I knew at some point during the semester, I would be too overwhelmed to blog much, and that point came at the junction of creating the English department budget for next year and keeping up with grad school.
Some things I’m thinking about: assessment and professional development, planning a curriculum map/scope and sequence for my department, and NCTE. Will I see any of you at the conference? I’m looking forward to going.
I am plugging away in my grad school program, but I’m immensely frustrated by one of my classes to the point that I feel I should warn anyone interested in the program about the class. It’s required, and it’s a complete waste of time. It’s outdated, it’s boring busy work, and it’s mostly irrelevant. It’s also the one that I was most looking forward to when I registered. It’s a course on using the Web in education. We have learned nothing, and I mean nothing, about Web 2.0 tools. Several of the assignments have been redundant collections of links on various subjects. When I finally thought I’d learned something in the class — fair use — I quickly learned from my blog commenters that even that lesson was outdated. I was encouraged by one classmate to look at the class as a means to an end, but I admit it bothers me that I paid tuition for it. And I plan to share this information on my course evaluation, too. They MUST get this class, and in some respects, the rest of the program into the 21st century. Why am I reading a book about how we are entering an information age and we need to change how we teach kids that was written in 1993? Nothing more recent has been written on a similar subject that we can use instead? I don’t believe it.
On the plus side, I was able to get a student discount for Adobe Studio 8, which was later replaced by Creative Suite. It comes with Dreamweaver 8, Flash Professional 8, Fireworks 8, Contribute 3, and Flashpaper 2. I haven’t worked with all of the programs, but I loved Dreamweaver and Fireworks. I know Dreamweaver throws in a lot of code that isn’t necessary when you use it to create Web sites, but it’s so much easier than coding with HTML. I used it to build the shell of the Web site that will be my ITMA portfolio. Most of the pages are placeholders right now except for the home page and résumé, but feel free to watch it for developments! A permanent link is in the sidebar to the left.