Thought I might be able to catch up in the class… Not going to happen:-( Technology really isn’t my thing. I use it at work all day and love the many things it affords but the fact is, the students our school serves can’t afford technology and adoption of more and more tech mediated “schooling” is simply pushing them away. It might be that a new form of teaching growing from tech will help? Tech itself will remain a rich kids toy and out of our students’ lives for some time to come.
That said, even here in the far north, technology is important and our best chance of getting some part of it to our marginalized students is by having their teachers introduce it in a way that pares it down to being affordable and relevant. Only… are the faculty actually interested? Up to now part of the reason we haven’t been able to connect to all the great things that might help distribute education is the lack of faculty interest in teaching applications that don’t reach “their” students. Most see no advantage and some refuse to adopt even Moodle use and this is a significant factor.
Or I think that’s it. For years I’ve been feeding tech tips and free training courses like this one into the faculty development department system at work without any response or evidence of it being used. It’s frustrating and after years of it I was just deciding to give up and along comes our brand new dean of Teaching and Learning asking me to build all the information into a “Faculty Resource” in the shared folder area we use for cross-department messaging. (Turns out the new dean helped build a program in “Hope Studies” and nursing theory that I volunteered to help pilot a few years back through another college so not all free courses come to nothing).
Not entirely sure what to include but I’ve got at best a month before the person who “runs” faculty training gets back from sick leave. In addition the person who’s been hired to help her comes on board soon too and the silo doors will slam closed again. This has to be done from home as there is too much work at work at the moment to stop work on current projects during paid time for this. Anyway, in the weird world of education I’m “not qualified” to do this and paying me challenges the notion that learning is strictly confined to the school room to be of any real value:-)
Not sure where to start? Tutorials in Moodle come to mind as a beginning. We have two people to provide help with Moodle who naturally need to attend to the students first. Not sure why the instructional staff have been avoiding Moodle as every class we offer is either based in it or has a companion site tied into it. It could be that training allowances allow people to go away and PD happens on lunch breaks without compensation. (People are overworked and need their lunches).
Doesn’t matter, with cut-backs our Moodle help will be dedicated to student needs only and faculty will have to train through PD–and now prove they have taken the training. By the way, this is a stage all schools will experience as cut-backs gut staff and all the informal relationships that sustain the organization (like my informal Moodle help services to instructors off the side of my desk) disappear.
Time to start collecting Moodle tutorials. Already have a list to review and also think I’ll throw in some samples of quality sites for extra course content. We hired someone last year who collected thousands of mostly candy and fortunately this spring we have someone new who sends in great stuff. It might be worth doing a compare and contrast to explain the difference? Might have time.
Speaking of this here is a good site for scientific images and short lessons:
2012 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge
> http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6119/518.full <