute Planning Team, the Digital Learning Student Assistants work on the following:

  1. understanding the teaching scenarios for which faculty are developing digital pedagogy methodologies/practices,
  2. building awareness about the digital tools and showing faculty how specific features in the tools can support the teaching objectives,
  3. providing technical support in the classroom during the workshop sessions, and
  4. collaborating with faculty to develop projects such as video creation for lab experiments, applying Google hangouts for synchronous online communication, etc.

The videos shown on this page provide a deeper understanding of the contributions made by these students.


Intro to the Chemistry Lab - video for self-directed learning
designed by student Ms. Amanda Sialiano & Prof. Linda Farber

Faculty & Student Collaboration - Behind the Scenes
Ms. Amanda Sialiano & Prof. Linda Farber in conversation 

Student perspectives:
My experience of working at the 2016 Summer Institute 

Prof. Karen Waters, (Assistant Professor, Farrington College of Education), a 2016 Summer Institute participant had this to say about the students at the end of the Institute:

"Please extend my heartfelt thanks to the students, the real teachers this week. They undertook the task of teaching us with patience, knowledge, a deep understanding of the quirks and foibles of technology, and always with a sense of humor."

"I felt as if I had a tutor every step of the way. The learning that I took away from this week has the potential to transform my teaching, and I cannot wait to incorporate Google docs, slides, Google communities, Kahoot, Quizlet, and perhaps Tackk into my teaching. Prior to Monday, I would not have thought that I could have acquired so much information in such a short period of time."