Sunday, January 01, 2012

New issues for the new year

It's been a while since the ideas bouncing around in my head were directly related to any of the topics in courses I was teaching. Coincidentally, that intersection is occurring in the coming (Spring 2012) semester. I am teaching at Austin Peay State University in the School of Technology & Public Management Criminal Justice - Homeland Security.

Towards the end of the last semester, I learned of an opportunity to supplement my endeavors with technology for the students, and applied for supplemental funds to get quite a few iPads, iPods, and related accessories. Here's the summary:
  • The overarching purpose of the proposed purchase was to provide faculty alternatives to expanding the learning environment and disseminating course and program-related material. 
  • The requested equipment will be used by department faculty to enhance and expand the learning environment for all students – both on-ground and online. 
  • The equipment will be used to create and process audio and video recordings, photographs, and other media to document the many tangible ways the community and our world reflect the many topics studied in the disciplines within the department. 
  • Students will be encouraged to create and produce digital media both individually and in groups. 
    • Examples of this include documentaries of real-world events, interviews, or role-playing to provide innovative scholarship and a sense of the available technology that can be used to augment their work in their chosen professions. 
  • Faculty will be encouraged to and assisted with increasing their understanding of the ways technology can enhance the learning environment. 
    • Examples of faculty use include recording podcasts of in-class lectures, videos of lectures and the aforementioned student endeavors, interviews, and presentations, and engaging in qualitative research to further university, college, and departmental pedagogical objectives. 
  • It is anticipated that many of the productions of these endeavors will be uploaded to public-access websites like iTunesU
  • Documentation of the continued use of this equipment and evolution of the use thereof is planned with eventual presentation in a variety of academic forums, include Austin Peay State University’s Innovative Professor conference.
We got approved, and though it was not for the whole amount, we will be able to get enough for a really good start.

This post starts the informal, public documentation of this adventure.

I have sent/will be sending out this email/post to as many of my contacts and their contacts as possible. I would love to get your assistance in this endeavor:

Seeking LE organization willing to work virtually with supervised university students. 
The goal is to give students more exposure to real officers and police administrators and fewer TV cops. 
Are you willing to partner with a handful of students with retired-LE professor oversight on a small project tailored to your department/team needs? All project ideas considered, prefer those reated to mobile technology, with no anticipated cost to your organization. 
Time commitment very flexible and easily tailored to your availability, extended over approx. 15-week semester. Please let me know what your interests and apprehensions include.
This is a nationwide & international inquiry -- communication by email, phone, etc. depending on preference of LE organization.
This will be a work in progress throughout the semester. I plan to present the rough ideas to the class and get their input on choosing groups of 3-5, designing a group project, creating a grading rubric, and then having individual students grade (assist with grading) each group project.

I plan to think out loud here, so comments and follow up would be most appreciated. If you want to get some ideas, check out Christa Miller's work at

What do you think?