500 Words At A Time: As A Teacher, Part 5

Our girl was sick, if you read yesterday’s post, you have an idea of what we were dealing with. Today was less sick, but still sick enough that I kept her home. When a sick child is home, I stay home. If I am home, then I am not in class where I am supposed to be assisting or teaching students how to make their online portfolio. My physical absence does not excuse them from working in an online environment on an assignment that is the primary grade for their capstone class.

I have a saying around the house, “If I am working. You are working.” I worked from home today. While not nearly as satisfying as being in the classroom, I was able to work. Due to their work being online they should be as well. I am not getting a grade on my work. I have already passed the class. I am there to assist them and I am more than happy to do so, provided they do the work that I ask. I do not ask for more than I did. In fact, using what I did I am asking for smaller chunks to make their workload easier.

Thus, for me, my time as a teacher today was reviewing their sites. I will spare you the nitty gritty, but suffice to say, years ago I would not be able to do this, technology has revolutionized the ability to teach. For example, in the case of this class, I could teach the entire online protfolio process, complete with examples and a live, interactive question and answer session online. I know this because this is how I have taught a couple of people out of state and out of country to start their sites. What is interesting to me, is there seems to be a mindset that they have to do the work in class and that someone has to be there in person to teach them or answer their questions.

If they had a normal assignment, such as write a paper on whatever, this mindset would make sense. They do not have a normal assignment. In fact, they do not have a regular portfolio capstone class that other departments have. I know, because I am assisting a biology major with her capstone portfolio and compared to the Tech-Comm portfolio is a joke. The Biology portfolio is to assemble a 3-ring binder consisting of a resume, some assignments from the semester, and some assignments from their time at the college. A joke, compared to an online portfolio, a print portfolio, a 30-minute presentation, a resume, and business cards all designed to ensure that a Tech-Comm student leaves the schools tithe tools necessary to get a job out the door.

Provided they do the work…

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