Feb 21

teaching basic tech skills quickly, to get to the good stuff

Hi everyone. I also have a teaching related query. (I am going to echo Lisa’s previous comment: I’ve never been involved with a THATcamp before, so I don’t know if pedagogy is the type of focus ya’ll want to have. I struggle to integrate my classroom with the amazing digital stuff available though.) I’d be interested in sharing ideas about how to quickly & effectively teach basis tech skills so that students (mine are all undergraduates at a liberal arts school) can access material, perform readings/collaborations online, ect. For example, I use the Farber gravestone collection when teaching Puritan elegies http://www.davidrumsey.com. I know it isn’t ideal for the students to download an embedded application to view the images, but that’s the way the site is set up. I find that 50% or more of my students do not know how to walk through a download and install to be able to then view the images of gravestones. Some of them are quite tech savvy, but many are not. They may use their iPhones everyday, but that does not mean they know how to navigate and troubleshoot. (Of course, it doesn’t help that my school, like so many others, is still using Blackboard which is so terribly inefficient in so many terrible ways.) I’ve tried using a combination of groups and student-experts in the past, but I end up helping many of them in office hours. (Do I have to clarify that this is NOT the way I want to use my office hours?!) When you use http://publicpoetics.org or other sites, how do you also quickly coach your students to understand “how” to troubleshoot?  How do you help them understand the technology when some of them attend public schools that barely had working computers while others were provided with iPads? How do you help them help each other without the course becoming all about these skills and losing time on the content you are supposed to be teaching? I’d love to see some example lesson plans. Thanks 🙂

1 comment

  1. phillipc

    Joy, it strikes me that online tutorials for students (PDFs, videos, etc.) might help get them up to speed without sucking up class time. I’ve just started experimenting with using PDFs including screen shots to help students catch on to some features of WordPress—as in last week. Hoping to hear from others about more developed ideas, too.

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