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​PC Named Partner in Classroom Tech Project

Providence College has been selected as one of six higher-education institutions that will participate in an innovative online learning initiative for the 2012-13 academic year. 

Using Boston College’s online tool for presenting and exploring multimedia course content, MediaKron, faculty members in the departments of foreign language studies and history will create digital instructional material for subjects ranging from Spanish civilization and literature to Providence attorney Thomas Wilson Dorr’s 1842 attempt to forcibly change Rhode Island’s governing structure.

PC was chosen to participate after a national request for proposals. The other institutions are Boston University, Bucknell University, Clark University, Dartmouth College, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

MediaKron is an online tool that provides an easy way for instructors to upload and organize a variety of instructional materials — such as maps, timelines, images, video, and text — and enables students to explore this content from a Web browser.

Shining a light on R.I. history

Dr. Erik Chaput ’03 & ’05G, an instructor in the School of Continuing Education (SCE), will use the tool in a fall SCE course entitled The Age of Jefferson and Jackson.

Along with Russell DeSimone ’67 and Chris Landry, principal digital services assistant in Phillips Memorial Library, Chaput created a Dorr Rebellion Web site that features a short documentary, historical images, and educational materials.

Chaput, who focused his doctoral dissertation on the Dorr Rebellion, is creating a MediaKron portal — using material from the Web site — that will allow students to use interactive maps and timelines to better understand the life of Dorr.

“I am very excited about this opportunity to bring this content into the classroom in a meaningful, constructive, and engaging fashion,” Chaput said.

Mapping Latin American literature

Dr. Roger Carmosino, associate professor of Spanish, Dr. Edgar Mejia, assistant professor of Spanish, and Dr. Monica Simal, assistant professor of Spanish, will use the technology in the spring 2013 Survey of Spanish American Literature course.

Mejia explained that students will look for geographic references in the texts read in class and map them out through Google Maps. Then, they will relate the modern map to available historical maps.

“The premise of this project is that literature is deeply rooted in a particular place. Students will become familiar with a new way to approach the analysis of Latin American literature and with societies in which this literature takes place,” he said. “We will see how maps are interpretive tools that allow us to understand literature in a different and profound way.”

— Chris Machado


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