Its here.


As the academic calendar continues to progress, midterms allow you the awareness of “further than we were, but not yet where we need to be” in classes and projects. The same mindset has been being applied to SIF as I had my first small group checkin yesterday. Myself, Ryan, Sruthi, Roxanne, and Valerie all met with Brennan to check in on project progress and the overall SIF experience so far. Because I had not not even met some of these SIFs before, (I’ll remind you that I was not at the SIF kick off meeting in August since I was still living in DC at the time) I really enjoyed that we got to spend a large portion of our time together simply sharing in detail who we are, what projects were were assigned to, and providing an overview of the details of each project and its current status. What was most enjoyable about this was, when these SIFs spoke about their roles and objectives, you could see their faces light up with excitement. And when you hear about their projects, it is easy to see why. My SIF colleagues are working on really meaningful projects that utilize technology in innovative ways. Ah ha. Just what we’ve been striving for all along. But that is my honest reflection towards these projects. People are excited about the work they are doing because it simultaneously interesting, challenging, and best of all-creating a useful end product.

This same theme was present in during the TEDxPeachtree event that I attended last Friday. There were four speaker sessions, each which had a different theme: Frontiers, The Lab, Sensory Percussion, and Play. My colleague, Thomas, also did a recent post about TED that you can refer to if you’re not familiar it. Innovators gathered at The Buckhead Theatre to share their tales about challenges and successes in projects ranging from fractal thinking and virtual reality to beatboxing and using scientific data about the sun for a public art installations.  As a person who’s spent more than their fare share of time on the web watching TEDx videos- I kind of knew what to expect from the presentations ; what I did not expect however, was that the 30 minute breaks in between each session would prove to be just as thought provoking as the presentations themselves.

During the breaks, people would flood into the lobby of the theatre and engage in rigorous dialogue inspired by the just ended session. Reflections and reactions were shared between people who (most of the time) had just met. Perspectives would collide and coalesce, ideas would proliferate, business cards were exchanged. The excitement and potential contained within the room was almost intoxicating. This visceral experience is the thing you miss when you interact with these ideas virtually-through videos and the comments section.

So with this in mind, I propose we explore the possibilities of organizing a type of SIF Symposium that would allow the Georgia State community to come and experience our excitement with us. I imagine SIFs doing pretensions in the CURVE space, specifically on the interactWall, and then during break times the SIFs of that session could possibly take a post at one of the collaboration stations where they can interact with interested members of the audience. These types of symposiums could increase innovative dialogue across campus and potentially spark collaborations where it may not have occurred before. This is crucial as it is only through creative and collaborative projects that we will begin to address the problems of the 21st century classroom.

Amber Boll