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I loved the session titled "Invigorating Discussion Forums with the Best-Sellers List" wit


First I am a huge reader so I related completely to bringing current, popular books into the classroom. Students may not have had time to read them all, but they may have heard about these books and because they have been exposed to them in the classroom, are more likely to read one or more! I am designing a course with an optional discussion forum and love to hear how Dr. Lower makes this work. I love her idea of creating discussions with vitality – that attract students! Good points about alignment with course, and real-life application. Getting students interested in something other than the required assignments is a way to enhance the teaching (and learning) experience.

Isn’t this what we are all about as educators? Yes we teach subject content, but really we are connecting students to the world around them - the world we all live in. I had an instructor once who said keeping up with current affairs is not an option – that this world right now is all we have, and if we don’t engage with it right now it our world will pass us by.

Some of us become educators with the goal of raising consciousness in our students, knowing that by trying to do this we would be assuring our own self-growth. To me this means making connections between the personal, the professional, course content and the real world. What we learn should change us, and if learning is compartmentalized in a classroom, and we don’t see how to apply it to the rest of our life, it is unlikely to result in change.


  1. Find the magic in each book!! Love it!

  2. Dr. Lower mentioned the course GEN 102 Digital Literacy for Life and the Workplace and I have to check out this course.

  3. Offer optional activities in our courses, such as an optional discussion- only enhances learning!

  4. Love the points about social media as an extended classroom. I have thought we have to first engage them in a community in the classroom before an outside site will be utilized, but perhaps I am wrong and social media can come first to create community. If enough students are using social media now them maybe we should start there! Such an exciting time to be an educator.

  5. So praise for this session and I hope to attend many more like it!

Dr. Judy Donovan

Program Chair, College of Education

Ashford University

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