10th Anniversary Guest Book

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The founding members of CCNMTL opened up the wonder of an entirely new teaching and learning universe to me in 1999 and I marvel still that the CCNMTL team continues to research new ideas for the benefit of us all.

To bring the wonders of the virtual world to traditional teaching and learning created a special breed of technical and pedagogical specialists, who have to be both educators and a technologists, who have to be endowed with penetrating understanding and analytical patience, and inspiring the same curiosity that lead him or herself to engage in both technical and practitioner's worlds.

The team that serves as a critical link between the technical world and my day-to-day classroom activities is headed by Dan Beeby. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to Dan and his team. In addition, other former members of his team, including Raymond Cha, Ben Johnson and Craig Bolton who, in each of their individual ways assisted are the Hall of the Famers!

Of course, in celebrating CCNMTL’s 10th anniversary, I am also commemorating my association with the world that they brought me into.

Adopting their new technology in classroom teaching has had an immeasurable impact on not just instructors’ teaching, but also students’ learning. It brings the instructor and learner together like never before.

Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

I enjoyed working with the CCNMTL staff on the website about Tierno Bokar, the twentieth century West African Sufi mystic, and the Peter Brook production of a play about his life. I also used the Center to improve my classroom teaching.

Congratulations to the talented staff of CCNMTL on a most productive decade! Without your assistance in developing the Image Annotation Tool, our virtual microscopy laboratory project would not have been possible. Over the years you have continued to improve the IAT to make it a truly helpful tool for our students. The combination of technical skill and devotion to teaching makes the Center a great resource for the Columbia community. I hope you will continue to contribute to our educational environment for many years to come.

Over the last few years CCNMTL has become an indispensable resource for my teaching. Your expertise has helped me bring to my classes texts and images that are often difficult to access. In particular, you have provided a great platform for integrating film clips into my courses. Many thanks for your help and ideas.

Without CCNMTL, the Undergraduate Writing Program would not have been able to publish our electronic journal of student writing, survey our instructors about course readings to increase program consistency, and help teachers and students make the best use of CourseWorks, particularly through the creation of the automated "portfolio" function. Now, as we begin to add video archives to our set of pedagogical resources for writing teachers in the university, we will be drawing on your collective expertise in new ways.

Looking forward to continuing our partnership in the Center's second decade.

I find both the CCNMTL's workshops and the individual workshops with liaison for the English Dpt. integral to my work and teaching. My instruction is greatly aided by the solutions provided in the Center.

As a faculty member at Teachers College I have used CCNMTL for the last 2 years when I was trying to think about doing something different with my various courses or projects. Staff at the Center have been fabulous in this regard because in all instances they have presented me with creative suggestions and have helped me implement my final course and project designs. Whenever I am in need of testing out new programs or ways to interface software…this is the place to go. THEY HAVE HELPED ME MAKE IT HAPPEN!

When I first started working with CCNMTL staff, I depended on them. I suppose I still do, but much less than before. I so appreciate their helping me think through ways of incorporating new technologies in teaching, and how to make myself more self-sufficient in that endeavor. Next to the libraries, CCNMTL is the single most valued service provided to teaching faculty, and of course that benefit gushes down to students as well.

I took a good idea, which I wasn't capable of executing and the CCNMTL staff showed me how to turn it into a terrific wiki. I have had nothing but complements on the work, whose style is better than anything I would have done on my own.

CCNMTL is an invaluable resource for faculty at Columbia. I initially came in to set up a website for one of my classes and now have websites for all of them including a virtual museum tour. This has proved invaluable as students plan their programs and explore possible courses. Every staff member with whom I've worked of the years has been incredible helpful.

Most recently I've worked with Michael Cennamo who has gone above and beyond. It's clear that as teachers we are going to continue to expand our use of technology and CCNMTL will be an integral part of that growth. Many thanks!

CCNMTL brings together tremendous talent, skills and creativity, and it has been a tremendous pleasure working with them over the past two years. In creating the global course: "Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Development Practice," the staff at CCNMTL provided vital support and insights to help shape the project, and their dedicated team were instrumental in bringing the project to life.

For 10 years, CCNMTL has provided excellent assistance to me in setting up my home page and creating home pages for courses when Courseworks was just a gleam in the registrar's and CUIT's eyes. These efforts have in my opinion enhanced my scholarship and ability to use IT resources for improving teaching and learning. As a bonus, the folks at CCNMTL have provided a mix of passion and professionalism that has made them a joy to work with.

The short time we spent with Michael Cennamo and the staff at CCNMTL last week was one of the more productive interactions in our experience at Columbia.

We needed a website to facilitate admissions review for one of our Department's programs, since the program faculty are dispersed among several schools and institutions. The site had to be very secure, but simple to set up, use, and administer, and it was needed soon. Although we had heard of CCNMTL, we had had never before used their services. So we called; Michael Cennamo responded; we set up a meeting.

The day before our meeting, we supplied an outline of our concept. When we arrived, Michael had already selected several suitable options, which he efficiently demonstrated for us. With Michael's hands-on help, within the hour we were able to establish appropriate site parameters, create the site, load our data, and leave with the job essentially finished! Incredible! And, to boot, we have the promise of enthusiastic tech support as we work with the new site. CCNMTL is filling a real need at Columbia, and, from our experience, is doing so in a very creative, enthusiastic and efficient fashion. Thanks to All!

John Arbo and Steve Ostrow, Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics

Over several years, I have benefited especially for having worked with Michael Preston, who taught me new ways to make my presentations on the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa more vivid and precise for the orderly, seamless inclusion of visual detail. And Dan Beeby has been a great source of hands-on advice and counsel to myself and many colleagues engaged in foreign language teaching at Columbia, and was an instrumental part of a decision-making group in the selection of an interactive language learning software that was deployed system-wide. It is a pleasure to acknowledge the service of these outstanding professionals, and to thank CCNMTL for its support. Happy tenth anniversary!

CCNMTL developed a number of city maps from several diverse data sets, including U.S. census data, city planning data, and New York City historical maps for my course on New York City's religious communities. After we got past the 'wow' factor of being able to work with all of these data sets within one live environment, they became an invaluable resource in my students' analyses of religious change in the city. CCNMTL's work on this project made it possible for all of my students to grasp the roles of various social, economic, and cultural forces on the city's diverse religious communities.

The videos for the SLATE project were VERY well received by the students. I overheard a pair of students in the stairwell yesterday say, "Oh you haven't seen it yet? Watch it. It's really professionally done. I think you'll like it!!" You guys are awesome.

In the decade since its inception, CCNMTL has been a highly-valued part of the Columbia University School of Social Work's educational infrastructure and the collaboration has grown in step with developments both at the school and at CCNMTL. Frank Moretti and Maurice Matiz began the Center's involvement with the School by collaborating with faculty and field educators to develop, roll out, and maintain a highly interactive, web-based clinical instruction tool that demonstrated "best practices" through the use of video recordings of actual clinical sessions. This tool, called Third Space, allowed instructors and students to review the videos and select clips from these sessions for on-line discussion. ThirdSpace was designed to address a longstanding conundrum in social work education by bringing classroom learning (first space) and field learning (second space) together into a third, virtual, space where students and faculty could fully share experiences and ideas and thereby improve clinical practice as well as the field of social work in general. Today, with the assistance and support of CCNMTL, ThirdSpace has evolved into a new teaching tool called VITAL (Video Interactions for Teaching and Learning). VITAL, which allows social work faculty to view and comment on video recordings of role-play assignments, has proved essential to students' growth as social work practitioners.

Our collaborations with and reliance on CCNMTL's dynamic expertise have increased over the past decade. We have worked with their team on many initiatives, including:

* Improvements to our use of Columbia's course management systems

* Development of an online video-based curriculum addressing social work practice with older adults

* Launch of a Social Work page on iTunes U

* Consultation on options for recording and distribution of course lectures

* Creation of an on-line tool for educating social work students about their roles as mandated child abuse and neglect reporters

In sum, the Center is instrumental in expanding the creative use of technology to both deliver and augment traditional curriculum, as well as to develop the new sources of education, inspiration, and collaboration needed for today's students. Because of the Center's influence, the use of instructional technology at the Columbia University School of Social Work has grown to a degree rarely seen in programs of its kind. The School's leadership in this area is a major reason it is seen as one of the most progressive graduate schools of social work in the country. We owe a great deal to the Center, and look forward to further joint projects in the years ahead.

CCNMTL has been an invaluable partner in the HIV Intervention Science Training Program (HISTP) project, helping us to design a system that supports the mentorship of the trainees and our research about the mentorship process. As a team working in uncharted waters, we are learning together as we go.

CCNMTL is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and working with the staff has been a highlight for me. I congratulate them on this anniversary, and look forward to continuing to work with them over the NEXT ten years.

I believe that the Center and staff very effectively encourage innovation in teaching by providing the structure and support necessary for successfully implementing new projects over time. The Center is one of Columbia University's valuable resources for the teaching community.

My work with CCNMTL has been consistently pleasurable -- and educational for me. CCNMTL seems to me to have been steadily improving its capabilities to assist teaching while developing deeper insight into evolving classroom needs -- a good combination.

The staff at CCNMTL don't just make faculty ideas work. Instead, they try to understand what faculty are trying to accomplish pedagogically, and then suggest strategies that we didn't even know were possible. Their skilled and creative support has helped me to grow not only in my use of technology in the classroom, but as a teacher more generally.