Random Thoughts

about reading, writing, and anything else that interests me

My students and technology

My friend Angie commented on my last post, and I started to comment on her comment. Then I decided that I was writing enough to warrant a whole post.

My students usually have very limited understanding of technology. Part of what I do is teach them how to create PowerPoints, how to use library databases, etc. I take this part of my job very seriously. We are using Moodle this year to do hybrid or blended classes because it is important that they learn how to do more with computers than email and games. I feel good about the fact that my students leave me with the computer skills and experience they need to succeed in their other classes.

I try to give my students options; tomorrow one student will be showing us a movie he made. But another is creating his first PowerPoint. I encourage them to stretch themselves and their technological expertise. And they never cease to amaze me.

Angie talks about consulting the students about how to achieve the goals of the class . That is something I don’t do enough of. I would like to try to change that this next semester. My students, even though they are adults, are not used to making any decisions or having any real input into their education. This sometimes makes it difficult for them to think about it deeply. And that is my biggest frustration. I have been doing a lot of “writing as thinking” with them this semester in an attempt to get them to go a little deeper, but it has not been tremendously successful. That does not mean, though, that I should give up on it.

I would like to get them excited about writing, and I think technology could help us do that. But not if the basic assignments are not exciting. I would like to experiment with having them produce alternatives to the research paper, for instance. Maybe a wiki. Maybe a blog. Maybe webtexts that are written for the Internet rather than print. The important thing is that the students learn how to do the research, how to think critically about the information they find, and how to write about it. The format doesn’t matter. Could I offer a variety of options? Could each student do something different? Why not? I am the only thing keeping us from doing it that way. Am I up to it? Why not?

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2 thoughts on “My students and technology

  1. Anonymous on said:

    you had a very smooth and very human feelings, by the way, I am Egyptian but I hoped to enjoy that atmosphere but never mind, it was just a dream but your sentence which means that life begins every day and creativitiy does not restricted to age gives me hope that I will find my way, sometimes I will, thanks for reading my comments and sorry for my BBAAADDD English….
    Ibrahim(ibr_afah@yahoo.co.uk)

  2. Anonymous on said:

    you will not give up—–>it is realy very nice spirit but I wounder is there any american who can not use technology…if there is so why we fear the future, one thing which stole out trust in our selfes is that americans are so far in the future and we will not be able to reach them so take a rest and do not share racing since you will be the last..my friend, she is a woman and she is now in USA in 3 months for collecting materials for her PhD…She changed by 100% positively, she now trusts more in her self…I am not sure if American friends gave her some vaccine but no dout she discovered the americans closely so she discoverd that they are human as she does exactly…
    Ibrahim(ibr_afah@yahoo.co.uk)

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