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Learning Online: A Benton Scholars Summer Project

By Peter Tschirhart on April 23, 2014

With Colgate’s Innovation + Disruption symposium just around the corner, the Benton Scholars have launched a summer project that will take students to the very heart of digital learning.

Their project will have multiple phases. During the first, students will sign-up to take a non-credit online course during the summer on a subject of their choice. The course can be offered through any provider–including edX, coursera, and Khan Academy–but must include both content delivery and assessment mechanisms. So far, students have expressed interest in subject material ranging from Global Health and Humanitarianism (offered by the University of Manchester through coursera) to Introduction to Computer Science (offered by HarvardX through edX).

Phase two will draw these first-hand experiences into dialogue with a lively campus conversation about Colgate and the future of “classroom” learning. While enthusiasm for online education is not lacking for press coverage, seldom are student voices actively incorporated, and rarely are shifts in social power dynamics considered. Consequently, throughout the fall semester, the Benton Scholars will bring a small group of digital educators, as well as champions and critics of online education, to campus for a series of intimate lectures and discussions. A full schedule of events and guests will be announced later in the summer.

Keep following the Benton Scholars blog for more information.

Benton Scholars Hangout with Col. Scott Willey

By Peter Tschirhart on April 9, 2014

After meeting with students in Washington, D.C. several weeks ago, Col. Scott Willey of the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum met with Benton Scholars yesterday on the Colgate campus. Col. Willey is currently teaching the online “Advent of the Atomic Bomb” course alongside Prof. Karen Harpp, who is the incoming Faculty Director of the Benton Scholars program.

Benton Scholars meet with Col. Willey.

Benton Scholars meet with Col. Willey.

Yesterday’s gathering was held in B4 McGregory, part of the Office of National Fellowships and Scholarships suite. Students enjoyed a wide-ranging discussion–from the federal budget allocations process, to aircraft restoration, to online education–and a tasty assortment of treats, including coffee, tea, and always-popular pastries from local favorite, Heirloom Meadows Farm.

Pastries from Heirloom Meadows Farm -- a student favorite.

Pastries from Heirloom Meadows Farm — a student favorite.

Benton Bio: Andrew Isaacson ’17

By Peter Tschirhart on April 1, 2014
Andrew Isaacson

Benton Scholar Andrew Isaacson ’17

First-year Benton Scholar Andrew Isaacson is passionate about giving back to his community.

Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Andrew gained his first experience with volunteer work when he joined the staff of an emergency shelter, which assisted people living on Chicago’s south side. He has also extended his passion for community engagement to the medical field. Last summer, Andrew interned at the University of Chicago Medical Center in the psychiatry department, where he spoke with and assisted gambling addicts.

Andrew is also a firm believer in the importance of foreign travel and has brought that belief to Colgate. As a member of the international club, he speaks often about the importance of going abroad: how it helps us grow as people, how it brings more diversity to our educational experience. Perhaps not surprisingly, Andrew plans to major in Economics and minor in International Relations. He also hopes to attend graduate school and find employment in finance. In his spare time, Andrew likes to cook, read, crew (rowing) and play piano.