Education, Part Deux

The Rant D’Jour is not good. It’s from 2006 which would pre-date WEEKENDER submission and at 350 words it’s too short. I have since seen a bunch of similar articles and they are much better, funnier and more to the point. Hey, they can’t all be gems.

The new breed of answering systems is driving me to drink. Not that it would be a long trip but still. Now you get to have long conversations with these systems that almost always… more

Blog Post for Friday 2/18/11 – 41 degrees at 6:06 AM. It’s amazing what a few degrees and sunshine can do for your outlook. Mine anyway.

That's about right.

Piled up across from me on the kitchen table is a mountain of school work. Constant readers (and there are some of you) know that I am taking journalism classes to up my worth in the writing gig.

What I don’t mention so often is that I am also teaching three sections, about 36 students in all, of a class called “Computers in Mass Media.”

Course No. CIS 107.

I have taught at Luzerne County Community College for 11 years now. My first few years I taught music recording. How to use microphones, consoles and elementary mixing. I loved it. All of my students were eager to learn and very motivated.

The last few years I have taught CIS 107. It’s a required course. It’s slowly becoming a dinosaur. We all know it, the other teachers and my faculty chair. We have discussions about what to do with it.

The course is designed to teach, at an introductory level, the basics of how computers fit into the career path of the students. The assumption is made that the students may not have skills in using computers and the software that they will need in classes to come, and that I can give them some familiarity with it.

There are a couple of problems with this idea. The first is that even though all my students are in the “Communications” department, the career paths are widely divergent. The department has journalism, graphics, music recording, advertising and more in its curriculum.

I can only hope to skim the surface of these different needs by presenting the very basics of each software program. That’s one dilemma.

The other is that the skill set and previous education of the students also varies widely. Some have used and are fluent in a few of the programs but have never seen some.

Some know nothing but the basics.

Some think they know it all but don’t.

Some do know it all.

Some are, even in this day and age, completely computer illiterate.

Some of them are not very motivated.

It makes teaching in manner that keeps all those levels engaged a challenge.

I am a good to great teacher. This is not me fluffing up my ego. The students evaluate me on a regular basis on a long questionnaire, which is graded and the results returned to me. I am, in the eyes of the students, good at what I do.

Students get to make remarks at the end of the questionnaire.

The college president stopped me in the hallway once and told me that one student had said “Mr. Rising is the sickest teacher ever!”

I am sure the president knew that was pretty high praise.

Pretty sure.

I have tests and essay papers to grade. A lot of them. I am the type of person who hates work waiting. So I will dig in.
Rant D’Jour

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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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