CIRTL Online Coffee Hour New Series: Teaching and Learning in the STEM Classroom; this Wednesday, 1/16, 1-2 pm

[Note: Dr. Shirley Yu, the university’s CIRTL liaison, asked me to pass along the following CIRTL announcement:]

Electronic distractions in the classroom: managing and utilizing the instant connections to the world

Wednesday January 16, 2-3 pm ET / 1-2 pm CT / 12-1 pm MT / 11 am-12 pm PT
Are smartphones, laptops and iPads a classroom distraction or untapped asset? As an instructor, how do you handle digital distractions in the classroom? Should you strive to make your classes so engaging that there is little temptation to fire up Facebook or check Twitter or is the Internet simply too alluring to resist? Should you try to ban the use of these devices during class? How about going the BYOD route and asking students to “Bring Your Own Device” and utilize their allure and computing power in your class?  What might that look like?

This Coffee Hour series is appropriate for everyone from graduate students through seasoned faculty, so pass on the word to colleagues, graduate students, staff–anyone with an interest in improving teaching in the STEM classroom.

Facilitated by:
Mary Elizabeth Besterfield-Sacre, Associate Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering, Director, Engineering Education Research Center, University of Pittsburgh
Angel Hoekstra, Postdoctoral Fellow, Graduate Teacher Program, Lead Coordinator for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Instructor, Departments of Sociology and Continuing Education, University of Colorado, Boulder

This CIRTL Coffee Hour series will run monthly on the 3rd Wednesdays at 1pm CT and will focus on teaching and learning challenges in the STEM classroom.  Future topics include teaching in diverse classrooms, teaching and using writing skills in the STEM classroom, and fostering critical thinking.  We welcome comments or suggestions; contact Robin Greenler ( with any feedback.

To join the session, download a flyer, or see archived recordings of last year’s sessions, go to


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