about history, family, and flying heliocopters.
Glen has found technology enbles him to use images to help history
come alive for his students. John found technology, particularly the
'confuser,' an annoyance in his life. Powerpoint (PPT) for sharing
images was the door that opened new avenues for teaching. Discovery
of Google for images beyond what he scanned from texts also brought
added source materials to both John and his students.
technical skills are superb. He has the intuitive sense that comes
from growing up with technology. More importantly, he sees no limitations
for Dr. Glen. Ethan's infectious attitude and grace have moved Dr.
Glen farther than any of us imagined possible in one quarter.
objective is to move Dr. Glen to independence in managing and
utilizing technology for his courses and thereby changing his
teaching through technology integration.
goal is for Dr. Glen to be fluent in Blackboard components in
order to conduct part of his classes as online distance education.
These components include posting his course documents and resource
links, as well as using the Discussion Board and Chat features.
Access to his Powerpoint presentations as resources for papers
and for review will be an added feature.
& Specific Problems
Carousels Inhibiting: Dr.
Glen's personal slide collection of historical images numbered in
the thousands. He pulled slides for a given lecture from the plastic
sleeves in the three-ring binders. The process was tedius. In class,
it was cumbersome to go back eight or ten slides to illustrate a
point in class discussions.
to Triumph: We
hired a student to scan the slides and put them into PowerPoint
presentations. The scanned slides were saved to a CD as server space
was at a premium. During the summer, his office was carpeted and,
in moving his office furniture, the crew misplaced the CD. Very
few of the original images remained. Delightfully, Dr. Glen saw
in the tragedy as an opportunity to start over with a fresh approach.
Learning from the first year's experience, he knew wanted about
six to eight Powerpoint presentations for each ten-week course he
taught. Notably, he did not want to be limited by his personal collection.
Skills Limited: Dr. Glen knew the basics of email, but
had no knowledge of mailboxes, address books, or attachments. Dr.
Glen's interest in technology grew as he worked on his dissertation,
but his knowledge of PPT was minimal. As we ran into space problems
for his images, file management became an issue and he was at a
loss to find and manage the files he needed.
Dr. Glen was our first P4L: I coordinated the student worker that
scanned that huge collection of slides in fall of 2001. The student
not only scanned the slides and created the PPTs, but also ran the
presentations in class. It was a fruitful partnering as the student
was enrolled in the class so, not only provided technical assistance,
but also valuable feedback on what worked academically. The following
quarter, the student continued to scan images and create PPTs, but
Dr. Glen now ran the presenations. By spring quarter, he had created
his own six-slide PPT for the first day of class covering his syllabus
and course expectation. As he completes his second year, he has
become fluent in PPT. Ethan has taught him some tips as well as
how to find images with Google. A whole new world has opened up.
The depth of the resources has added a dimension to his courses.
One notable point is the ability to show graphically how images
directly effect our perception of history.
Training: The results of his P4L student partnership were
significantly different than those with his first student worker.
His first student was an employee while the second was a partner.
The first student did tasks - scanned slides and created PPTs. He
had no responsibility for mentoring Dr. Glen. The weekly sessions
with his P4L mentor over the ten-week period provided a ready avenue
for answers to immediate questions. Since Ethan worked daily and
was frequently in the History Department area, Dr. Glen had ready
access to just-in-time-tech-training (JIT3). Dr. Glen reported that
he often called Ethan at odd hours and Ethan always responded with
grace that he would be right over. This lowered frustrating delays
that held up progress. The training moved from PPT to initiating
Dr. Glen in Blackboard. This first quarter was to give him an overview
of the capabilities so that as he plans over the summer he is aware
of the tools at his disposal.
Training: Ethan needed little assistance on the tech side
of mentoring. He took the ideas and moved Dr. Glen forward with
ease. As with other mentors, the weekly sessions in MS Office basics
brought to light areas of which he had little knowledge. At one
point, he was feeling overwhelmed by the assignments from Dr. Glen.
We talked over ways to step out of the student role and into the
mentor role, ways to in some sense help direct the work to be done.
Limitations, & Next Steps
Dr. Glen is close to acheiving the objectives and goals we set out
to accomplish. Half way through the quarter, he left a voicemail
noting the improvement in his PPTs due to Ethan's ideas and teaching.
In our final P4L meeting at the end of the quarter, he acknowledged
that he felt that he has come along way and no longer considers
technology confusing. Notably, he asked wonderful questions of the
group about 'spoon feeding' the students versus making them do their
own search for sources. This shows his comfort with
evaluating the technology and its use in his classes.
has absolute confidence that he can master Blackboard and sees its
effectiveness for his teaching. He noted that both he
and Dr. Batz have progressed to the same point - just along different
Dr. Glen finished his doctoral disseration during this process.
It is hard to know the impact of the additional word processing
and research on this project. At this point in his career he is
dedicated to his subject and improved teaching. These are a positive
influence on P4L. In his evaluation he noted that when Ethan became
busy toward the end of the quarter, the meetings were cut to only
one to two per week instead of five per week. Dr. Glen did note
in the wrap-up meeting that whenever he needed help Ethan always
came immediately and his assistance was execellent. However, he
would like to stick to the original plan for the entire quarter
in the fall.
Steps: Dr. Glen will have one of his fall quarter courses
on Blackboard while he has JIT3 to support that effort. His final
project will be the use of Blackboard for his course in Hawaii Winter
Quarter. The first two weeks the students will be at home - scattered
across the US. His classes and assignments will be online. They
will continue to use Blackboard in Hawaii. That will be an interesting
test of our server in St. Louis!