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Computers will make our lives better! September 3, 2012

Posted by mareserinitatis in computers, engineering, teaching.
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Some days I really wonder.  I mean, my research would be almost impossible without computers.  However, I sometimes wonder about using them so much for teaching.

On the one hand, computers are very helpful if you’re attempting to implement universal design in a classroom.  Computers make things far more accessible.

And then there’s the other hand…

After last year, I decided that I would make one major change to the class.  I decided that, as much as possible, I would not accept in-class submission of homework assignments.  There are a few assignments my students must do on paper, such as their course schedule.  However, they have several assignments that are, more or less, short essays.  There are also assignments where they need to submit a file, like a powerpoint.  In order to avoid all the hassle of collecting assignments and handing them back (especially given one of those hassles is that it’s easy to lose submissions that are not handed in with everyone else’s), I figured that electronic submission would be a great way to keep track of these assignments.

Except…it seems like we’ve been plagued with technical difficulties so far this year.  Last week, a couple of the students couldn’t get in to submit their assignments.  (One brought his laptop to class to show me the problem.)  Yesterday, I was trying to post class notes, which students need to do their next assignment, but it wouldn’t allow me to upload any files.  Today, we can’t access the online classroom at all.

Obviously I’m going to give the students extra time because of these issues, but I hope they’re resolved soon.  I’m not sure I can deal with issues like this all semester.

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1. Doug LeQuire - September 3, 2012

Just remember, computers are our friends….right up to the point where they carry out their secret plans to replace all humans and conquer the world. Bwahahahaha! 😉

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