CSUB Education professor Penny Swenson and Dirk Baron, professor of Geology, attended the Google Faculty Institute at the “Googleplex” in Mountain View last week. They were part of a group of about 35 faculty from the CSUs, UC Berkeley, and Stanford. The purpose of the institute was to explore ways to use technology in university teacher training programs.
At the conclusion of the institute, Swenson and Baron were awarded one of ten $20,000 grants that will provide seed funding for exploring how to use geospatial technologies such as Google Earth, GIS, and GPS in teacher training. CSUB is the lead on this project with three other faculty from San Diego State University and Sonoma State University as collaborators.
“There is so much technology available to educators today, but unless they learn how to use it effectively, it does little to change what is happening in our classrooms,” according to this post about the Faculty Institute on the Official Google Blog. “Without the right training and inspiration, interactive displays become merely expensive projection screens, and laptops simply replace paper rather than shifting the way teachers teach and students learn.”