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Teaching With Technology

USC Dornsife professors each take a 2013 Provost’s Prize for Teaching With Technology for research in which their students use diving computers and easily accessible technologies such as YouTube, WordPress and video.

Flanked by Susan Metros (left), associate chief information officer of Technology-Enhanced Learning and associate vice provost, and Vice Provost Beth Meyerowitz, USC Dornsife faculty members David Ginsburg, James Haw and Viet Nguyen display their citations. Photo by Ian Hunter.
Flanked by Susan Metros (left), associate chief information officer of Technology-Enhanced Learning and associate vice provost, and Vice Provost Beth Meyerowitz, USC Dornsife faculty members David Ginsburg, James Haw and Viet Nguyen display their citations. Photo by Ian Hunter.

Three professors from USC Dornsife were awarded the 2013 Provost’s Prize for Teaching With Technology at the seventh annual Teaching With Technology conference held on May 6 at the Davidson Continuing Education Center.

The winners were James Haw, professor of chemistry and environmental studies, holder of the Ray R. Irani Chairman of Occidental Petroleum Chair in Chemistry, and director of the Environmental Studies program; David Ginsburg, assistant professor of environmental studies and a research associate in invertebrate zoology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County; and Viet Nguyen, associate professor of English and American studies and ethnicity, and member of the steering committee for the USC Center for Transpacific Studies.

The Provost’s Prize recognizes USC faculty members who have devised innovative methods for incorporating technology in the classroom.

“Technology has become a key component of our efforts to ensure that USC students engage with a challenging, multifaceted curriculum that encourages intellectual inquiry, reflection, and scholarship with consequence,” said Vice Provost Beth Meyerowitz, who presented this year’s awards.

Haw and Ginsburg were recognized collectively for their work with the Environmental Studies Guam and Palau program, a three-week scientific diving program during which undergraduates conducted field research on complex environmental problems in remote, underwater locations.

During their time in Guam and Palau, students in the program produced blog posts that included self-produced digital imagery and uploaded short videos based on their field research.

In the water, students used technologies, such as diving computers and automated depth and temperature loggers, as well as underwater camera systems for shooting photographs and recording video of sea life, plants and coral reefs. At field stations they worked on tablets, laptops and external drives to mine, edit and share the large data sets generated by their research.

Nguyen was recognized for demonstrating how low-tech, low-cost multimedia can be integrated into a large, general education course for students from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds.

Making use of easily accessible technologies, such as YouTube, WordPress and video, the 145 students in Nguyen’s course “The American War in Vietnam” worked in teams to interview survivors of the Vietnam War. The interviews were then posted on anotherwarmemorial.com.

The website serves a dual function as an archive for future versions of the course as well as for the greater public, a number of whom have posted comments, using the site as a resource for locating lost friends and sharing war memories.

The theme for this year’s conference was “Learning in Motion.” Speakers examined the role of technology at the nexus of mobility, learning and the health sciences.

“One of the valuable outcomes of the Teaching With Technology conference has been its effectiveness in promoting collaboration among faculty, students and staff from different schools, departments and fields on the University Park and Health Sciences campuses,” said Susan Metros, associate chief information officer of Technology-Enhanced Learning and associate vice provost.

“Notably, information technology has been expanding the boundaries of where, when and how learning takes place,” Metros said.

The event drew faculty, staff and students from 26 schools and departments.

The Teaching With Technology conference, which began in 2007, was sponsored by the Information Technology Services’ Technology-Enhanced Learning’s Center for Scholarly Technology, the Office of the Provost, the Center for Excellence in Teaching and the USC Libraries.