PolyTeach event will allow faculty to learn from students

By Guillermina Rodriguez

Technology is moving faster than ever and has been integrated into the educational system like never before. Students are now able to use their phones for research and online companies like Khan Academy, aid students in the classroom.

On Friday, students will be able to share their experiences and join the conversation about technology and its influence on teaching, learning and research at Cal Poly Pomona’s PolyTeach event. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Bronco Student Center and is free of charge. Lunch will also be provided.

“We older people would like to call you guys natives of [the] Internet, natives of [the] digital world, and we are immigrants of the digital world because we were more used to print or printed materials,” said Ray Wang, dean of the university library and member of the PolyTeach Organizing Committee. “We really want to look up to the students and see what we can learn from you.”

According to Wang, the hope is that, through this event, the campus community can showcase what students and faculty are already doing, in terms of technology, as well as learn about new applications and devices.

“This impacts everyone and we understand that the way faculty and staff use technology might be different than the way students use it,” said Richard Lapidus, dean of the College of Business and co-chair of the PolyTeach Organizing Committee. “We know that students are tech savvy and multi-taskers and we are trying to find ways to incorporate this into their learning.”

This is the second year CPP will host the PolyTeach event. Unlike last year’s event, student involvement will play a big role this year.

“We recognize that in some ways some students are more advanced than the faculty when it comes to experimenting with technologies,” said Michael Woo, dean of the College of Environmental Design and co-chair of the PolyTeach Organizing Committee. “We want to try to infuse the symposium with the energy the students will be bringing.”

During the event, students will demonstrate how they use technology. Students will also have the chance to be involved in technology “speed dating.”

“[During the speed dating] students will be talking about how they use things like Drop Box or other specific software or programs, but in rapid fire succession so that participants will be able to talk to several people who are using technology in innovative ways,” said Woo.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Vikki Costa, a Science and Education professor at CSU Fullerton. Due to her expertise in infusing technology into the classroom and her excellent presentation skills, both Lapidus and Woo feel she will bring valuable information to this year’s event.

Costa will also be the moderator for the event and students and faculty will have opportunities to ask questions and make comments that will then be used to lead the PolyTeach Organizing Committee in a new direction for next year’s event.

Last quarter, CPP had the opportunity to have Salman Khan, creator of Khan Academy, speak on campus. PolyTeach will serve as an outlet for discussion about some of the points Khan brought up and what the campus’ answer is to Khan’s views of education.

“It was obvious that his visit struck a chord both on campus and”off campus,” said Woo about Khan’s previous appearance at CPP.

According to Lapidus, the spirit of PolyTeach is to try to approach the issue of technology from a variety of different perspectives and to create campus-wide conversations. The goal is to have a conversation and to start to formulate a direction for technology at CPP and find the funds and means to make happen.

“We are going to have people in the room who are very tech savvy; we are going to have people in the room who are novices and then everything in between,” said Lapidus.


Natalie Diaz/The Poly Post


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