Breakout Session

Reach Out and Touch Someone: Enhancing Student Engagement with Mobile Technology

Track: Mobile

Breakout V
Fri 8:20am – 9:15 am

The widespread availability of mobile technology has created opportunities to better engage students in the classroom. In this project, iTouch devices were introduced across the curriculum of select science laboratory courses at Raritan Valley Community College and Monmouth University. These devices served to document all aspects of the lab experience, from process and procedures to experimental results. The various images and videos were shared via a course wiki using screencasting technology. This multi-faceted approach using diverse and easy to use technologies created a more active learning environment that better engaged students and created a more authentic laboratory experience.

Derek Weber
Assistant Professor of Biology
Raritan Valley Community College

Bio / Expertise
Dr. Derek Weber is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Raritan Valley Community College. He earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Moravian College and a PhD. in Bimolecular Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His area of interest is the use of technology to reshape the science curriculum to create a more active and engaging learning community. His efforts have earned him numerous awards, citations and featured presentations. His Principles of Microbiology Course was awarded Best Overall Course by SoftChalk Lesson Builder in 2009. A talk titled “Four Fabulous Free Teaching Technologies” was a featured presentation at the Teaching Professor Conference in 2012. He was honored with an award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology at the International Teaching and Learning Conference in April of this year and was included by the Chronicle of Higher Education as a top technology innovator.


Eric Iannacone
Raritan Valley Community College

Bio / Expertise
Dr. Iannacone received his bachelor’s degree from the University of San Diego in 1995. He went on to earn his PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2005. Dr. Iannacone spent four years as an assistant professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University and is currently in his 4th year at Raritan Valley Community College where he teaches Anatomy and Physiology and Principles of Biology.


Azzam Elayan
Monmouth University

Bio / Expertise
Dr. Elayan obtained a bachelor of science in chemistry and mathematics from Bethlehem University (Bethlehem, Palestine). He then obtained a doctoral degree in organometallic chemistry in 1993 from Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT), under the supervision of Dr. Joseph W. Bruno. His graduate research focused on the synthesis of ketene- and acyl-complexes of early transition metals (e.g., zirconium and niobium) and triorganotin-carboxylates, and elucidating their intermediary role in the catalytic Fischer-Tropsch synthesis of polymeric hydrocarbons and oxygenated organics. Following graduate school, Dr. Elayan took a post-doctoral fellowship with the late Dr. Karen E. Wetterhan at Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH) in the area of chromium-induced genotoxicity (DNA/protein damage). His research primarily focused on the synthesis of amino acid-chromium [Cr(VI) and Cr(III)] complexes and on studying their binding to DNA & proteins (in vitro) via spectroscopic techniques. Afterwards, as a research associate (1996-2000) with Dr. Christopher W. Allen at the University of Vermont (Burlington, VT), Dr. Elayan worked on the synthesis of inorganic polymers for membrane technology, where he developed and patented a new, solid-state synthesis of poly(dichlorophosphazene). The latter is the most commonly used parent polymer for the synthesis of substituted (di-functionalized) phosphazene polymers. Dr. Elayan took a visiting assistant professor position (2000-2002) at State University of New York at Plattsburgh, where he taught general chemistry, organic chemistry, and advanced inorganic chemistry laboratory. This was followed by a two-year assistant professor position (2003-2005) at Kean University, where he taught general chemistry, organic chemistry, and a chemistry course for non-majors. Since 2006, Dr. Elayan has held a lecturer position at Monmouth University, where he has taught general chemistry, organic chemistry, advance inorganic chemistry, and a physics-chemistry-biology survey course for non-majors. Dr. Elayan’s future research will focus on developing a new method for the synthesis of fully functionalized phosphazene polymers without going through a parent polymer precursor.