Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Teaching and batting .500

I have been busy this week, teaching the last few of my summer workshops. Monday, I taught a quick overview class on Office 2007. It went really well, had lots of questions to answer. Those are the best workshops. I talk a little and let the participants guide the workshop from there. We may not cover all the topics on the 'agenda,' but the folks learn what THEY want to learn, and will most likely use what they learn.

On Tuesday, I taught two workshops - one was an intro to computers. We covered basic getting around the Windows environment, but also how to save a form from our web site, edit the form, save it, then attach it in email. It's amazing to me what has become 'basic' these days. :-) Soon, the 'basics' will cover blogging, podcasting, and collaborative online projects.

The other workshop was offsite at a district. It was supposed to be two hours of Technology for teaching Arkansas History. The premise was that we would be in a computer lab for the training - or so I thought. Instead, we were all (35-40 people) in one classroom with mine as the only computer. The workshop went well, I thought, and covered a lot of resources. The 'hands-on' parts were cut out and instead, the participants were told they could do that part on their own. I had approval from the principal before that announcement was made. On the upside, it made for a very short workshop. :-)

I recently bought an a/v media switcher for Shan's Mom. She has an old VCR, a dvd player, directv, and surround sound. It was all hooked up in a fashion that required something just short of a degree to figure out. For example, to watch a dvd, you had to turn on the vcr, start a tape, stop the tape, then turn on surround in order to hear anything. Now, with the autoswitcher, the TV is on by default. If she turns on the VCR, it switches for her. DVD, same thing. easy peasy!

and then, I tried to install a Hawking brand print server for my mom so she could print wirelessly to her all-in-one printer. The server saw the printer, the computer saw the server, but the printer's software would not allow the computer to print because it could not talk 'directly' to the printer. Stupid. It is a common 'feature' for printer software these days, but find it annoying as heck. I'm a tech. I know what I'm doing most of the time. Let me do what I need to, ya know? Well, I'll figure it out eventually.

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