Wednesday, June 13, 2007

twins in new york

since sunday, i have been in new york, participating in a faculty resource network workshop at nyu. together with twenty-five other professors from all around the united states and puerto rico, i am part of a workshop called foundations of online course development. the workshop runs each day from nine to five and is facilitated by ian david aronson.

the workshop has been fairly interesting and i've learned some educational theory to bolster what i've been doing naturally in the class for over a decade. i must admit, i have little interest in distance education - time spent face to face with students in the classroom is one of the best parts of my job. but i am always interested in using digital learning environments such as blogs, wikis, and facebook to enhance, not replace, what we do in the class.

the first day we were assigned to groups and i got lucky - our group, group one, rocks. we be (left to right): perpetua ruiz (mathematics and computer science, chicago state university); me; juan martinez-colon (accounting, university of puerto rico, rio piedras); martiza sostre rodriquez (english, university of puerto rico, bayamon); and tae kim (nursing, st. joseph's college).

workshop participants' knowledge, experience, and comfort levels around computers and digital resources varies widely and ian has done a good job keeping us all on track. unfortunately, however, there is a major design flaw in the workshop's curriculum. the workshop is based not on the technology resources of participants' home colleges and universities but rather upon those found at nyu. this is extremely problematic.

for example, early in the workshop, ian was talking and said something like, "at this point, you take your project to your IT staff." a professor from puerto rico turned to me and whispered, "what is an IT staff?" another professor, also from puerto rico, told me that his university has a single lab of twenty computers for all students in four departments. "and," he added, "nearly none of my students have computers at home." it is awfully nice for nyu to host all of us but it sure is wrong to assume we have access to similar kinds of resources and staff.

the workshop ends at five and that's when the fun begins.

five months ago, my sister lisa and her husband jean had twins. through phone calls and photographs, i have tried to keep up with the lil' guys' progress but there's no substitute for seeing them face to face, holding them, and squeezing their cute little feet. they are like two little chunks of sweetness.

last night, after lisa put the twins down, we feasted. jean cooked up a delicious asparagus and shittake mushroom risotto and lisa made a salad that would make the folks at stonelake farm proud. numerous times throughout the evening, i excused myself and tip-toed into the boys' room to watch the twins sleep. with bellies full and proud parents nearby, the twins slept blissfully.


sandy said...

I'm not sure I know what IT is but looking at the photos of the twins, I definitely know what QTs are! More, more more!!!

david silver said...

hee hee.

IT stands for information technology. so "IT staff" is another way of saying "campus tech support." some schools, like NYU, apparently have elaborate staff that help profs with their projects. most schools, however, barely have enough staff to keep the computer labs up and running.

QTs, as you note, stand for the newest additions to our family, eh mom?

with luck, we'll be meeting up many more times between now and saturday and you can be sure i'll arrive with my camera. =)

jini said...

nothing is as much fun as squeezing babies, or as our kids used to say gweezing. they get cuter with each photo that appears. how nice to get to meet them in person at last!!

sarah said...

i wanna squeeze the chunks! :)

gosh, what a great trip. so glad you have the opportunity to meet the lil' guys.

Marian said...

You make the twins experience so vivid, David. I'd like to get in on the action, too. My very best to Lisa,......memories, memories!

kq said...

do those lil guys have individual names (or at least initials) that you can type on the internets?

congratulations to lisa et jean. did you snuggle with them? i sure hope you didn't scratch them too much with that all that stubbly-sexy-"shadow", uncle.