Booksprints – Future of Ed Infographics

»Posted by on Feb 18, 2013 in Spring 2013 | 0 comments

February 18, 2013

Document Developed with Tryggvi Thayer

We hope you are able to join us for our first booksprint in the production of an infographic about the future of education.  This infographic hopes to influence policy and awareness to some of the changes that are taking place in education as a result of new theories and technological developments.

This project is an initiative of the OLPD Technology Redesign Task Group (TRTG) with support from:

CEHD

Leapfrog Initiatives

GAPSA – UMN

 

Facilitator:

Tryggvi Thayer, Advanced PhD Candidate, Futurist, Policy Researcher and Education Technologist

Members of the TRTG:

Tryggvi Thayer, Advanced PhD Candidate, Futurist, Policy Researcher and Education Technologist

Daniel Woldeab, PhD, Education Technologist, IT Fellow, 2012 PSLSA Award Recipient

Matt Finholt-Daniel, MA Student, Director of Technology at Seward Inc, ICT for Development

Alfonso Sintjago, PhD Student, IT Fellow, Specialist in Open Education, EVP of GAPSA

Ahmed Essa, Compute Scientist, Technology Maintenance and Assessment for OLPD

 

What is a Booksprint:

A booksprint is an intensive collaborative activity where a group of individuals come together to create a high quality distributable or publishable work in 2-5 days.…

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Support of the Federal Dream Act and Institutional Aid – GAPSA

»Posted by on Feb 13, 2013 in Spring 2013 | 0 comments

Every year over 65,000 undocumented students graduate from college, but unlike other students they do not qualify for in-state tuition or many other support services. Due to the lack of support many of them are limited to living in the shadows, diminishing their possibilities  and the changes for developing their true potential. This handicap is not only detrimental to them but also to society as many skilled job go unfilled every year, limited the United States economic growth. GAPSA recently passed a resolution in favor of undocumented immigrants and is doing what it can to increase the support that is available to them at the University of Minnesota

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RESOLUTION: University of Minnesota Graduate and Professional Student Assembly – University of Minnesota in Support of the Federal DREAM Act and Institutionalized Aid (Modeled after a UCLA undergraduate student governance resolution from 2010)

February 13, 2013

Author: Alfonso Sintjago, Executive Vice President, Brittany Edwards, President

Topic: Public Affairs

Whereas, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly works to fairly represent student interests, needs, and welfare.…

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ICT4D and ICT4E – Applying Integrative Leadership Concepts

»Posted by on Jan 29, 2013 in Spring 2013 | 0 comments

Reflection on ICT4D and ICT4E and the Importance of Applying Integrative Leadership Concepts 

January 29, 2013

I signed up to this course to further think of ways in which we can collaboratively address grand challenges. The biggest challenge that I face in my work is how to improve educational systems in developing countries through technology. With education linked closely to health, I focused this reflection on my research. While I do not work closely with health concerns, they are present in education in two ways. First, some governments must decide whether to feed more students or hire more instructors. Secondly, education can help individuals to learn how to react to dangerous situations and improve their survival skills. Education can teach us how to survive or “how to fish”. Education is linked to health directly / short term, and indirectly / long term.

Improving educational programs through technology is a complex and daunting challenge especially when working with very limited resources and high levels of poverty in a developing country. 

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Improving Animal and Worker Health and Welfare

»Posted by on Jan 20, 2013 in Spring 2013 | 0 comments

Welfare and Impacts (Improving Animal and Worker Health and Welfare) 

Workshop (January 17, 2013) – 9:00 am to 4:30 pm – Minnesota Humanities Center

Opening and Introductions:

The discussions in Table 8 emphasized the ethics of animals, animal related diseases, the importance of food safety, veterinary medicine, and animal production practices. In general, most of the members of the panel were very knowledgeable in the subject area. Table 8 had seven members including 2 moderators. Scott works as a journal editor in veterinary medicine. Kirk is a specialist in animal related diseases. Jenifer is a dietetics student who currently works for the Beef Council. She was both the youngest and the only woman in our group apart from Sue who was one the moderator. Another member of the group was a professor in a state university. Jeff is a professor of philosophy on food ethics. Among other topics, we discussed about how pigs can be considered pets by some individuals instead of a food source and the special relationship some groups hold with pets in contrast to other farm animals.

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Mental Health Services and Tobacco Free Policy – GAPSA UMN

»Posted by on Oct 16, 2012 in Spring 2013 | 0 comments

The importance of improving health services cannot be overstated. By partnering with Boyton as well as Paul Wellstone in a mental health advocacy campaign as well as promoting a tobacco free campus, GAPSA hopes to positively influence students at the University of Minnesota

RESOLUTION

Graduate and Professional Student Assembly – University of Minnesota

Date : October 16, 2012
Author: Meghan Mason, Vice President for Administrative Affairs

Topic: Boynton, University Counseling and Consulting Services, and Provost’s Committee on Student Mental Heath Partnership

WHEREAS, mental health conditions are most common during the ages of 18-24, with 24% of young adults in this category experiencing mental health conditions (Active Minds, 2007); and

WHEREAS, suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students (Mental Health America of Illinois, 2007); and

WHEREAS, nearly half of all college students report feeling so depressed that they have had trouble functioning, and 15% meet the criteria for depression (Mental Health America of Illinois, 2007); and

WHEREAS, the University of Minnesota Provost’s Committee on Student Mental Health has a website dedicated to student mental health; and

WHEREAS, the University of Minnesota Boynton Health Services provides mental health counseling for all students, staff, and faculty; and

WHEREAS, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly values its partnership with Boynton Health Services, the Provost’s Committee on Student Mental Health and the University Counseling and Consulting Services to improve the health and well-being of the University of Minnesota graduate and professional student body;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, resolves to work with Boynton Health Services, the Provost’s Committee on Student Mental Health, and University Counseling and Consulting Services  on creating initiatives and activities that improve student mental health and wellness at the University of Minnesota.…

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Exercise Space on West Bank and a Parking Discount – GAPSA Resolution

»Posted by on Sep 27, 2012 in Fall 2012 | 0 comments

With an increasing demand for mental health services and an obesity crisis, it is important to do all we can to provide incentives for people to live healthier lifestyles. GAPSA passed two resolutions this year with this goal objective. One of them addressed the difficulty of accessing recreation facilities, while the other one emphasize the importance of increasingly the availability of services in the West Bank. Whereas there are around 20 recreation facilities on campus, only one of them is currently located on the West Bank. Rec Sports is planning to built a new recreation center soon, but we are working to provide services for students in the meanwhile.

RESOLUTION

 Graduate and Professional Student Assembly—University of Minnesota

Date : September 27, 2012

Author: Alfonso Sintjago, Cody Mikl, Dana Meade, Meghan Mason

Topic: Parking Discount When Attending Exercise Facilities

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WHEREAS, physical activity and a healthy lifestyle can improve the student experience and;

WHEREAS, physical exercise can help to reduce student anxiety and improve individuals’ well-being and;

 WHEREAS, students purchase subscriptions to private fitness facilities due to difficulties accessing the University of Minnesota Facilities;

 WHEREAS, many university students do not live in University housing and must travel by vehicle to utilize the university facilities;

WHEREAS, it is in the interest of the University and its students to maximize the use of its facilities;

WHEREAS, parking ramps are sometimes underutilized and the cost of parking can be prohibiting;

WHEREAS, other facilities offer parking discounts for the use of nearby venues;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly will support the consideration of discounted parking for usage of recreation facilities and;

BE IT RESOLVED, student parking tickets will be stamped or marked to indicate that students have entered and exited the facility to note the time that will be discounted from their parking fee and;

BE IT RESOLVED, students will be notified every semester that they will be able to park for a discounted cost in nearby University of Minnesota parking ramps after regular business hours when there are no special events if they are planning on utilizing a recreation facility.…

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Encouraging/supporting methods to visually present ideas – GAPSA Resolution

»Posted by on Sep 12, 2012 in Fall 2012 | 0 comments

Increasingly, individuals will not only share their ideas in written form but also in video. Below is a resolution that GAPSA approved to further that idea. By promoting greater openness ideas can reach not just thousands but millions in a short amount of time. Another advantage of video is that as TED has illustrated, an powerful idea can be shared in only a few minutes. Most TED Talks are under 18 minutes and many other influential online videos are even shorter, some as short as a couple of minutes.

RESOLUTION

Graduate and Professional Student Assembly – University of Minnesota

Date : September 12, 2012

Author: Alfonso Sintjago, Executive Vice President

Topic: Encouraging/supporting methods to visually present ideas


 

WHEREAS, individuals are increasingly interconnected through improvements in telecommunications with over 5.8 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide; and

WHEREAS, the means to create and share videos are increasingly available to a larger number of individuals, including over 65% individuals in the United States between the ages of 18 to 29 who have access to smart phones; and

WHEREAS, videos are increasingly available in various subjects by multiple experts impacting the spread of ideas and aiding student learning, including over 72 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute and thousands of educational videos through initiatives such as TED, Khan’s Academy, Solve for X, RSAnimate, Sophia, among others; and

WHEREAS, the Internet has transformed into a resource through which most individuals access information, is currently the second most important source of news information for American households, and was recently voted a human right by the United Nations’ Human Rights Council (A/HRC/20/L.13); and

WHEREAS, graduate and professional students may benefit from additional opportunities to develop their presentation skills, and sharing their ideas with the global community.…

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Open Access Journals – GAPSA Resolution

»Posted by on Sep 12, 2012 in Fall 2012 | 0 comments

Having partnered with the UMN libraries in increasing OA awareness, GAPSA also passed this resolution and has committed itself this year to increase awareness of the benefits of increasing access to information. Knowledge should belong to everyone, especially when the government already paid for this research in the form of taxes and research funding. We have also encouraged faculty to sign a pledge in favor of Open Access publishing. The libraries created a series of handouts and the following website – https://www.lib.umn.edu/scholcom/open-access-umn

RESOLUTION

Graduate and Professional Student Assembly – University of Minnesota

Date : September 12, 2012

Author: Alfonso Sintjago, Executive Vice President

Topic: Open Access Journals


WHEREAS, Open Access advances scholarship, research, and public knowledge by making peer-reviewed journal articles freely available online, where they are readily accessible to students, researchers, and the public; and

WHEREAS, university libraries nationwide and the University of Minnesota have modified their subscriptions to academic journals to accommodate for the rising cost of subscriptions; and

WHEREAS, the cost of subscribing to academic journal continues to increase and outpace inflation by over 200% in recent years, despite cost-saving improvements in the distribution and communication technologies utilized by academic journals; and

WHEREAS, the national government spends over $60 billion annually on research projects and a large number of academic publications are funded by student tuition while some publications continue to remain inaccessible to the general public and students after graduation; and

WHEREAS, many authors do not obtain direct royalties from the publication of their academic articles and have an interest in increasing the impact and visibility of their work; and

WHEREAS, academic journals may be able to adopt an open access funding model while remaining financially sustainable, decreasing the cost of knowledge, and increasing access to information; and

WHEREAS, the Graduate Student and Professional Assembly previously supported the passing of the Federal Research Public Access Act, S.…

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Open Textbook Initiative – GAPSA Resolution

»Posted by on Sep 12, 2012 in Fall 2012 | 0 comments

Working with David Ernst has been inspiring. Following his project as well as the potential of OER to transform education. GAPSA recently adopted the resolution below. Hopefully other student government organizations will do just that. MSA, GAPSA counterpart for UMN undergraduate students recently adopted this resolution.

RESOLUTION

Graduate and Professional Student Assembly – University of Minnesota

Date : September 12, 2012

Author: Alfonso Sintjago, Executive Vice President

Topic: Open Textbook Initiative


 

WHEREAS, the high cost of textbooks currently prevents up to 7 out of every 10 students from purchasing all of their required textbooks during their academic career; and

WHEREAS, textbooks may not be fully utilized within a classroom as they may not fully apply to the content of the course and cannot easily be modified due to the lack of flexibility in book licenses; and

WHEREAS, the cost of publishing a textbook can be diminished through their acquisition in a digital format while the students who wish will also be able to purchase a paper copy; and

WHEREAS, the use of e-books will reduce the weight carried by students in their backpacks and improve the transportability and mobility of their books; and

WHEREAS, sustainable business models may be attained through an open textbook publishing model where experts are paid to write textbooks at a cost comparable to that of a traditional publishing company, but the digital copy of the textbooks are published free of cost online and made accessible to the general public; and

WHEREAS, high quality and useful information should be made available to as many individuals as possible and the high costs of tuition and living nationwide may be detrimentally impacting the utilization of educational materials; and

WHEREAS, the University of Minnesota has invested in developing a platform for the review and evaluation of Open Textbooks by faculty members at open.umn.edu for the use of educators worldwide.…

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Developmental Evaluation of GAPSA – Resolution

»Posted by on Sep 12, 2012 in Fall 2012 | 0 comments

Including an iterative evaluation process is important for all organizations. While most organizations conduct informal evaluations regularly, formalizing the process can improve the collection and triangulation of data. GAPSA, an organization which I have worked extensively this past year, passed the resolution below to accomplish this.

RESOLUTION

Graduate and Professional Student Assembly – University of Minnesota

Date : September 12, 2012

Author: Alfonso Sintjago, Executive Vice President

Topic: Developmental Evaluation of GAPSA


 

WHEREAS, the mission and the vision of an organization should be clearly operationalized through the activities of an organization; and

WHEREAS, full-time graduate and professional students face competing responsibilities and financial limitations; and

WHEREAS, the continued analysis and observation of organizational activities can facilitate the improvement and adequate functioning of an organization; and

WHEREAS, a developmental and utilization-focus evaluation attempts to “evaluate processes, including asking evaluative questions and applying evaluation logic, to support program, product, staff and/or organizational development;” and

WHEREAS, “the evaluator is part of a team whose members collaborate to conceptualize, design and test new approaches in a long-term, on-going process of continuous improvement, adaptation and intentional change;”

 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED  the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly will conduct a developmental utility-focused evaluation throughout the 2012-2013 academic year; and

BE IT RESOLVED this internal evaluation will utilize a series of different qualitative methods including the use of focus groups, interviews, data analysis, and surveys to assess its functioning in relationship to student councils; and

BE IT RESOLVED that the evaluation will present a report to the General Assembly during the last meeting of the assembly or before the beginning of the next academic year (2013-2014).…

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