Monday, August 22, 2005

SummerTech--Friday and Summary

I've spent the weekend trying to wrap my mind around everything we did this week. Whew! First of all, we spent most of Friday "finishing" our sites for presentation Friday afternoon. I put "finishing" in quotes because no one really finished anything. We also got the conclusion of Dave's graphics talk that morning.

The presentations were very interesting. Most of us created course based sites in Dreamweaver. Several used MySCSU to add course resources for the fall. There are some problems, especially that everything is displayed in the order that it is loaded--there is no way to sort anything. So if you have a lot of files (like Art History photos), you get a very cluttered screen very quickly. There is also no sorting function in the course roster. Students are alphabetized by first name. Or I should really say first character--some people have titles (Mr., Ms., etc.) and they are in the M's!

A few people worked on non-course based sites relating to projects. Mine was a site for online faculty covering library services available. It still needs work, but I'll leave it up permanently as a resource.

One of the best things was meeting faculty that I wouldn't usually meet. I normally have contact only with the faculty teaching online and those in "my" departments (Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, & Physics). I really enjoyed seeing how faculty all over campus are using technology in classes. There is a very healthy concern over using technology appropriately for the course goals, not just using the technology because it's there.

After the presentations, a few of us talked for a bit. I really like the idea of having SummerTech II sessions that get beyond the coding, as it were. What are the advantages of using chat in class? What educational goals does discussion serve? How can faculty deal with the trend towards casual language and slang in online communications? Should they? Dan suggested having reunions, where we could discuss some of these issues.

Speaking of technology in the classroom, the Library will be running some discussion/demo sessions this year on various technologies (blogs, RSS, & lots more), under a Faculty Development Grant. More information coming as soon as we get it organized.

I think I'll volunteer my services to Dan as a teaching assistant next year. I really enjoy helping people figure this stuff out. And having librarian working with faculty in another setting certainly won't hurt the library any.

Here are the full series of posts for this week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday/Summary (this one).


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