While virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) may seem far removed from the everyday work of scholars in the liberal arts, they have great potential to change how we conduct and communicate our work. Purpose of the GCIEL Speaker Series is to increase the visibility of immersive computing technologies in the Grinnell College community by inviting outside scholars and professionals to discuss these technologies and how they complement the work they are doing in their respective fields.
Fall Semester 2020
Dr. Martha W. Alibali, Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Psychology and Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
GCIEL Speaker Series: “The Role of Gesture in Mathematics Teaching and Learning: Challenges and Opportunities for Remote Instruction” (Friday, 13 November, 12 PM Central, Online). Teaching and learning involve communication, and communication is inherently multimodal — it involves actions and gestures, as well as words. In this talk, I describe principles drawn from research on the roles of action and gesture in student learning and classroom instruction. Students routinely express knowledge in their gestures as well as speech. Many gestures derive from knowledge that is based in perception and action, and as such, learners frequently express some aspects of their knowledge solely in gestures, and not in speech. Teachers are sensitive to the knowledge that learners express uniquely in gestures, and they draw on information from students’ gestures when assessing their knowledge. Gesture and action are also an integral part of teachers’ instructional communication. Teachers routinely guide students’ perception of objects and inscriptions via pointing gestures, and they express simulated actions and perceptions using representational gestures. Teachers also regularly coordinate multiple multimodal acts when they connect ideas and representations. Given the multimodal nature of classroom communication, many challenges arise regarding communication in remote instruction contexts. I consider ways to address some of these challenges, and I highlight emerging research questions about multimodal remote learning.
GCIEL Speaker Series: “The Ultimate Virtual Reality: VR in Dream Text, Film, and Neuroscience” (Wednesday, 21 October, 12 PM Central, Online). Since the rise of modern parlance around virtual reality (VR), lucid dreaming, or dreams in which you’re aware that you’re dreaming and may be able to shape the course of the dream, have been heralded as “the ultimate VR.” Today, advancements in neurotechnology are making it possible not only to peer into the dreaming brain but also to influence it. Dream tech – devices and applications that directly interface with our dreams at night – include VR programs used for lucid dream training and nightmare therapy.
This GCIEL Speaker Series event covers the intersection of VR with the worlds of dreaming, cinema, and neuroscience. Courtney and Laurie will share the arc of their professional paths, how their work in film and neuroscience led them to their current projects focused on dream tech, offer examples of VR across these areas, and share their observations and predictions about VR as it relates to neurotech and other emerging tech.
Spring Semester 2020
Tony Sheeder (’83), Experienced User Experience and Interaction Designer, Conversation Design at Google.
GCIEL Speaker Series: “The New Real” (Wednesday, 12 February, 4 – 5 PM in HSSC S1325). Tony Sheeder (’83) will talk about paths to and through XR (extended reality), drawing on his own experiences working in interaction design and spatial computing, and provide his view of the issues and opportunities emerging in the field. Free and open to the public. A live stream will also be available.
GCIEL Speaker Series Workshop (Wednesday, 12 February, 5 – 6 PM in The Forum, Digital Liberal Arts Lab). An informal hands-on workshop for students, faculty, and staff interested in trying out XR experiences first-hand and networking with Tony in a more personal setting. Meet with other individuals interested in moving XR forward at Grinnell College and find out about some of the projects currently being developed in GCIEL. Light refreshments will be served.
Fall Semester 2019
Robert Gehorsam (’76), Experienced senior executive in digital media, immersive technologies, online education and interactive entertainment.
GCIEL Speaker Series: “The Future of XR And How to Think about Working in the Field” (Wednesday, 09 October, 4 – 5 PM in HSSC S1325). In this presentation, Robert Gehorsam (’76) will share some of his experiences of working in the field of XR, outline his vision for how this exciting field will grow in the future, and describe how students can begin to get involved. Free and open to the public. A live stream will also be available.
GCIEL Speaker Series Workshop (Wednesday, 09 October, 5 – 6 PM in The Forum, Digital Liberal Arts Lab). An informal hands-on workshop for students, faculty, and staff interested in trying out XR experiences first-hand and networking with Robert in a more personal setting. Meet GCVR Club students interested in moving XR forward at Grinnell College and find out about some of the projects currently being developed in GCIEL. Light refreshments will be served.
Spring Semester 2019
Dr. Heather Richards-Rissetto, Assistant Professor in Anthropology and a Faculty Fellow in the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Faculty Friday Presentation: “3D Visualization and Virtual Reality in Archaeology” (Friday, 15 February, 12 – 1 PM in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101)
GCIEL Speaker Series Workshop: “3D Digital Tools and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Research on Ancient Maya Architecture and Landscapes” (Friday, 15 February, 4 – 5:30 PM in The Forum, Digital Liberal Arts Lab). A hands-on workshop for faculty, staff, and students to experience some ancient Maya architecture and landscapes in VR, ask questions, and interact with Heather Richards-Rissetto in a more informal and personal setting.
Fall Semester 2018
Dr. Emory Craig, Director of eLearning at The College of New Rochelle and Co-founder, Digital Bodies – Immersive Learning Consulting Group.
Faculty Friday Presentation: “Virtual and Augmented Reality in the Liberal Arts” (Friday, 21 September, 12 – 1 PM in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101)
GCIEL Speaker Series Workshop: “Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: New Opportunities for Teaching, Learning, and Research” (Friday, 21 September, 4 – 5:30 PM in The Forum, Digital Liberal Arts Lab). A hands-on workshop for faculty, staff, and students to try out some VR/AR platforms and experiences, ask questions, and interact with Emory Craig in a more informal and personal setting.