My undergraduate education courses never prepared me for all of the online tools I would need to include while teaching. Since the Internet did not exist (at least for the common folk) when I graduated from college, however, I certainly can’t complain.
I love the Internet today because it opens opportunities for most of us that we never dreamed possible only a few short years ago.
When I first created a course website seven or eight years ago, it took weeks, but once I had the site online, it saved me so much time. Instead of printing out everything for students, I could direct them to information on the website. I loved it, and students appeared to like having ready access to information at home.
Much to my amazement, parents were thrilled with the website, and, virtually overnight, I stopped having to field phone calls and emails from parents who wanted to know more about my class, assignments, and due dates. Instead, parents emailed me to thank me for making the information available for them to peruse.
I love my course website . . . on most days.
Two years ago I moved my website from a stand-alone site I created with FrontPage to Typepad, a blogging service that my school paid for. Although the site was a bit cumbersome, it was free, and I could tolerate a great deal from a free site.
In the past couple of months, however, I have become so frustrated with the service that I decided to move the site to WordPress over the holidays.
I started moving it yesterday, but, as luck would have it, Typepad’s Export doesn’t Import correctly into WordPress.
I’ll be resolving errors for days.
One day two or three months from now I’ll have a student who says, “I couldn’t find that handout on the website.”
I’ll reply, “Then look again; it’s right where I told you it was.”
After we go back and forth with this conversation several times, I’ll finally realize that the file is not where I thought it would be.
And, I’ll have no idea where it is.
It will have been eaten by the Import/Export/Internet gremlins!
Some days, not many, but some days I think it would be easier to return to the pencil, pen, paper, book, and ditto days of the 1970s.