Monthly Archives: January 2017

Roosevelt Faulkner’s Experiences in Sweden

Last summer, I was one of several lucky students in my research lab to present at the International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (the field commonly known as CSCL) in Gothenburg, Sweden. The conference brings together education researchers, technologists, and computer scientists from all over the world to share and discuss ideas on issues ranging from designing modern learning spaces to using social media in the classroom. Not only was I geeked about my paper being accepted, I was also geeked to be going to Scandinavia. I’d heard stories and saw pictures from people’s travels, but it never crossed my mind to visit. After finding some affordable tickets on Priceline, a colleague and I landed a quaint AirBnB flat just five minutes from the conference location.  I was set to go.

roosevelt-1

I presented on  the use of mobile devices (e.g. tablet computers, mobile phones, and PDAs) in the classroom. We found several instances of studies investigating how teachers incorporate mobile devices in their lessons and these devices affect students’ learning outcomes and their collaborative behaviors. One interesting find was that tablet computers allowed for more fluid and natural interactions between group members.  Tablet computers allowed team members to face each other or freely move around in order to create a collaborative space, whereas, with laptops, students tended to be fixed in a position and had less eye contact with fellow members. Students using the tablets felt the tablets enhanced their collaboration and discussions.

The presentations were short and the atmosphere was very casual.  I was the only presenter in a tie, while the other presenters were in jeans- some with sneakers and some with casual dress shoes. This made for a different vibe I was not accustomed to. The last education conference I attended was the American Education Research Association conference in Chicago. People donned suits and the presentations had an air of hefty scholarship and cerebralness, which was starkly different at this conference in Sweden. For the tablet computer workshop, the presenters had to present using the PechaKucha format. With PechaKucha the presenter has exactly six minutes and forty seconds to present. Once time is up, the presentation closes. There were about 12-13 presentations, all showing the varying ways tablet devices were used.  Overall it was a good experience. The people were friendly and the atmosphere was relaxed.

My trip in brief:

City: Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden with a population of about 543,000 people living in the city proper and an additional 400,000 living in the metropolitan area. It is located on the  southwestern coast of Sweden. Gothenburg has an eclectic mix of architecture ranging from gothic to modernist styles.  The city is home to two universities- University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology- and annual film and music festivals.  It has a strong shipping and fishing industry, and it is the birthplace of Volvo.

Food and drinks: The food is delicious and really fresh, while the alcoholic beverages are pricy.. To my surprise, 7/11 had cheap and delicious prepared meals, unlike the ones in the States. If you have access to a kitchen, buying a few groceries would help cut down the costs of eating out. If you have a sweet tooth, Sweden is the the place to indulge in sweet desires. If the coffee cake during Fika, the Swedish word for afternoon coffee and dessert break, isn’t enough, or you want to stock up for the month, check out their candy shops. They are literally brick and mortar candylands.  Once you walk in, your jaw drops, your pupils dilate, and you salivate at the sight of aisles of delightful colorful and mouth watering treats from Swedish gummies to chocolates to hard candies.

roosevelt2

Money: The currency is known as the Krona with the abbreviation  SEK(Swedish Krona). It is  worth slightly more than the dollar; A 100 SEK is equivalent to 1.14 USD. Nowadays, US bank cards can be used overseas, especially those with the chip. Though this can be useful if you have a lot of transactions, one must be forewarned that a conversion fee may be assessed. Check your bank for details. Carrying cash is optional but best to have some for emergencies and small purchases.roosevelt3

To do: I like visual art, so I always make it a point to find an art museum.  Take your student ID because most of the time the museum offers student discounts. Explore! We walked around exploring areas to find new restaurants and bars after conference hours. Only if I had Pokemon Go then!

roosevelt5

Getting around was easy.  You can walk, bike, or take public transportation everywhere. They have dedicated bike-only pathways throughout the city.  They also have a tram system that runs until 12 am.

Communication: BUY THE INTERNATIONAL PLAN or check to see if your phone plan includes international calls.  If this is not the case, something as small as texting can have an exorbitant cost.  I racked up $400 in charges between texting and checking social media sites. Luckily I was able to get the charges reversed after retroactively purchasing the $30 international plan. What a relief!

 

Roosevelt Faulkner is a graduate student in the School of Education and research assistant in the Conundrums, Complex Systems, Collaborations, and Computers Lab (4C). In addition to his research work, Roosevelt works at the Black Film Center/Archive assisting with the blog, and designing promotional materials.


Jessie Maple’s Twice as Nice at IU Cinema, Sunday, Jan. 29

On Sunday, January 29, Jessie Maple and Leroy Patton will visit Bloomington to present Jessie’s 1989 feature, Twice as Nice, at the Indiana University Cinema.  The 3:00 pm screening is free but ticketed.  Professor emerita and former Black Film Center/Archive director Audrey McCluskey will introduce the film and host a Q&A with Jessie and Leroy following the film.

twiceasnice

Recently preserved by the Black Film Center/Archive through a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation, Twice as Nice follows twins Caren and Camilla Parker, both star players on a college women’s basketball team energized by the prospect of a first female pick in the upcoming “MBA” draft. Maple looks again here to the strength of community and family, as in her first feature, the groundbreaking Will (1981).

Maple’s cast, composed largely of non-professional actors, features legends of NCAA, Olympic, and WNBA basketball.  Among them are Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, and twins Pamela and Paula McGee.

As we look ahead to this weekend’s visit, take a look back at our earlier post “Into the Archive: Exploring the Jessie Maple Collection” for a glimpse into the personal collection placed at the BFC/A by Jessie in 2005.

 

 


Katrina Overby Participates in Study Abroad in Sweden

katrina-1

In the summer of 2016, the stars magically aligned and I was blessed with a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in a two-week study abroad in the beautiful capital of Sweden: Stockholm. At a time when I thought I would never have the opportunity to study abroad, I was granted the chance to fulfill a dream and I am forever thankful to have had this amazing experience. I participated in a study abroad graduate class titled Theory to Practice in a Diverse and Global Society. The course, offered through IUPUI’s Preparing Future Faculty and Professionals, examined a survey of leadership, faculty, and cultural development theories and practices in an experimental global setting through interactions with local and national government officials, business leaders, international faculty and staff, and faculty and students from Iowa State University. My classmates (Kimberly Burgess and Jantina Anderson) and I also participated in two micro-teaching sessions and mentored the undergraduate students from Iowa State University who were taking two classes for one month. The class was taught by Nashara Mitchell, former Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs and Student Development and Director of PFFP.

For my two micro-teaching sessions, I covered two topics that were closely related to what the students were learning and could find useful from a media perspective: Social Media and Global Awareness and Hegemony and Dominant Ideologies. In regard to professional development, I was able to learn more about myself as an instructor, was given the tools to navigate and understand my teaching philosophy, and articulate my own definitions of classroom teaching and learning.katrina-2

katrina4

One of the most amazing experiences was having a “Black Girls Rock in Sweden” themed dinner at a small but vibrant bar in a lovely area of town called Zinkensdamm toward the end of our visit. My colleagues and I met two amazing Black women during the first week of our program. One of them moved to Sweden from California three years prior with her boyfriend who was from Sweden. The other had lived in Sweden since the age of three when her family relocated from Cameroon. The other attendee was an Iowa State student. Our in-depth conversation at dinner included discussing racial issues in the US and Sweden, similarities in systems of gentrification, education, citizenship, what it’s like to be Black and abroad, and just common interests. I am still in able to keep up with both Hallex and Detria via Facebook and Snapchat and I can’t wait to see them again (we are trying to make plans☺)!!!

My two words of advice would be: 1) Always make sure that your passport is up to date because you never know when you may be traveling out of the country on short notice. 2)  Make a list of foods, places, museums, and eateries that you would like to try in another country and see how many you can mark off of your list, the world is ours to explore!

Quick List of My Favorites:

  • Coffee Shop: Wayne’s Coffee
  • Museums: Vasa and Nobel
  • Part of Town: Gamla Stan “Old Town”
  • Bar: The Dubliner
  • Restaurant: Strandbryggan Sea Club
  • Candy Shop: Caramella

~Katrina Overby