Teaching Engineers

One of the classes I currently teach is GS 1003: Freshmen Studies 3. It’s the third course in a sequence of courses that teach first-year students how to think and communicate like college students. It’s a challenge to teach the course to engineering students, simply because they’re wicked smart.

Yesterday, I had my students give presentations on the class’ theme: the relationship between technology and interpersonal communication. They are required to use Skype to video into the classroom, just so they can experience the distance created by virtually communicating with an audience. More importantly, they have to figure out how to engage the audience in such a way that the virtual aspect of the presentation is mitigated by pushing the “engagement level” of a presentation.

Gunther, one of my prize students, did this by taking our class on a tour  of campus–by using his drone. Imagine our class, sitting in a classroom, watching Gunther present via Skype as his drone camera is projected on a screen through an LCD projector. You have to admit–that’s pretty cool. And it’s a great way of illustrating why I love teaching students who are learning how to be engineers. They make learning like this happen.

drone presentation 1
Take-off from the roof-top garden of the Grohmann Museum.
drone presentation 4
Flight.

 

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