Give Me a Break!

Hard to believe another academic year is half over, and another calendar year is ending! This break between semesters and years is both welcome and necessary. I’ll be teaching new classes this next semester, and it’s crucial to have time to wind down and then get geared up for the new courses.

Technically, I’ve taught Desktop Publishing once before, but it feels new this year. First, we’re beginning a one-to-one initiative next month, which means that students will have access to their laptops 24/7. I can overhaul the types of projects students will complete for this semester, keeping in mind that they can work on them any time of day.

Second, it’s unclear whether we will have access to PhotoShop this semester, as we did last year. If not, I will need to design different activities and will likely have to hunt down some web 2.0 graphic design tools. There’s also the issue of trying to complete graphic design projects on a mini-laptop’s 11-inch screen. Still working on a fix for that one.

In addition to the Desktop Publishing course, I will be responsible for designing and teaching a digital citizenship class to all students before they’re assigned laptops. There are some wonderful resources online, but condensing them into a one-hour session looks to be challenging at this point. I’m looking forward to the challenge, though. As long as I have the time to research and design it, I’m game.

And then there’s the challenge of orienting students to the laptops and how they function. This should be less stressful than the digital citizenship class, but it will need to be designed nonetheless. More challenging might be the task of becoming literate enough myself to orient the other faculty in making technology a fundamental part of instruction in all classes. I dipped my toes in the water this fall by putting my biology class online, but that’s only a start.

This week began with a wonderful Christmas celebration with family, but I’m back to reality. Between class prep and helping to plan our school’s annual Career Fair in February, this break is shaping up to be a “working break.” I just hope to work in some reading for enjoyment and relaxation (while praying for a snow day soon!)Girl Making Snow Angel

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