Crowd-Sourced Legal Database: Use Technology to Think Like a Lawyer

Presented by: Mariam Morshedi

Subscript, a nonprofit organization, has recently launched a website to provide a means of free legal education to the general public.  The site is a “wiki” model, which, like Wikipedia, allows the general public to enter information about laws, regulations and cases.  This site has the potential to be a free and entirely publicly-sourced legal database.

This workshop will teach the audience about the issues of using an open-source model for a subject like law, which must be very accurate.  The presenters, members of Subscript, will outline the organization’s start-up efforts (i.e. adding startup content and gaining a certain amount of viewership so the site will catch-on).  The audience will learn how the site’s format and fields for content-entry ensure correctness of the information entered.

Barriers to information access are very strong in the legal field.  This results from the cost of entry into the legal profession, barriers to legal certification, the history of legal jargon, and other socio-economic factors.  We have the technology today to break-down some of these barriers by encouraging non-lawyers to educate themselves about law and giving them the tools traditionally retained by the legal elite.   This presentation will show how an open source format can encourage the public to “learn by doing.”

Using Knowledge Games: Helping Students Co-Create Knowledge through Games

Presented by: Karen Schrier

Can games teach us knowledge we already know and also create new knowledge? Can games enable students to participate in knowledge-making—even in the K-12 classroom?

In this proposed workshop, we will play, discuss, and critique a number of games, such as Foldit, Reverse the Odds, EteRNA, and Happy Moths–all games that enable large-scale human problem solving and contribute new knowledge. These types of games, which I call Knowledge Games, help everyday players create new insights through a game, such as how proteins fold.

Knowledge Games are particularly relevant to the classroom—whether K-12 or college—because they enable players to directly create knowledge. K-12 teachers have involved their students in citizen science projects; for example, helping to categorize galaxies in Galaxy Zoo, or sift through sand to find fossils in Sharkfinder. Can classrooms also incorporate games in the same way?

Participants of this workshop will get a basic understanding of Knowledge Games, their purpose and goals, and their limits and potentials. We will discuss ways to incorporate the games into the classroom, and begin to discuss the open questions, challenges, and opportunities that remain for these types of games. For example, what are the privacy issues? How can we trust data collected from students? Are certain types of knowledge-related questions more relevant to games (scientific versus social/humanistic?)? Will students be as excited about these types of games as ones on their consoles at home? What can we do to motivate students to contribute to solving real-world problems through games? Are there ways of designing and implementing Knowledge Games that are particularly effective?

Participants will leave with:

(1) An understanding of Knowledge Games

(2) Useful tips on how to use these types of games in the classroom

(3) Strategies on managing the limits, drawbacks, and challenges of these games.

‘RICH’ Learning: A Challenge-Based Learning Approach to Learning Design Processes

Presented by: Maaike Bouwmeester

Students intending to work in professional design fields (e.g. architecture, educational design, engineering, product design) require a rich understanding of the multifaceted, team-based design processes they are most likely to encounter in their professions. The RICH (Relevance, Inquiry and Challenge in Higher-Ed) learning approach addresses this need by leveraging inquiry-based learning pedagogy, combined with easy to use learning tools to document and present project progress as well as provide timely feedback, transparency and opportunities for reflection. Through this process, students learn to integrate contrasting (and sometimes contradictory) examples as well as gain an appreciation for designing, implementing and evaluating ideas in varied real world contexts.

Session will include:

  • Overview: Become acquainted with the guiding principles behind the RICH learning approach, the research that supports this approach, how the approach may be adapted, examples of student work, common pitfalls and tips to prevent them, role of the instructor, technology, etc.
  • Q&A: questions, reactions, audience experience with constructivist and challenge based learning
  • Activity: Purpose 1) To gain some hands on experience and 2) explore how you might adapt this approach for your needs
  • Final reflections/Q&A
  • All session participants will be invited to become a member of the online resource and learning community around the RICH learning approach

Gamifying the Classroom with Character-Driven Technologies

Presented by: Christina Bazemore

Technology has forever changed the way we interact with information. Kids today are more comfortable with touch screens than pencils and workbooks. In fact, they probably can’t even remember life before computers became pervasive.

This new emphasis on technology has given rise to the “gamification” of learning. But for many teachers, what, how and why to implement a gamified approach is a mystery.

In this session, an education technology expert will share how elementary-level teachers can leverage customizable, animated characters to provide game-like learning experiences. Using specific software such as Voki, Tellagami and Duck Duck Moose, the presenter will show different ways teachers can leverage character-driven lessons and activities to engage students and facilitate the learning process for various learning styles.

Learn more about Voki by visiting If you have any questions regarding Voki, you can drop Content Development Coordinator Christina Bazemore an email at

Instant Relevance, Using Today’s Experiences in Tomorrow’s Lessons

Presented by: Denis Sheeran

Classes are too often guided by textbooks and dry course materials. But every day teachers experience moments that can and should be used in their classrooms the very next day. Instant Relevance is the idea of using today’s experiences in tomorrow’s lessons. We have reached a point where the question “when am I going to use this in real life” has become a joke among teachers and students. With the technology available and constantly growing, teachers can change that question to one of wonder. “Where in your life did you get THAT from?” And this time, we’ll have an answer.

Connecting Beyond the Classroom: Engaging Students in a Film Festival

Presented by: Michelle Brannen

At the University of Tennessee, Librarians and Residence Hall Assistants teamed up to host a film festival for residence hall students. Goals of the program focused increasing community among students in residence halls as well as increasing knowledge of library resources. In this brief presentation, we will share our goals for the program, tips for hosting a 1-day film festival, and outcomes from our event based on feedback from participants. Join us as we explore the benefits of engaging students outside the classroom using a film festival model.

Designing at the Intersection of Theory, Content, & Pedagogical Experience

Presented by: Steven Greenstein and Justin Olmanson

Each of the presenters is currently teaching a new course to pre-service or in-service teachers that engages them in making/designing practices and processes to develop design thinking while designing new tools to support learning in their content areas. Together, these classes have students exploring theories of how people learn, how people make meaning in interaction with physical and digital tools, how tools shape and guide processes, and how the physical nature of embodied doing has a transformative impact on thinking. With the use of Human Centered Design supported via 3D printing, littleBits, Makey Makey and other prototyping supplies, thinking and making are mutually informing, freeing the students to rapidly prototype and change their designs as their ideas evolve over time. Making and doing are an orientation, a way of being and thinking about the world. These ways of being lead to new ideas leveraging emerging technologies which lead to actual design experiments in embodied, networked, and tool-centric engagement that we understand as meaningful learning, centered in the direct experience of domain-related activity.

SESSION STRUCTURE: The presenters will illustrate features of their two courses with particular emphases on the roles that making and designing take and the range of theories that are informing them. They will present some student projects along with the technologies that were used to create them. Then, the audience will be given time to play with these technologies while they imagine how they might make use of them to support teaching and learning.

TAKE-AWAYS: As a result of their engagement in the “play” portion of the presentation, participants should leave the session with seeds of ideas about how they might establish, design, and then make use of a design lab to support teaching and learning.

How Might Multimodality Help Learners of Chinese Overcome a Centuries-Old Problem

Presented by: Justin Olmanson

This presentation outlines a design proposal for adapting multimodal technologies and artifacts to develop a plugin for Chinese character input that supports non-native Chinese language learners in the acquisition and use of Chinese characters in digital settings based on their phonemic understanding of the language.

The study of Chinese is vital from a global political, economic, cultural, and historical perspective. With manufacturing as well as an increasing share of the world’s knowledge economy connected to China Hong Kong, and Taiwan maintaining or gaining an economic, academic, and political edge can be found in part through the acquisition of Chinese language and literacy.

For learners whose first language is of indo-european origin, learning Chinese presents several challenges. The low number of cognates between English and Chinese for example, the unfamiliar tonal nature of the Chinese language, and the unique cultural differences borne out in the language all create obstacles to language acquisition for Western learners. If one is able to overcome these issues, differences in the writing systems often stymie, diminish, delay, or derail Western students—stopping them from becoming literate in Chinese.

Chinese characters are part of a system without one-to-one symbol-sound correspondence, this coupled with the complex nature of writing Chinese characters leaves speakers of Western languages with the need to learn what seems to be two languages: (1) the spoken language, and (2) the written one—with the written one coming via rote memorization largely unsupported by language gains made on the listening comprehension and spoken side.

These challenges are so great for non-native speakers that in the 1950s a phonetic writing system for Chinese called Pinyin was developed to support learners in the early stages of their Chinese language acquisition. The system was so helpful that it was adopted for use with Chinese elementary school students to support their path to literacy as well.

While Pinyin has indeed made learning Chinese a more achievable goal for first and second language learners, the disconnect between the spoken and phonetic Chinese language and the character system remains a major impeding factor in restricting students in the US and Western world in becoming fully literate in Chinese and thus gaining political, cultural, and economic access that it affords.

In this presentation we* describe the challenges of becoming literate in Chinese and offer up a design approach meant to leverage emerging digital technologies in supporting students via their listening comprehension, speaking skills.

*The use of ‘we’ in the abstract gives credit to Xianquan Liu, and Shawn Hellwege who are also on the project team and, while not presenting, have contributed to the project.

Corpora as Digital Humanities Tools for Learning Foreign Languages

Presented by: Iryna Dilay

One of the major advantages of a language corpus as a digital humanities tool is the natural language occurrences stored and preprocessed for future applications. Sinclair’s claim that “one does not study all of botany by making artificial flowers” (1991, 6) has become the quintessence of a corpus methodology as purely empirical. Corpus resources are particularly beneficial for those who rely on descriptive, rather than prescriptive approaches to language.

The focus of the current research is on the efficiency of the electronic corpora for learning foreign languages. The essence of the methodology is in building up one’s own rules and inferences given vast empirical evidence. A number of user-friendly corpus tools, such as concordancers, taggers, parsers, frequency counts can facilitate, accelerate and validate an information search for a learner-centered data-driven language classroom as well as for self-study. Annotated language corpora contain valuable samples of both written and oral phonetic, semantic, morphological, syntactic and pragmatic information. Among the most problematic language issues that can be tackled with the help of corpora are learning synonyms, word polysemy, collocations, semantic prosody, prepositions, word order, register and genre peculiarities, and language variation. Attested e-corpora as open sources are especially beneficial for the foreign language learners who lack direct exposure to the natural language they study.

Overall, the corpus-driven language learning proves to be a dynamic and largely cognitive method whereby the learners’ motivation can be significantly enhanced. Nonetheless, the limitations of using corpora in language learning, and the potential pitfalls arising from their uncritical use will be also addressed in the presentation.

Setting the PACE—Engaging and Motivating Students Utilizing Differentiation

Presented by: Kathryn Jones-Pisano

Students now come to us possessing a wide range of academic abilities and learning styles.  Being able to meet students–from kindergarten to college–where they are “at” and to engage them through differentiation is critical to helping our students acquire the basic skills and higher order thinking abilities to help them become college and career ready.  This session’s objective is to inspire teachers to return to their classrooms and try the differentiation strategies and games in which they participate during 2/3 of the session. A brief overview of learning modes and multiple intelligences will be conducted and then conference participants will explore how the four cornerstones of engagement through differentiation—Positivity, Attention, Connections and Efficacy—can help them engage students. Session participants will experience an immediately usable teaching strategy for two of the four cornerstones.

The 45-minute session will be broken into three segments. During the first fifteen minutes, the presenter will explore the key concepts of Time To Teach’s differentiated instructional approach and the importance of utilizing differentiated instruction to engage individual students through their stronger learning styles (because one size just doesn’t fit all) and to encourage strengthening less dominant ones.  Participants will be encouraged to share experiences and insights through a jigsaw format.

For the second segment, participants will engage in an experiential activities on utilizing the 5-Whys and “I Do-We Do-You Do” as teaching strategies to explore promoting divergent thinking and Positive feelings, a precursor to individual risk taking and classroom engagement.

The third section will focus on promoting Attention through multi-sensory storytelling. Participants will engage in a story telling activity to demonstrate how to teach recall thinking utilizing this multisensory approach. During this segment, they will participate in an five-point story presentation on study strategies and then will discuss how to close this high-energy interpersonal activity with an intrapersonal writing prompt to solidify learning. The session will close with a brief question and answer period.