Category Archives: Publications

Introducing Big Data into the Digital Literacy Curriculum

Last year at ISECON,  I gave a workshop about teaching Big Data to introductory IT students. Here’s an updated and slightly simplified version of the exercise we did in that workshop, modified for a class I taught last summer. Download the exercise.

 This year, my paper summarized the lesson presented to students and shared student impressions of the importance of learning about Big Data.

Next week, Bentley is holding a research colloquium where I am sharing similar ideas about ways to introduce Big Data topics to introductory students. Here’s my poster.


Annual Report

I’m spending part of this morning writing my annual activity report. Doing so gives me an opportunity to reflect on my professional accomplishments during the year and think of all the places I’ve been.


3 Ways to Reconfigure an Old Computer Lab

EdTech magazine published  my article about the making of the CIS Sandbox, and things we considered as we transformed an eleven year-old space into a campus destination for computing. Read it online.

Update: Thanks to EdTech for a framed copy of the article that’s now hanging in the CIS Sandbox.


The Huffington Post

The post on the Flipped Classroom that I wrote earlier this week for Bentley’s Impact blog was published today by The Huffington Post.


(Note:  My screenshot is adapted to show a bigger HuffPost banner and cropped from the Huffington Post page.)

I remember a conversation with my former college calculus teacher, Ray McGivney, when he visited at Bentley last year, and said “I’m teaching in a classroom with tables.”  Who knew one conversation would get me hooked? Thanks, pal.

The Flipped Classroom

I have been teaching using the “flipped classroom” model in some of my classes at Bentley, and wrote a preliminary paper about the experience which I presented at ISECON 2012 in New Orleans.  The paper received a Meritorious Writing Award .

Bentley’s IMPACT: The Power of Ideas blog, published an essay I wrote about the Flipped Classroom today. Have a read.

The first time I offered a flipped classroom activity, I asked students what they thought of the experience. One student said, “I finished the project. I learned more about Excel than I ever have in my life. To be honest, I hated it … but it sure beat a lecture.”

Smartphones: Teaching Tool or Brain Candy?

Campus Technology‘s February2012 issue includes an article that my ISECON colleagues Pat Sendall and Wendy Ceccucci wrote on the use of smart phones as teaching tools.

Here’s the full article.




Let’s get one thing straight. Smartphones are a permanent feature of college classrooms, whether you like it or not. Most students already have them, and it’s just a matter of time before the rest follow suit. From ordering a late-night pizza to posting pictures on Facebook of their roommates eating it, students rely on their phones for everything.

Yet students’ attachment to these devices is not necessarily a bad thing. Like any internet-connected computer, smartphones can play a valuable–even exciting–role in teaching and learning. What better way to reach students than via a device they treat like their significant other? At the same time, smartphones do have a dark side. They are the ultimate obsession of today’s students–a wonderland of games, friends, apps, and YouTube videos. Does the bored kid in the back row really need such easy diversions? As educators work to come to terms with these devices, the challenge will be to find ways to accentuate the positives while minimizing the distractions.