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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Welcome Bri, the new TandemPlus Assistant

We are pleased to welcome Brianna Lopez to the Tandem Plus team. Brianna, or Bri, is a junior at the University of Minnesota, majoring in English and minoring in Spanish and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies (GWSS). In the past she participated in a Spanish-English TandemPlus exchange and continues to pursue an interest in language learning and social justice. She looks forward to graduating in the spring of 2014 and hopes to pursue a career in international law. Stop by Jones 135A and say hello to her!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fall 2012 Classroom Reservations - Now on Google Cal

Beginning with Fall 2012 reservations, the Language Center is moving to Google Cal! Reservations for all our four classrooms (Jones 10, 15, 30 and 35) will be managed on Google Cal. This change will allow us to use a universal scheduling system that is easier to access on multiple platforms. Here are some highlights of this upcoming change:

  • Classrooms should be reserved via the Language Center online request form, not directly into Google. The online request form can be used to reserve all Language Center resources, including small rooms, media and equipment.

  • Language instructors and other individuals who schedule rooms will be "invited" to the reservation so that it shows up on their calendar. This will make it easier for instructors to remember when their class meets in a Jones classroom.

  • When classrooms are scheduled by a level coordinator, and the instructor is TBA, no instructors will be invited. Instructors will be added at a later date, once the teaching schedule is posted on Onestop.

  • When a reservation is confirmed, instructors and other individuals who reserve rooms will receive an attached agenda with all upcoming dates at a glance. This is the closest equivalent we have to the traditional confirmation PDFs we have sent in the past.

  • Confirmations will be sent from a new email account, lc-staff@umn.edu.The primary departmental account remains elsie@umn.edu.

  • Summer 2012 classroom reservations will still be managed on our FileMaker Pro system and instructors who make new reservations for summer will receive the traditional confirmation. Media and equipment reservations will remain on the older system for the time being.

  • We are continuing to work on a new web view of the classrooms, and this will be ready by the start of Fall semester.

We begin accepting classroom reservations for Fall 2012 on July 16, and instructors will start receiving Google Cal invitations and confirmation agendas shortly afterwards. If you are a pioneer who makes Fall 2012 classroom reservations this summer, we would greatly appreciate your feedback, particularly recommendations on how the process could be easier for you. Please email your thoughts to elsie@umn.edu.

Monday, July 2, 2012

An Update from Former Director Jenise Rowekamp

Jenise Rowekamp, who served as the Language Center Director until 2009, and has continued to work at the U of M as an instructor in the Minnesota English Language Program has an exciting update on her plans next fall:

I have been selected as a Senior English Language Fellow for a position at the University of Ruhuna in Matara, Sri Lanka, which is on the southernmost tip of Sri Lanka, famous for whale watching. I'll be working with the English Language Training Unit and junior content faculty to assist them in teaching content courses in English. My partner Margaret will be joining me, hopefully doing some sort of volunteer work - we do know there are batik workshops in the town. The climate is tropical and we're on the beach - come visit!