Here are my notes from the lecture I gave to BCC's Center For Learning & Instruction in the spring of 2012. Sherrie Block, our paralegal program director took these notes, which I have added some hyperlinks to for further information. If you want to watch the video of my lecture, look below.
Working With Students Who Have Low Technology Skills – William Wend, English Lecturer Center for Learn and Instruction: Thursday, April 5th, 2012 Presentation
Informal conference, an “unconference” without a heirarchy...ThatCamp describes this as:
It’s spontaneous and timely, with the agenda / schedule / program being mostly or entirely created by all the participants during the first session of the first day, rather than weeks or months beforehand by a program committee.
It’s non-hierarchical and non-disciplinary and inter-professional: THATCamps welcome graduate students, scholars, librarians, archivists, museum professionals, developers and programmers, K-12 teachers, administrators, managers, and funders as well as people from the non-profit sector, people from the for-profit sector, and interested amateurs. The topic “the humanities and technology” contains multitudes.
Mr. Wend is constantly hearing from BCC faculty dealing with students who possesses low technology skills; he, for example, wishes students would do page breaks before starting their citation page
Topic was voted for at Conference; At ThatCamp, there is no planned schedule until the morning of the conference. Participants suggest topics and they are democratically voted on.
William ran panel and had nice hour and half chat there and is now bringing this presentation back to BCC (a more final version). He hopes to do this more in the future.
He found that many attendees faced common issue, dealing with them on a day-to-day basis:
Finding ways to remove hindrances to learning; easy for students to fall behind if they cannot put together a document properly on a computer
Example Student: had low computer skills...almost dropped William’s class
Met with student: “this is a mouse”
Technology skills are important not only in class, but also in the job market
Digital Natives – young kids that are whizzes at computers
Emphasized in news but really only 1 in 10 students have these skills
For most, technology is $300 phones used to Facebook friends
Idea of “Digital Natives” is non-sense
Study – found students go to Google and Spark Notes; majority of students didn’t know what Ctrl-F does to find key term(s) on webpage
Digital Citizenship is something that is important; this is a workforce issue that will set you apart from the rest of job applicants (know how to use word processor, etc. – jobs won’t train on this anymore- resources , money, and time wasted for employer)
Mother’s best friend tried to apply at Wal-Mart a few months ago – application had to be filled out on computer – she never used a computer before and she was dumbfounded; they had to sit there and walk her through app – she didn’t get the job
Mr. Wend teaches word processing skills in his English classes
Building template in MLA style paper for his and other classes (header, page numbers, page-break before citations) – formatting on name – emails to them so that they have for future papers
That is a good percentage of his classes’ paper grades (this template)
Students learn how to do APA template for Psychology classes, etc. (Chicago Style, etc.)
Need to know what proper form to use in the specific class
Email Assignment at the beginning of the term – Students send Mr. Wend an email (counts as quiz grade) from BCC account so that there is proof that they know how to use email (if password needs to be reset , etc., this will be resolved very early in the semester). Email account needs to be checked frequently – proposed that this be done institutionally.
Mr. Wend’s classes are heavily based on technology.
An instructor in the Liberal Arts Division sends Study Guides to students’ email but does not always tell her students; it is their responsibility to check (BCC sends job listings on the mymail account, etc.).
At ThatCamp talked about a 1 credit technology class that students can test out of, but would need to take – possibility at BCC perhaps?
Another issue – in English dealing with Information Literacy (talking with Martin Hoffman and Dave Peterson) – What is next step after mandatory ENG 101 Library Session? - What can they do with resources?
Mr. Wend’s class does a follow up exercise after the mandatory library day
At ThatCamp, talked about students who have a hard time deciphering what good sources of information is online (students click on sponsored link not knowing that this was paid for and may not be the correct link for them; search Othello for example and Spark Notes is the second link)
Students in Mr. Wend’s class cited from Yahoo Answers (comes up first often doing using a Yahoo and/or Bing search – versus using Google)
Mr. Wend will create a blacklist to get rid of some bad resources so that students know not to use; proposes a mandatory Library Day in ENG 102 – next steps for evaluating sources or citing properly (second year research)
Concern from Librarians to not just outsource this to Library – this is a collaborative effort with them
Idea also to do Coffee Sessions with Faculty to gain more allies in various disciplines to become go-to people for these sorts of issues
This does not have to come from the classroom; should come from the curriculum-end, as well
Panel: List should be given to students as to what students need to know in terms of technology skills by the end of this year (this would be decided on a school-by-school basis)
Mr. Wend proposes that this technological information should be built into the handbook that students have, to check email on a regular basis, etc.
Students need to be in email so that they are aware of deadlines as they come and not find out after because he or she read the email too late
Panel: Some schools have technology across the curriculum (like writing across the curriculum); some schools require instructors use a content management system (whether the schools or their own, Blackboard, Wiki, etc.)
– Digital aspect to a class - to get from Flintstones (print; analog) to Jetsons (21st century) – Teachers must be comfortable with technology
Requirement of Information Literacy in K-12 curriculum
Panel: we can reach out to local school districts (principals, etc.) regarding curriculum, to open up dialog.
Mr. Wend proposes also that students with high technology skills help other students with lower skills (formatting, computer skills, etc.); students can buddy up and help one another or if not happening naturally, instructors can help to formalize this. If students are struggling to put together a paper, etc. this leads to plagiarism and lower success. (Mr. Wend interviews these students and 1 in 5 don’t know how to evaluate sources or put together.)
- Schools, discipline coordinators, and individual instructors of classes can do surveys to gauge students’ technology skills and gear class with this information in mind (Google survey in class, survey at time of registration maybe, etc.)
- Online students – the list of what needs to be known to be successful in class can be handed out as well, surveys can be given
- Citation managers (Moodle, etc.); Portable Apps can be used if they do not like what is in computer lab – Mr. Wend shows in Secondary Level classes
- Students do not all realize that they can put BCC email on their phone. In class, Mr. Wend will take time to help them set this up while students doing class exercises.
- Students these days communicate through Facebook, Skype and text messaging. They are resistant to going on the web. Everything is app based for them. They do not need a separate mental note now o remind them to go check email.
- Mr. Wend emphasizes task managers in class (Remember the Milk is one Mr. Wend uses, etc.)
- Add Calendar to phone, as well (Google Calendar, etc.) to get into routine; task management. Foolish to not take advantage of this.
- BCC should publish Academic Calendar to ICS file (Google file) to students’ calendars. – Should be public not just on web. Can be on phone. Students do not always see paper posters of events.
- William Wend, Sherrie Block, and Gina Yanuzzi will start doing technology presentations for the student body (monthly maybe) – building a word processing template for papers – students use of Gmail accounts- not all know they have access to Google Docs and Google Calendar as well. Teach the students how to use these resources. (Student requests) – Also, Mr. Wend to present additional topics for Faculty at CLI presentations, such as this.
- Please get in touch with us if you want to be involved in this project!!
- Online Video on this presentation and Google Doc will have links for you.
- We have pieces in place but we need to connect the dots. Let’s collaborate and work together on improvements to improve student success.