Dr. Matthew Trevett-Smith
- Center for Teaching, Learning, & Technology Liaison
- Adjunct Lecturer of Sociology & Anthropology,
School of Arts & Sciences
- Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology,
School of Professional and Continuing Studies
28 Westhampton Way
Boatwright Memorial Library
University of Richmond, VA 23173
Ph.D., Cultural Anthropology, University at Buffalo
M.A., Cultural Anthropology, University at Buffalo
B.A., Anthropology, SUNY Potsdam
Graduate Courses Taught: Cyberspace & Communication, Seminar in Cultural Anthropology, Social Sciences Seminar
Undergraduate Courses Taught: Biological Anthropology, Computer-Mediated Communication, Cyberspace & Communication, Introduction to Anthropology, Introduction to Communication Studies, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Introduction to Mass Media Studies, Rhetoric & Public Speaking
Workshops Led: Classroom Collaboration, & Engagement with Google Apps, Digital Storytelling for Faculty (Assignment Design, Support, & Assessment), Digital Storytelling for Students (7-Elements of DST, Creative Commons, Audacity, iMovie, YouTube), Engaging Learners with PowerPoint, GIS Across the Curriculum Using ArcGIS, Google Apps for Education, Google Earth, iBooks Author, Introduction to WordPress, iBooks Author, iPads in the Classroom, Microsoft Excel 2010 &2011, Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 & 2011, Mind Mapping Your Course, Prezi: Dynamic Web Presentations, Using PowerPoint to Engage Audiences, Using WordPress to Teach and Engage
Pizza & Pedagogy Faculty Discussions Led: “iAuthorship: How e-texts impact your students,” “Student Voices on Technology,” “Protecting the Integrity of Teaching and Time,” “What I wish my faculty knew about technology in the classroom,” “University of Richmond Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology’s Mobile Device Initiative.”
Digital Ethnography Interests
Utilizing an ethnographic research methodology, I argue that computer-mediated communication encourages the growth of social capital, in the form of community involvement and in the expansion and strengthening of social networks.
This critical study of digital ethnography includes the entire Internet with particular focus on Web 2.0 (Facebook, MySpace, twitter, digg, etc.) and Virtual worlds like World of Warcraft, Second Life, Google Live, and similar environments which have the potential to dramatically change how people interact, socialize, and conduct business.
The gap between the virtual and the physical, and its effect on the ideas of community, culture, personhood and relationships, is ripe for anthropological insight. I highlight the relevance and strengths of anthropology in the study of virtual worlds, a field of growing social significance that younger generations in particular are keen to investigate more fully. This is evident every time I discuss my research with my students, as they can relate it to their own online every day experiences. As an early Internet ethnographer (or digital ethnographer) I aim to better understand the virtual essence of the human condition, as exposed to us through Internet-mediated virtual worlds.
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Interests
A question that students bring into the classroom, but rarely explicitly ask the instructor is, “What’s in this for me?”
This is really a question of relevance. Students perceive something as being relevant if they perceive it as related to their personal needs, or personal goals. When students perceive a concept or assignment as relevant, they see it as valuable. It has importance. Therefore, making content relevant to students is an instructional strategy that contributes to student motivation.
What we need, is a learning theory for the digital age, demonstrating the special importance that is given to the effect technology has on how people live, how they communicate, and how they learn.
Under this type of model, learning becomes a process of not of knowledge consumption, but instead, a process of knowledge creation. This doesn’t mean faculty are no longer relevant during a student’s learning process. Far from it!
Faculty are the perfect people to teach students how to build their learning network and take advantage of the learning opportunities presented by our digital technologies. In a this framework, faculty become more than bearers of knowledge, they become learning architects, modelers, learning concierges, change agent, synthesizer, connected learning incubator, and a network guru. Your students are then able to take the skills they’ve gained in building their learning network and foster them throughout and beyond their time in college.
Most Recent Publication:
“Avatars Talking: The Use of Virtual Worlds within Communication Courses” with Sarachan, J., Burk, N., and Day, K. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 24(1), 75-91.
My passion for writing, collaboration, and continuing dialogue has also become manifest in the Learning@Richmond newsletter, which I write, edit, layout, and distribute. Every month during the academic year (with the exception of January), I feature one UR faculty member, one academic technology, and the UR CTLT liaison team. I have found that this publication serves as an excellent opportunity to highlight faculty who are experimenting with new academic technologies, while offering practical advice on its integration, and simultaneously allowing faculty to humanize the CTLT staff (in an effort to combat the “tech support” stereotype the Center has with many faculty). I welcome you to view the current issue (http://goo.gl/OJYGl) online using the link provided.
“Careers in Anthropology: A Workshop for Anthropology Students and Recent Graduates” Northeastern Anthropological Association 2013 Annual Meeting at University of Maryland, College Park.
“An iPad Initiative: Adoption, Support, and Implementation” Poster presented EDUCAUSE Annual Convention, November 2012, Denver, Colorado.
“iPad as Ethnographic Tool.”
Paper presented March 2012, part of “Technology in Anthropology Session.” Northeastern Anthropological Association 2012 Annual Meeting at Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA. (video online)
“Careers in Anthropology.” Invited Panel Speaker.
Northeastern Anthropological Association 2012 Annual Meeting at Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA.
“Careers in Anthropology.” Invited Panel Speaker.
Northeastern Anthropological Association 2011 Annual Meeting at Franklin Pierce University, Rindge, NH
“Teaching and Learning Technology of Virtual Worlds.” Invited Panel Speaker.
Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ. 2010
“Virtually Social: Email, Instant Messaging and the Internet in Modern Social Relationships,” & “Digital Ethnography Workshop.” Invited Speaker.
Roger Williams University, Providence, Rhode Island. 2010
“Digital Ethnography as Anthropological Fieldwork. Invited Speaker.
State University of New York at Potsdam, Potsdam, NY. 2010
“Technology and Pedagogy in the Classroom Workshop.”
Coordinated for the Northeastern Anthropological Association 2009 Annual Meeting at Rhode Island College, Providence, Rhode Island
Paper presented March 2008 at Northeastern Anthropological Association, Amherst, MA.
“Speaking Anthropologically in the Media.”
Paper presented April 2007 at Northeastern Anthropological Association, Ithaca, NY. 2007
“Anthropology and Cyberculture: Hit Any Key to Continue.”
Paper presented at Northeastern Anthropological Association 2004 Annual Meeting, Dartmouth College.
Paper presented at Anthropology Colloquium, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. 2004
“Graduate Education in Anthropology.” Invited Speaker.
State University of New York College at Potsdam Anthropology Department, Potsdam, NY. 2004