Interactive Learning at UT-Austin

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I recently read an article in the Daily Texan regarding UT-Austin’s interest in providing rooms on campus for “interactive learning”. Apparently, there has recently been a legislative push toward using e-books as opposed to text-books, in part due to the outrageous cost of textbooks. It was also stated that developers of the interactive learning initiative at UT were interested in moving away from the currently used e-book as a primary learning tool. They want to make the learning experience more interactive. As pulled from the article, “Features can range from pictures to video tutorials to hyperlinks while allowing students to highlight and take notes directly on their screens.” This is all very interesting and exciting because CTT coupled with Menteon seems to be a version of what UT would like to implement. Interactive learning models seem to be the wave of the future; that is, e-books used as a source of information coupled to a software like Menteon, that allows the user to extract and import diagrams and/or text in a ready to use format that expedites the process of information retention. I thought that this article was in-line with our current endeavors at CTT to bring our e-learning interactive model to college students.

Here is the link to access the Daily Texan Article:

- Joel McMillian

Why Psychology?

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Because it is unavoidable. It is everywhere and in everything. Every thought we have, every curiosity, every emotion, every consequent action. The reason behind everything is psychological. Some people assume psychology is a relatively small field associated with words such as “Freud”, “therapy”, “mental illness”, and “Ritalin”, but the field of psychology is much expansive. As humans, we are capable of thought and reason, analysis, and understanding. The desire to understand why we act and feel as we do is unique to humans, and psychology can be seen as either a specific field of study of emotion and thought, or it can be seen as the broadest of subjects, encompassing everything in our world. We do not act solely on instinct; our actions are based on things we have learned through our experiences, watching others, social interaction, and the consequences of our actions. Psychology within itself has numerous approaches to understanding human thought and behavior and everyone can find at least one, which makes the most sense to her or him. Our way of understanding the world changes as we go through life and so does psychology as a whole. As researchers and scholars learn more about the human brain, psychology continues to flourish as a field and enrich, even at times, save, the lives of many. Personally, while I am interested in most aspects of psychology, and there are countless, I am perhaps most intrigued by a newer type, referred to as Positive Psychology. The reason it is so different and interesting, is because it deviates from traditional psychology’s tendency to focus on mental illness, medication, and fixing people. While those things are important and progress continues to be made, positive psychology emphasizes the idea of mental health, individual strengths, and attempts to understand not what is broken, but what psychological traits make people persevere, succeed and grow. In today’s world, filled with depression, deficits of attention, and various medications to ease our mental pain, this field is a crucial contributor to psychology being a well rounded, universally applicable, and rich subject.

-Jenya Mendelenko