As part of this project the PITFs created Zeega (www.zeega.com). Zeega enables individuals and organizations to create nonlinear digital narratives that seamlessly combine photos, videos, text, audio and maps from public APIs.
An interactive word game was created in Flash, as an engaging way students that could practice casual conversation in French. The game provided audio examples and students had to pick the correct choice. Students played in sound-match format to test themselves in a lower pressure, fun way on...
TFs, working as PITFs, conducted live online office hours. Using the web conferencing software, they could talk and text chat, share a program or a view of their computer desktop, and illustrate concepts on a whiteboard.
The goals of the project were to research, identify, and make available the relevant readings and images to help students comprehend and learn about the gradual expansion of architectural theory and achievement in France during the 17th and 18th centuries. The PITF developed a course iSite that housed a rich collection of scholarly articles and images for the course for yearly re-purpose.
The PITF team built on Skrtic’s article to transform it into a supported, digital reading environment that benefits the diversity of students in the course. Using BookBuilder, a free tool created by the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), PITFs embedded the following features into the reading environment: a) A “TextHelp Toolbar” that offered students text-to-speech, highlighting features, and translation tools b) A multimedia glossary of key terms Links to resources that activated or supplied background knowledge c) Prompts for comprehension and reflection. The resource was available on the course iSite to all students in the class. The resource served two purposes: first, it modeled pedagogical concepts about implementing inclusive education and showed that this work could be done using tools that were freely available and easy to use. Secondly, it assisted students in better understanding the concepts in the article itself.
During the live class, Professor Murnane generated economic inputs based on responses from the students themselves, and then examined how the new data influenced the model in question. For instance, he asked students questions about the demand for private schooling. Each question changed an input: the cost of the private school, the quality of the public school alternative, etc. In one particular scenario, he asked students how much they'd be willing to pay to attend a private school. The PITF then used the response data to generate different demand curves (for private schooling) based on how the responses changed with each new piece of information. Students were able to see that demand curves shifted in the way that the theory predicted. This innovation helped students see that economic theory is generated based on real-world consumer behavior.
The PITF project used an external wiki as an online platform to post and share findings about technology in the urban context. Combining a course wiki with a mobile media gaming platform called Mscape, students were able to communicate and trace their location positions using their GPS-enabled mobile phones or PDAs. Various media files were activated as they moved from location to location.
PITFs worked with the professor to select historical and contemporary maps from the Pusey Library and developed a module that allowed students to view maps from the various historical periods covered in the course. The maps showed the development of the city over time, and included hot spots linked to pages containing more information, images, and links to additional resources.
Each module included background information on the topic and the related aspect of visual culture, recommendations for further reading, slide carousels with additional works of art from the Harvard Art Museum as well as other sources, an assignment (requiring close viewing and analysis of a work of art), and notes for the teaching staff. The modules were designed to serve as the basis for a section or short paper assignment but were also made flexible enough for easy adaptation for other uses, including assigned reading and viewing, or student self-study.