Below is an email from Heather Moorefield-Lang, Education and Applied Social Sciences Librarian at Virginia Tech, reporting her experience in Panamá, where she was invited to teach, followed by the three-day schedule.
Overview of Teaching Experience in Panama
Location: Universidad Catolica Santa Maria la Antigua
Dates: Saturday, October 19th until Friday October 25, 2013
I arrived in Panama on Friday evening October 18th. During the weekend of October 19th and 20th my contact for USMA (Universidad Catolica Santa Maria la Antigua) Romina took me around Panama to show me the sites. I was able to see such places as the Panama Canal, the Pacific Ocean, Le Valle: A town inside a once erupted volcano, and a few other areas.
Once the week started I began my work with the university. USMA is the oldest university in Panama at the age of 50. They are looking to create an environment of research which is why I was invited in the first place. Romina and I had met when she was a visitor at Virginia Tech a few years ago and we had stayed in touch. When they were looking for someone to put together a research workshop, she thought of me. It was very flattering.
The first day of the week involved seeing the USMA campus, meeting the directors of the departments, testing out all of my technology on campus and making sure that all of the online tools that I would be sharing could be used in Panama. Overall everything worked.
Moving into Tuesday we started the three day workshop. I had created a workshop that would combine resources available on their campus through their library as well as open access resources for further research. I also shared a wide selection of research organization tools, presentation tools, and a cadre of other online technologies when asked. (I have also attached the workshop schedule to this email [added below].)
Originally the final project was for everyone to create a research poster to present on the final day of the workshops. Many people were excited by others tools such as Popplet, Prezi and Projeqt that they requested being able to present with those instead, of course I told them they could. Most participants in my workshop were professors, they planned to take these presentations and use them in the very near future in their own practice. One participant worked the Minister of Education for Panama; she was very excited to share her new knowledge.
In all I feel it was a good experience. Everyone left with a selection of tools for research, presentations, organization and management. We did have some language barriers but we overcame those. If we ever needed something translated we would help each other back and forth. I have met some wonderful people here in Panama and am incredibly excited to be part of their research endeavors. USMA faculty are planning to take portions of this workshop to their distance campuses and create mini one day workshops. They also have their first grant proposals coming up and this workshop comes in at the perfect time.
So I wanted to send all of you a quick recap of the week. I am more than happy to put together a full presentation if you wish. I figured you might like to know what I have been doing here in Panama this week.
Schedule for 3-Day Professional Development Workshop
Universidad Catolica Santa Maria la Antigua
8:30-9:00: Introductions and Workshop Outline
9:00-10:30: Library resources and research (Proquest and Library Tools at Santa Maria with University Librarian)
10:45-12:00: Open access resources for research **Open Access Research Tools Handout
1:00-2:00: Discussion of ideas for mini research poster projects and interests (Participants are coming w/ideas) **Online Poster Presentation Instruction Handout
2:00-4:00: Time for experimentation with resources. Start to gather research
8:30-9:00: Review and Questions
9:00-10:15: Online Research Management and Citation Tools ** Research Management and Citation Tools Handout and Presentation
10:30-12:00: Putting together a research/poster presentation, practice with public speaking ** Creating Poster Presentation and Poster Template Handout
1:00-2:00: Other presentation/visual online tools **Online Presentation and Visual Tools Handout and Presentation
2:00-4:00: Time to work and experiment with resources from yesterday and today
8:30-9:00: Review and Questions
9:00-10:00: Open time for completing research presentation
10:30-12:00: Practice time for presentations and feedback from facilitator
1:00-3:00: Research presentations
3:00-4:00: Wrap up, final remarks, workshop certificates (if possible) and dismissal