Admittedly, I was a bit nervous about class on Wednesday. I was worried that someone who has been teaching at VCU for years, especially a well respected faculty member like Dr. Cowles, would not want to listen to suggestions from a bunch of grad students. Do we really know better than she does?
But she is open to new ideas and suggestions and our class is full of those! I could barely keep up with the discussion, ideas were coming so fast and furiously. I am more of a ponderer/note-taker/writer, so I’m not as good as coming up with suggestions on the fly as everyone else. However, I expect that with more training and practice, this will become second nature to me, the same way leave administration is (god, that sounded boring just writing it).
I’m wondering how everyone is getting together information for a discussion of this in class. I’m finding that unless I have two monitors (I am spoiled by work), it’s almost impossible for me to work in multiple tabs or programs. I forget things. What I am doing instead is using a notebook for jotting things down when I look at course materials online and then transferring them to Google Drive so I can access my notes anywhere. I complain about paper at work all the time–who needs originals when we can scan stuff? I feel like it’s not an effective way of using technology (I feel guilty, especially with all this training we have!) but this method is really working for me for this project, as is printing out a few things and making notes (schedule and syllabus). What about you?
Re: the readings… I don’t know why I was shocked to read that the overhead projector has been around since the 1940s but I was. Maybe it’s because we have several old school instructors who teach Intersession and Summer (I don’t deal with faculty members otherwise) who specifically request these. There are only a few on campus and instructors have to check them out. There are better ways to do things now, right? I’m trying to think of a class that has instruction in it where there isn’t technology to replace the projector but I can’t think of one–can you? How will faculty members like these impact our future careers (if we work in higher ed)?
I enjoyed the bits on learning theories vs the history of technology. I know we touched on this in 640, but I hadn’t taken 601 yet and this makes so much more sense now. Also, while I do find that some of the technology stuff in this book is a bit outdated, I switch out “two-way interactive video” and put in “Skype” (which is kind of the “Kleenex” of online video chatting, isn’t it?) and it works just fine. 😉
Completely off topic, but my sister in law has her MAT and she teaches at the elementary level in Henrico County. She hasn’t liked her job lately, and worries about getting more education and possibly having another child. If she has another kid, I think she wants to stay at home but she doesn’t want to lose her teaching skills because she would like to go back (she fears boredom). I’ve begun to suggest looking into teaching online–I have met a few people who work for home schooling companies and they have very flexible schedules. I was so excited to tell her about it and the benefits of teaching online and working from home. As Dr. Cowles illustrated, the growth of online learning benefits students and instructors.
Photos of lady engineer and scientist from The Smithsonian.