Technology intrigues me. Therefore, it was the driving force that swayed my decision from majoring in English to graphic design. I chose design in 1997 because it offered the opportunity to learn how to use a computer. I will never forget sitting in my first design class to learn Quark software and not having a clue even how to turn on my student computer. The professor turned, saw my frantic look and cautioned, “Please don’t cry!”
So, here I am in the MA program for English, my actual first love, and finding that those technological skills that I thrived to gain fill a vital role in teaching composition. And I am excited! In my 1000, 1002, and now 1001 classes, technology has been a large focus, and not just for technology sake, from laptops and projectors to computers and even cell phones.
Presenting lessons via PowerPoint on the class projector keep the class focused to the front of the room where they clearly see the information. Lesson support materials can be obtained and likewise viewed via projector through internet sites such as YouTube and other movies. Blogging is huge now and my students each have a site where they voice their opinions knowing that they have an audience of peers in class and out in the world. Even more, I believe that composition classes should be taught in computer labs. As lectures are given, students then can access information thus keeping them dynamically engaged in the “conversation.”
Utilizing cell phones in the classroom may become more popular that computers in the future. They currently are used for texting and a few instances of story writing. But, with the development of better keyboards and media capabilities, they will become easier to use and lighter to carry than any laptop. And, they will be more affordable and lend to easier upgrades.
Technology knows no age limit. I like that.