2007 Student Research Projects Displayed in the Cyber Gallery
by Joe Savrock (September 2007)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – For the third straight year, a cohort of students in the World Campus Teacher Leadership program displayed representations of their master’s projects in the Cyber Gallery.
The Cyber Gallery is an innovative virtual platform that was first opened two years ago for students in the program’s final course—EDLDR 596, Individual Studies—to present their master’s research projects.
This year, the Cyber Gallery opened its doors for three days in August to allow course members and guests to view the projects and interact with the authors. “The students were on hand at scheduled times to discuss their work either by e-mail or by Elluminate Live, which allowed session attendees to come together synchronously,” said Iris Striedieck, assistant professor of educational leadership.
“The student projects are more sophisticated now, due both to our faculty’s increased knowledge of and experience with online teaching and to students’ increasing comfort with technology,” continued Striedieck. “The design of the Cyber Gallery helped illustrate their work, piqued the interest of the visitors, and allowed for dynamic interactions. Students created representations of their final masters’ projects, typically in the form of a PowerPoint slide show. They then interacted with visitors either by e-mail—staying close to their inbox to respond to queries in a timely manner—or by synchronous online conference.”
PowerPoint was the platform of choice for Patricia Ward, recent graduate of the program, whose presentation was titled A Pedagogy of Peace: Educating for Social Justice. “I am going to implement some of the work I did for my master’s project in my classes this year,” said the 7th-grade teacher of World Geography at Harvard, Mass. “We are using the theme of carbon footprints as we ‘travel’ about the world. We looked at various gross domestic products (GDPs), life expectancy, and literacy levels of countries around the world. Next we’ll look at the correlation between high/low GDP and high/low carbon footprints.”
Ward said that during the Cyber Gallery sessions, she enjoyed sitting in on the “e-lives” of the others in her EDLDR 596 class. “I thought they did a great job of articulating what they hoped to accomplish and the process they went through to complete their master’s projects,” she said.
Earlier in the summer, all College faculty and staff received an invitation from the World Campus Teacher Leadership Faculty—Bernard Badiali, Deb Freedman, Dan Marshall, Jim Nolan, and Striedieck—via the College’s listserv. Although the live sessions now are completed, the students’ representations are still available online.
Once in the Cyber Gallery Museum, a visitor can print a copy of the handbill by clicking the lower left icon, “Print Handbill.” Click “Go To Exhibits,” in the lower right corner, to officially enter the Gallery. From here, the visitor can “walk left or right” or simply click a presenter’s name and go directly to that exhibit and follow its accessing prompts.
The Penn State College of Education serves approximately 2,800 undergraduate and 1,200 graduate students each year. The College prepares administrators, counselors, psychologists and researchers, as well as K-12 teachers in 21 different specialty areas. All of the College of Education graduate programs, that are ranked by the U.S. News & World Report, appear at least in the top 15, with six programs in the top ten.The College's Higher Education Administration program is ranked 1st and the Workforce Education and Development program is ranked 2nd. The College is known nationally for its education research and outreach, housing such centers as the Center for the Study of Higher Education, the Center for Science and the Schools, the Mid-Atlantic Center for Mathematics Teaching and Learning, and the Regional Education Laboratory--Mid-Atlantic.