Sunday, April 27, 2008

Student Technology Know-How

Is the newest student generation really tech savvy? Or is just the portion of the students at the high end of the tech use spectrum driving that label for all students? I've got an awful lot of students in my classes with very low level tech skills. Browsing, or searching, the web, sending an email using Word are all things that are problematic. I don't necessarily label calling with, or talking on, a cell phone a tech skill.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Interactivity (commenting on images)

What I'd like to be able to do is figure out a way that students can comment throughout my course on, for example, some of the images that I use. In a blog, students can add comments to posts or images that are included in the blog. In Flickr (or other online photo sites), users can always add comments to images. Now, I've just got regular html pages, and the question is how can I make them more interactive for users. I'd like to see students build up a line of commentary on specific images that I use.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


One of the many problems that we face at our college is staying in touch. Seems simple enough! We're a large college, with five different campuses (in an area where driving any amount of distance can always be problematic), with faculty having heavy teaching loads. Plus we are all dealing with our different discipline demands. So, while technology can offer us some solutions, it is interesting that even though some of us can be pretty darn good with tech, it can be still be tough to stay up on what others are doing. The tech just doesn't enable communication as flawlessly, as easily, as it should be.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Resizing Pages

It is a minor point, but one of the things that came to my mind as I was working on these course re-orderings was that I should redo my page widths. Since I first started working on the web years ago, I always designed my web pages with a define width of 600 pixels. That worked well with the low graphics resolutions and small monitors, but now I figured that I could throw caution to the wind and expand everything to at least a width of 800. That gives me a lot more design room on the pages. But it's also going to add another step in my work.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Digital Teaching Workshop

Right now I'm directing a NEH-funded, year long workshop focused on teaching/studying the humanities with current and future digital technologies. I am not quite sure yet what will come out of this, but currently I am working on separating content from course assignments in all of my online history courses. It is a bit laborious to do that, but I'm hoping that this will give me more options in considering which, if any, web 2.0 applications I can begin to use in the courses. Separating out the content will also allow me to develop my content a bit more and add in a lot more images.