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Pedagogy with Technology

To celebrate Digital Learning Day, set for Friday, March 13, Keuka College, in conjunction with the Flipped Learning Network, the Alliance for Excellent Education, and the Keuka College Center for Teaching and Learning, will host a presentation fair that features technology tools and resources, and highlights the innovative ways Keuka College students and faculty use digital learning in the classroom.

Two members of the Keuka College faculty will open their classroom doors to allow members of the College community and the public to see how students are using digital learning and technology in the classroom.

Nicholas Koberstein, instructor of child and family studies, will host an open house session in conjunction with the Flipped Learning Network and a digital learning presentation; the flipped classroom open house covering adolescent development will be held in Hegeman Hall room 104 from 9-10 a.m. His digital learning presentation session, on the use of cell phones in the classroom, will be from noon-12:45 p.m. in the Accelerated Studies for Adults Program (ASAP) conference room, located on the second floor of Keuka Business Park in Penn Yan. 

Nicholas Koberstein

“My flipped learning open house will showcase some of the ways that students set up their discussions, and the professionalism they convey while mediating the discussion,” said Koberstein. “My teaching style revolves around creating an optimal learning environment, which is when students feel like they matter, when students’ unique learning styles are acknowledged, when students’ concerns are heard, when students are able to take risks, and when students are modeled flexibility.”

Part of that flexibility—and example of how a flipped classroom could work—resulted from a lack of student motivation and poor attendance on Fridays, “so I created ‘no work Friday,’ in an attempt to motivate and revive Friday classes,” Koberstein said. “No work Friday is a student-led, student-prepared discussion-based class meant to be an open, accepting, and thrilling class meeting. Students are in control of the topic, and discussion, and the feedback on no work Friday has been excellent, and is usually students’ favorite part of class.”

Enid Bryant, assistant professor of communication studies, will be hosting a digital learning open house. Bryant will use her Understanding Digital Communication course for her digital learning open house. Her class begins at 2:30 p.m. in Lightner Library computer lab 001.

“The flipped learning classroom open house will allow members of the College and surrounding community to come into our two classrooms and learn along with the students,” said Koberstein. “We want this day to be about students’ learning styles and outcomes by showing off their digital learning skills. We want to showcase the things our students can do with technology to enhance their particular style of learning.”

Part of that learning could be a blend of a flipped classroom and a traditional classroom, such as Bryant uses for her Understanding Digital Communication class. 

Enid Bryant

“Every day, we discuss topics central to media literacy, as that is the focus of the course,” said Bryant. “We use digital tools, such as social media, blogs and Moodle, to communicate outside of the classroom and share work. During my open house, we will discuss how to be critical consumers and producers of Wikipedia. My students will become Wikipedians, which is what the site calls its editors.”

According to Koberstein, more Keuka College faculty “seem to be trying the idea of a flipped classroom to get students to be self-initiated learners. Most of the work is done outside of the classroom and when we get into class, we work on projects and application of what they have learned outside the classroom. It provides room to expand what they learn inside the classroom and I think it brings students to higher levels of learning.”

So does Bryant.

“At times, it is very effective to flip a class, especially when I want to use the class time to work on production of digital projects or discussion of topics,” said Bryant.

For example, recently students in Bryant’s Understanding Digital Communication class focused on the upcoming FCC Net Neutrality debate, which she believes is crucial for young people to understand, as they are likely to be the ones most impacted by this regulation.

“On their own time, the students researched the topic, wrote blogs and tweeted about the FCC Net Neutrality vote,” she said. “We were then able to spend valuable class time clarifying what Net Neutrality really means and how it could impact them. They came to class well prepared to converse and actually debate a heavy topic because of the independent learning they did outside of the classroom.” 

Denise Love

Denise Love, associate professor of education and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, who also teaches a flipped learning class, agrees.

“I believe the method empowers students to be responsible for their own learning, and guides them to a deeper level of a given concept,” she said, as flipped learning allows direct instruction moving from the group learning space to the individual learning space.

The resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter. Digital learning can be used for professional learning opportunities for teachers and to provide personalized learning experiences for students.

Laurel Hester

Jason McKinney

Two other faculty members, Laurel Hester, assistant professor of biology, and Jason McKinney, assistant professor of social work, will also be presenting. Hester will discuss the use of Moodle, an open-source software program used by Keuka College students for their class work, from 11-11:45 a.m. in the ASAP conference room.  McKinney will present “Taking it to a new level: A DIY approach to blending towards online” from 1:15-2 p.m. also in the ASAP conference room. In McKinney’s presentation, he will share work-arounds for finding efficient, flexible, and relatively easy ways for managing classes while also preparing for a future goal of blending face-to-face and online learning. By using devices and technologies comfortable for him as a starting point, McKinney has found some simple strategies to develop online lectures.

According to, Love, the idea of having a digital learning day presentation fair came out of a faculty retreat held in January.

“After the retreat, Nancy Marksbury [special assistant to the president and director of digital learning] sent a survey to find out how those in attendance felt about the retreat,” said Love. “Many people said they liked the sessions they went to, but wished they could attend more. So we wondered what we could do to keep the momentum going. I think people see digital learning simply as technology, but in all reality it is about student learning in which educators use technology as a tool to guide students to a better understanding. ”

Digital Learning Day, started in 2012, is a national celebration that features innovative ways educators are incorporating digital resources into the classroom. Digital learning strives to create student experiences that maximize the many learning opportunities available through technology. In its fourth year, this national campaign celebrates educators and the potential of technology in education for learning and teaching.

The flipped classroom open houses and participation in Digital Learning Day “is a great opportunity to see what kinds of digital learning are happening every day on the Keuka College campus,” added Bryant.

Local and regional public and private school educators, administrators, and students are invited to attend Keuka College’s flipped classroom open house and presentations. Space is limited so reservations are advised. Reservations for Koberstein’s classroom can be made online at Those wishing to attend other presentations can email Dr. Love at

For more information about the Flipped Learning Network, visit

For more on Digital Learning Day, visit

Seeing Italy Through New Eyes

Venice at sunset (photo by Melissa Newcomb)

In the digital age we live in, the Sistine Chapel isn’t farther than a quick Google search away. Photographs of the ceiling there have richer detail than ever before, information about Michelangelo is available at one’s fingertips on a multitude of websites and inside a plethora of books. But is seeing it on a screen or on a page really the same?

Not if you ask Ann Tuttle, professor of management and one of three faculty members who supervised a group Field Period™ to Florence, Venice and Rome the week after Commencement for 16 Keuka College students.

“It’s not the same to read about it as to experience it,” Tuttle said, contrasting the biweekly meetings members of the group held over months of preparation, to learn history, art, culture, and language with the 10 days the group spent in Italy itself.

“Seeing the things we’d learned about for ourselves was so much better and more meaningful than I could have imagined. Immersion in a culture is fulfilling and moving, it helps you to understand there is more out there than what we know,” Tuttle said.

Shawnee Brown tries her hand at making pasta.

Students and faculty who experienced the wonders of Italy together will share their experiences Monday, Sept. 29 from 5-9 p.m. at the North Education Conference Center, and will also serve refreshments. All members of the college community are invited to come and see the culmination of the trip, much of which was coordinated through Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Denise Love. Last year, Love coordinated a group Field Period™ to Vienna, Prague and the Slovakian cities of Nitra and Bratislava along with Dr. Klaudia Lorinczova, assistant professor of education, and Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art. Newcomb returned for this year’s trip, and the group also welcomed Dr. Jean Wannall, professor of occupational therapy, and her husband, Nathan Wannall, who helped serve as group Field Period™ leaders too.

Following the pattern set last year, students again kept online journals and blogs detailing their personal reflections in words and photographs.

The beauty of Capri

“I imagined Michelangelo spending all of his time in there, working on the perfect detail,” wrote Kelsey Harmer ‘15, after visiting the Sistine Chapel. “At first I was a little disappointed that we couldn’t take pictures, but it made me appreciate the artwork so much more.”

For her part, Newcomb said she was “overtaken with emotion looking at a masterpiece I had only seen in a photograph or video. I could have stayed there all day.”

The trip was educational for her too, even as a professor, she said, especially since she has always dreamed about seeing Rome after studying so much art history.

“I can now say I have seen real masterpieces. I can share the experience and passion with my students. I can reach out to students in a different way now that I have walked through Italy.  Passion will definitely be present in the classroom,” she explained.

Ann & Haley Tuttle ride an Italian gondola.

The group was able to experience making real Italian pasta, riding on gondolas in Venice, visiting Pompeii, and enjoying the beautiful waters surrounding Capri. Of course, some experiences don’t always go according to plan. For example, authentic Italian cuisine is entirely different from the Italian-American food most of the students were expecting, as Brittany Gleason ’15 discovered at an Italian restaurant where, under pressure, she ordered pizza with sausage on it.

“A few minutes later they brought out a large pizza with sliced hot dogs on it. So, today I also learned that ‘sausage’ here means our hot dogs,” Gleason wrote.

Guided daily by an Italian native named Mario, both students and chaperones wrote about their newfound love for gelato, Italy’s slightly more intense version of ice cream. While in the city of San Gimignano, the group was able to get gelato at the famous Gelateria di Piazza, which many consider the best in the world.

According to Kayla Hall ’15, they weren’t kidding.

Kayla Hall '15 gives her gelato a "quality control" test.

“I thought the other places were good,” Hall wrote. “Did you know that the best way to tell if a gelato is of good quality is to hang it upside down? If it falls off you have a lame gelato, but if it stays on, it is one of the good ones. This one stayed on!”

In addition to its rich history of food and art, Italy is also known for its considerable architectural achievements, dating back to the ruins of ancient Rome. Perhaps best-known is the four-level Coliseum, or Flavian Theater. Built of concrete and stone, the stadium was used for animal fights, staged sea battles, and the famous gladiator matches.

“When you look at the Coliseum today the floor is removed, so you are able to see where the slaves were kept before they came up for battle,” wrote Jenna Bird ’15. “This was pretty surreal to experience because we were able to see exactly where slaves were kept essentially before they were sent to their deaths.”

Excavation now reveals formerly hidden layers of the Coliseum (photo by Alyssa Ange)

“Pictures don’t do any place justice, especially when it comes to the scale of architecture,” described Newcomb. “It’s overwhelming but wonderful at the same time.  It makes you really appreciate the experience of how something so massive and beautiful was created, how all the tiny details were created by hand. Each part tells a story, and you could study it for days.”

“Even though we saw so much and maximized our time, there could never be enough time,” Tuttle said, “It made me want to go back, to see more someday.”

The Pantheon in Rome, with its citation honoring Marcus Agrippa, original founder.

“I want to say thank you to Keuka College and all of those that have supported group Field Period™, because it is a life-changing and life- enhancing experience,” Tuttle said. 

Additional students who participated in the group Field Period™ included Alyssa Ange, Shawnee Brown, Amber Callahan, Marina Kilpatrick, Brittany Kuhn, Brianna Longwell, Brooke Reynolds, Anna Tomasso, Haley Tuttle, Justin Merrill, Lakwan Alleyne-Hall and Ian Wentzel.

Keuka Students, Teachers Embrace Eastern Europe

After almost two years of modern-day “pen pal” communication via Skype, a number of Keuka College education majors finally met – in person – the Slovakian high school students they previously saw on the computer screen.

Vrable high school students meet their American online "pen pals"

This group Field Period included education majors, taught by Dr. Denise Love and Dr. Klaudia Lorinczova, both assistant professors of education, and other Keuka students, including several visual and verbal art majors taught by Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art. The Keuka Field Period is a required annual internship or exploratory study of 140 hours.

Clock Tower by Michael Fisher

Seventeen students, two faculty members and two parent chaperones traveled overseas in early June to visit the cities of Prague, Nitra, Bratislava and Vienna. Over 11 days, Newcomb directed students in photographic study of architecture and culture while Lorinczova led an exploration of Slovakian education and other unique social, political and cultural traditions of her home country and its European neighbors. Students had already gone through weeks of “pre-teaching” in advance of the trip, learning from Lorinczova a number of cultural anomalies to expect and reviewing a manual on basic digital photography with Newcomb, as well as gaining a basic understanding of architectural styles such as Baroque, Gothic or Rococo.

A last-minute foot injury kept Love confined at home, but ultimately, she was able to coordinate from the couch, helping the two professors “on the ground” navigate unexpected challenges almost as soon as they cropped up. The first biggie: severe flooding in many portions of Prague – the first stop on the trip –shortly after the group arrived. Love offered advice and assistance with the travel agency as the group moved around Prague and then on to other cities, and communicated with Newcomb and Lorinczova via daily Skype sessions.

Floods by Sarah Hillman

All three professors recommended “an anchor” back home, given the benefits gleaned in this experience. The three professors had previously structured the trip to include student reflections in words and images, utilizing online blogs as electronic journals. The blogs proved a saving grace for worried parents back home who heard news reports of the flooding much earlier than the students themselves. And while students did post a few photos of flooded streets and commentary on dealing with nonstop rains, images of cathedrals, statues, gardens, public squares, restaurants and cafes far outnumbered them.

Keuka Group on tour by Melissa Newcomb

In the words of Sarah Hillman ‘13, a final, rainy day in Prague was salvaged with a spur-of-the-moment museum tour, where the whole group saw “paintings, sculptures, and other works from Alfons Mucha and Salvador Dali. They were great!” (more…)

Beyond 9 – 5

Carol Sackett and two of her paintings, "Still Waters," left and "Sunrise," right.

By day, Penn Yan resident Carol Sackett manages the circulation desk at Lightner Library, a post she has held for 32 years. But through March 7, visitors to Keuka College can glimpse a different side of her, as seen in three oil paintings gracing the walls of Lightner Gallery.

Sackett’s paintings are on display alongside numerous other works from members of Keuka’s faculty and staff, whose job titles may not necessarily disclose the individuals as creative “artists-in-residence.”

Beyond 9 to 5: The Hidden Talents of Keuka’s Faculty and Staff runs through March 7 in Lightner Gallery,located in Lightner Library. It features  a range of artistic mediums, including painting, photography, ceramics, glass work, digital art, and film.  More than 20 faculty and staff members submitted work for the show, including President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera.

During a special artists’ reception – open to the public – Thursday, Feb. 21 from 4:30 – 6 p.m., the exhibit will also feature select culinary art from four members of the faculty and staff. The exhibit remains open daily during library hours, available online at:

Hand-painted glass by Doreen Hovey


Classroom Tech Showcase: Ready, Set, Tweet

Junior Gena Morales, of Waterloo, and Assistant Professor of Education Denise Love.

She Skypes. She shoots (video). She scores.

Denise Love, assistant professor of education, has boldly taken her classroom teaching into the next frontier – the virtual one.

In the Instructional Methods class this fall at Keuka College, students learned the ins and outs of classroom methods to teach math, science and social studies. Toward the end of the course, students practiced giving original lessons to one another, and Love integrated Twitter into the project evaluations.

At the end of each student presentation, classmates logged on to Twitter on their smart phones or laptops and posted brief comments. Concise, direct evaluations were necessary because Twitter limits postings to 140 characters.

According to Love, today’s students can best be described as digital “natives,” meaning they have been born and raised with many contemporary technology tools. By contrast, many of today’s adults, those of the Gen X and Boomer generations, are the “digital immigrants,” she said.

“Their learning is different from the way we learn,” Love explained. “We have to take the time to learn [a new technology] and that can be our downfall.”

By permitting a smart phone or laptop in the classroom, Love said she opens up a connection for student learning. Further, students using those tools can find answers quicker than if she sent them home to look up the answer to bring in the following day. Instruction that can keep students motivated and active in their learning will also prevent the distraction of checking e-mails or other electronic distractions, she said.