Using the TPACK Framework to Enhance Literacy Instruction

In the world of literacy there is great debate surrounding the transition from book-print to text-print.  The argument questions whether students require an entirely different set of skills to acclimate to online reading and comprehension that are different from those skills used when reading traditional print.  While both sides of this debate have merit, the proposed study will look into the broader realization that reflects the need for K-12 students to explore living and learning in a digital world.  Studies that focus on the impact technology has on motivation, academic achievement, ESL inclusion, and phonics/phonemic awareness development have been conducted; however, they are still relatively new in regards to the growing nature of technology.

With support from a Simpson SUSI grant, Dr. Kate Lerseth, Associate Professor of Education, and Emily Lane, an Simpson College junior, studied struggling readers’ motivation to read and the comfort level pre-service teacher candidates have with using technology as a teaching tool.

Kate and Emily presented their research at the 2014 Iowa Reading Association ESEA Title I Conference.  This conference attracts current teachers, administrators, AEA personnel, and college faculty from the Midwest.

First Math Club Meeting

The first Math Club meeting of the academic year will be September 15, 2014 in Carver 340.  We’ll elect the remaining officers, discuss upcoming events, and brainstorm activities and goals for the year.  If you are unable to attend, but would like to be added to the Math Club email list, contact Math Club President Taylor Gehrls.

Image from www.ccc.edu

Athene – Summer 2015 Actuarial Internship Opportunity

Next Wednesday, September 3, Simpson College will be hosting an employer site visit from Athene.  Athene is an annunity and life assurance company with a large office in West Des Moines.  Representatives on campus will be interviewing students for their Summer 2015 Actuarial Internship program.

Applications are due this coming Monday, September 1st at 11:59p.m.

Contact Bobbi Meyer or Rick Spellerberg for more information

Tomorrow: Book reading and signing by WLCS professor Mark Bates at Dunn Library!

9781631227981med

The WLCS Department reminds you that Professor Mark Bates will be reading from his recently-published book With Arms Wide Open: Stories of Nicaragua tomorrow (Saturday, August 23) at Dunn Library on Simpson’s Indianola campus, from 1:00-3:00pm.

Curious about the book? You can read a little bit about it here.

Drop by to hear excerpts from the book and to get your own signed copy! We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

August 2014


We’re Moving!

Ankeny Campus Rendering

You may have already heard the news that the Ankeny campus is moving to a new location in the Prairie Trail Development this fall. We are very excited for this move as it will provide an advising and welcome center, five classrooms, a conference room, and computer laptop stations. The new space will be utilized by students and faculty during the evening and is available for meeting and event rental during business hours.

According to Simpson College President, Dr. Jay Simmons, “The move is responding to demand for more space and for the reality that people earn better when they have a bachelors degree. Only 25% of Iowans currently have an associate or BA degree, representing a serious gap between demand of employers and supply of degreed candidates. Given the growth of Ankeny, the timing is perfect. We are excited to be Ankeny’s liberal arts college.”

The campus, located at 1450 SW Vintage Parkway, is currently under construction and is quickly coming together. Classes will be held in the new space before the start of Term 2 in October.

We invite you to check out our new digs on Tuesday, October 28 for an open house and Simpson Speaker Series event featuring James Autry and Sally Pederson (see additional details below).


Famous Iowans Will Speak at Ankeny Open House

James Autry and Sally Pederson

James Autry and Sally Pederson

We are delighted that James Autry and Sally Pederson have agreed to offer their insights on leadership as part of our fall Simpson Speaker Series at the new Ankeny campus on Tuesday, October 28th. This event will also be an open house for the public and the Simpson Community to tour the new Ankeny campus.

James Autry is the former president of Meredith Corporation and the author of several books including The Servant Leader: How to Build a Creative Team, Develop Great Morale, and Improve Bottom-Line Performance. His wife, Sally Pederson was Iowa’s 45th Lieutenant Governor from 1999-2007. Prior to her time in office, she helped found The Homestead, a living and learning center for Iowans with autism.

Please  join us for hors d’oeuvres and networking with friends and colleagues at 5:30pm, followed by an engaging presentation at 6:00pm. The new Ankeny campus is located just east of State Street at 1450 SW Vintage Parkway.

This is a great opportunity to visit the new Ankeny campus, network with the Simpson community, and hear two of Iowa’s most inspiring and motivational speakers.

Autry and Pederson book coverThe couple will be available after the event for a book signing with copies of their newest publication, Choosing Gratitude 365 Days a Year.

RSVP by calling 515-309-3099.

 


Two-Credit Courses Now Available

In response to community interest, we have recently begun adding two-credit courses to the Continuing & Graduate schedule. These courses offer a flexible, affordable option for community members and alumni to take coursework relevant to their career or passions for professional development purposes.

Two-credit courses offered this year include:

  • Personal FinanceEvening Weekend & Graduate Student in Classroom
  • White Collar Crime
  • Extreme Weather
  • Digital Technology

If you or someone you know would like to register for one of these courses please sign up online.


STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Katherine Willcox

Katherine Willcox fam photo

Katherine Willcox graduated Summa Cum Laude with honors and has been inducted as a member of Alpha Sigma Lambda honor society. She is an officer of Alpha Sigma Lambda, a member of National Association of Professional Women, recipient of Simpson’s Thirty over 30 Award, and a single mother of two teenagers. We hope you will be as inspired by her story as we are.

SC: You are very involved in your community. Tell us a little bit about what motivates you: 

KW: My inspiration comes from helping others achieve a goal whether it seems small, like a meal for a hungry child or large like realizing homeownership for the first time. My employer is wonderful about encouraging employees to be active in their community. There are regularly sponsored Habitat for Humanity builds in the greater Des Moines area, plus a current five-state homebuilding initiative within our region. My additional volunteerism usually begins with bank sponsored events or through church. One of my favorites is Wildwoods Hill Ranch for all that they do for kids. Other charities I support include The United Way, The Freestore, YESS – Youth Emergency Services & Shelter, Easter Seals, Meals from the Heartland, and Goodwill Industries.

SC: Many of our students are parents; do you have advice or words of encouragement for parents working for a degree?

KW: Like many adults, the idea of going back to school was daunting. I had not taken a course in years. I was worried that I would be lost jumping into junior level courses so I retook a basic course for no credit. I found it was not hard to work it into my busy schedule, so I signed up for two courses the next semester. I was amazed that I could keep up with two. So, hey, I signed up for three courses the next semester. Okay… so I am an admitted overachiever.

SC: Was there anything specific that prompted you to finish your degree?

KW: I had always intended to finish my undergrad degree at some point, but I really wanted to be out of school before my oldest son went to college. My advice to anyone who wants to go back to school is similar to having kids – there is no “best” time. You can plan for it, but the perfect day may never come. If it is something you want, then jump in with both feet. If you make mistakes along the way, learn from them and move on. Consider it part of the process rather than letting them defeat you.

SC: How has your experience at Simpson impacted your life?

KW: My time at Simpson gave me relevant knowledge and the courage to engage colleagues on a more professional level. I was painfully shy of public speaking. I am grateful that Simpson forced me to face those fears and become proficient at getting a message across in a group setting. Additionally, it allowed me to set a great example for my children – learning is a life-long experience and you are never too old to improve yourself.


Continuing & Graduate Programs Installs Alumni Board of Directors

The Simpson College Alumni Office is excited to announce the establishment of the Continuing & Graduate Alumni Board of Directors.  This board is charged with serving the Continuing & Graduate alumni community while fostering lifelong connections with one another and with Simpson College.

Current board membership includes:

Susanne Gerlach ‘07, President

Sarah Davitt ‘11

Ann Powell ‘13, Secretary

Jessica Hazelton ‘13

Howard Berger ‘12

Renee Parsons ‘12

April Betzer ‘09

Drew Primrose ‘08

Lori Card ‘10

Katie Truetken ‘12

Katie Craven ‘12

We are looking to expand our board by 11 members.  If you, or somebody that you know, may be interested in serving on the Continuing & Graduate Alumni Board of Directors, please contact Andy English, Director of Alumni Relations at andy.english@simpson.edu for more information or complete the nomination form at http://simpson.edu/alumni/alumni-nomination/.


Take Advantage of Career Services

  • Need to have your resume updated?
  • Wonder what employers  are looking  for in your resume and cover letter now?
  • Having problems navigating the online application process?
  • Honing your interviewing skills?

The Career Services team at Simpson is a staff of experienced career professionals eager to provide you with the guidance and resources  to answer your questions and meet your career development needs.  Career trends and  employer demands change constantly, which creates challenges for the job seeker in this competitive market.  Our team works with employers and is active in organizations to remain current as well as meet the needs of students and alumni of all ages, experience, and majors.

Give us a call at 515-961-1667 or email us at careers@simpson.edu – we’ll meet with you at your campus or in our offices in Indianola.

Jennifer, Bobbi, Laurie and Ann welcome you to Simpson College Career Services; we provide guidance in the career planning process and assist with all aspects of internship, job and graduate school searches.

Jennifer, Bobbi, Laurie and Ann welcome you to Simpson College Career Services; we provide guidance in the career planning process and assist with all aspects of internship, job and graduate school searches.

Ann Greubel, Administrative Assistant
Laurie Dufoe, Career Counselor
Bobbi Meyer, Internship Coordinator
Jennifer del Pino, Director

Join us for these upcoming events:
Speed Practice Interviews:  October 20th, 5:30 – 9:00 p.m., Hubbell, Kent Campus Center, Indianola

Graduate School Fair: October 22, 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Hubbell, Kent Campus Center, Indianola

Business & Communications Fair:  October 29th, 12:00 – 2:00 pm., Hubbell, Kent Campus Center, Indianola

Parenting Habits Around the World

“If there’s one thing Tiger Mothers have in common with those bringing up Bébé, it’s that they both show us just how varied parenting styles can be.”

“Argentine parents let their kids stay up until all hours; Japanese parents let 7-year-olds ride the subway by themselves; and Danish parents leave their kids sleeping in a stroller on the curb while they go inside to shop or eat.”

“Some global parenting styles might make American parents cringe, but others sure could use a close study. Vietnamese mothers, for instance, get their kids out of diapers by 9 months.”

These kinds of variations between different cultures represent exactly the kinds of topics that we address in our classes in the Department of World Language and Culture Studies!

Check out the full article on npr.org!

World Language and Culture Studies at Iowa Private College Week

The professors of the Department of World Language and Culture Studies are out in force for Iowa Private College Week! WLCS booth at IPCW 2014

We have been talking to prospective students and their families about the options that Simpson College offers in terms of exploring new cultures and languages, as well as studying abroad and working or volunteering in international settings!

Information booths for the different programs are open in the Kent Center from 8:30-9:30 a.m. and 1:00-2:00 p.m every day this week.

Come down to the WLCS booth to talk to a professor, and to find out how adding language and culture studies to your program can enhance your career!

 

Intercultural competence means international success

“Did you just move from France to San Francisco and feel awkward about having to hide your can of beer in a paper bag if you are anywhere in public?”

“Do you find it strange that an 18-year-old can legally own a gun in the U.S., but they may be thrown in jail if, within the next three years of their life, they are caught having a glass of wine?”

“Did you just move from Texas to Denmark for an expat assignment with your teenage kids, and you just heard that your neighbor’s 15-year-old daughter is allowed to spend the night at her boyfriend’s house?”

These are some very real examples of cultural differences–differences that can easily lead to clashes or misunderstandings if we do not take the time to develop our intercultural skills. Such key cultural differences are explored in the article “5 Intercultural Issues That Can Make Life Easy for Entrepreneurs, Expats and VCs” by cultural consultant Cosmin Gheorghe. Some highlights:

  • In the USA, “time is money,” but this is not true everywhere in the world.
  • What is most important–individual self-realization or group harmony? That depends on culture.
  • Who’s the boss? Hierarchies and power relations can vary according to cultural context.

These and other concepts are key to developing intercultural competence, a fundamental component of every course offered by the Department of World Language and Culture Studies at Simpson!

Intercultural competence can lead to international success

“Did you just move from France to San Francisco and feel awkward about having to hide your can of beer in a paper bag if you are anywhere in public?”

“Do you find it strange that an 18-year-old can legally own a gun in the U.S., but they may be thrown in jail if, within the next three years of their life, they are caught having a glass of wine?”

“Did you just move from Texas to Denmark for an expat assignment with your teenage kids, and you just heard that your neighbor’s 15-year-old daughter is allowed to spend the night at her boyfriend’s house?”

These are some very real examples of cultural differences–differences that can easily lead to clashes or misunderstandings if we do not take the time to develop our intercultural skills. Such key cultural differences are explored in the article “5 Intercultural Issues That Can Make Life Easy for Entrepreneurs, Expats and VCs” by cultural consultant Cosmin Gheorghe. Some highlights:

  • In the USA, “time is money,” but this is not true everywhere in the world.
  • What is most important–individual self-realization or group harmony? That depends on culture.
  • Who’s the boss? Hierarchies and power relations can vary according to cultural context.

These and other concepts are key to developing intercultural competence, a fundamental component of every course offered by the Department of World Language and Culture Studies at Simpson!

Upcoming Guru Sessions

Sign up for a one-on-one training session to speak with an expert about your technology questions or your questions about writing assignments.

You can sign up to meet with Jule Thorsen or Sal Meyers about Scholar (the course management system), Camtasia (to capture your screen image and your voice to create mini lecture videos), Outlook, Word, or Excel.  Jule is particularly skilled with Scholar quizzes, the Scholar gradebook, and Camtasia. Sal is particularly skilled with using Scholar forums for small group discussions or individual journals, creating scoring guides for assignments, and using the workshop tool for peer review.  To sign up to meet with Jule or Sal, click on the week you want your appointment and then follow the instructions.

You can sign up to meet with Aaron Santos about Mathematica. Mathematica is a computational software program used in many scientific and computing fields, based on symbolic mathematics.   It features packages for statistics, 2D and 3D data visualization, image processing, animation, linguistics, algebra, calculus, and many more.  To sign up to meet with Aaron, click on the week you want your appointment and then follow the instructions.

Sign up to meet with Beth Beggs to visit about anything related to teaching writing. I recommend that you bring a draft of your writing assignment and/or  rubric for feedback. Beth will help you discern where students might get confused, and offer suggestions of how you can increase the chances that students write the paper you really want them to write. Beth is happy to talk about any other writing topic.  To sign up to meet with Beth, click on the week you want your appointment and then follow the instructions.