New Technology for Social Good Course

By Sarah Hunker

Monday, September 5, 2016

CEWiT and the College of Arts and Sciences have teamed up to offer a new class that will be offered the second 8-weeks this fall.

The course, Exploring Technology for Social Good, will provide an introduction to technology and its relation to career planning. The topics of this course range from linguistics to arts and humanities. The goal is for students to develop and individual plan integrating technology with their career goals. They will be grouped in order to complete a project designing a technological application that will be aimed at problem solving.

The classroom experience will be a flipped one. Meaning, large portions of the class instruction will be done through videos and technology. This will make it easier for the class to work together during the times they meet instead of going over material. 

The class will be taught by Francesca White and NaLette Brodnax.  White is a doctoral student studying Science Education and Inquiry Methodology. Her research interests include critical scientific literacy, science and social action, equity in postsecondary STEM education, discourse theory and analysis, and science, technology, society, and environment (STSE) education. 

Brodnax is a doctoral student in the Joint Public Policy program. Her research interests include education policy, policy analysis and research methods. She previously worked in finance, working with data and developing financial models. For this class, Brodnax said she hopes to get more freshman and sophomores involved in technology through this new course. 

“What we found was the technology just isn’t on the radar of freshman and sophomore women…one of the pressing reasons is that they don’t see a connection between technology education and their career goals,” Brodnax said.  

Brodnax said that technology is very prominent in every field, so any students involved in an array of majors such as Nursing and Business can partake in and benefit from this class. She also said the class will revolve around social problems and how technology can help solve those issues. 

The students will showcase their knowledge of this at the end of the 8 weeks. Brodnax said there will be a group project that resembles the show Shark Tank, but they are calling it Fish Bowl. 

“They come up with an entrepreneual idea that solves some problem hat they are interested in in technology, so the idea is that over the course of the 8 weeks they learn a variety of different ways that technology is used to tackle different problems,” Brodnax said. 

The main object of the course will be for students to have an increased awareness of the affordances and restrictions of technology. They will be able to apply technological thinking to use in current issues, and be able to develop their own plan for tech-based education along with career enrichment strategy. 

Brodnax said there will be multiple aspects of technology used with a variety of different social issues as well. Some of those topics to be discussed include human trafficking, health care issues and cyber bullying. 

The course name is COLL-X211, Exploring Technology for Social Good, and the section number is 36346. Students interested in enrolling in the course, which meets Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9:05am to 10:35am in Student Building Room 230, should log into the Student Center and seach for the course name, number, and/or section number.