Summary of 2014-15 Digital Ambassador Activities

Matthew d'Alessio

California State University Northridge
CSU Digital Ambassador


This year, my primary Digital Ambassador Activity was co-facilitating a Faculty Learning Community. We met 10 times during the school year for 2 hours per session, with homework, classroom visits, and email exchanges in between. As part of my self-proclaimed mission of "Pedagogy Enhanced With Technology for Educational Reform," pedagogy was the driver of this FLC and not explicitly technology. The FLC introduced participants to a framework for thinking about effective teaching practices that we called the "5 Gears for Activating Learning" which is based on decades of research about how people learn. Each session gave participants the opportunity to discuss their own conception of each gear, share ideas for implementing the gears more effectively, and a chance to be a part of a supportive community of like-minded instructors. Solutions using technology were always introduced, discussed, and explicitly modeled by the facilitators. Each participant identified a Spring semester course that they would target for redesign and spent the first semester planning changes and the second semester implementing them. The co-facilitators, supported by CSU Digital Ambassador funds and the College of Education Dean's Office, gave feedback and guidance along the way.


Five Gears 2014-2015 Faculty Learning Community

Pictured on this page are the 2014-2015 members of the Five Gears Faculty Learning Community.  Standing: Heidi Schumacher (Liberal Studies) Rachel Mackelprang (Biology), Theresa White (Africana Studies), Matthew d'Alessio (FLC co-facilitator, Geological Sciences), Cynthia Desrochers (FLC co-facilitator, College of Education, Special Projects), and Nanci Carr (Business Law).  Seated: Ellen Stohl (Educational Psychology and Counseling), Leigh Bradberry (Political Science), Yoko Mimura (Family and Consumer Sciences), and Stefanie Drew (Psychology).

Members of the 2014-2015 Five Gears Faculty Learning Community at CSUN


CSUN Computer Supported Collaborative Science Summer Institute

In partnership with the Califonia Science Project and a grant from Bechtel, I participated in a 2-week long summer institute involving 4 math and science teachers. Digital Ambassador money allowed me to pay for lunch on the last day of the institute. See our workshop schedule here.