Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lack of consistant classes leads to more Power Point Presentations

So my next class starts up soon, it will have been 14 weeks between assignments this last time. I have been getting good reviews, was awarded for teaching excellence, and have been going to university "training". Apparently none of this comes into play when the person scheduling the Adjuncts is assigning courses. I think this time they actually forgot about me because when I emailed them asking what was going on, it had been 10 weeks since I had heard from them, I suddenly got an assignment. *sigh*

I thought I had been making some progress in landing some additional universities. I have had several phone conversations with deans from various universities and community colleges, some even requested transcripts and that I fill out mountains of paper work. So far no training sessions and no classes. That is great since I enjoy spending my time doing meaningless paperwork!

On the plus side I have revamped my class "lectures" for the upcoming class, I have even included some power point presentations and graphics to keep the kiddies engaged. If it goes well I will do some more of these for the other classes I teach.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I read the article posted by the author of Teach Online regarding the narcissism of the up coming generations and I feel compelled to comment. There are so many factors that can play into this topic that I almost do not know where to begin! Let us start with the fact that the study discussed in this article found that in 2006 30% more students rated high on the narcissism scale. Some of the factors discussed was the "self esteem" push of the 1980's, the emergence of YouTube and Myspace, etc. Since part of narcissism is not being able to communicate and relate to others, a rise in online communication where you only need to pay attention to your views or those like yours, it is not surprising that the study has findings such as these. After all, if all of your communication can be about you and your likes, and you can block out anything confrontational to what you believe why would you not begin to believe you are better than you truly are?

Some things that it has not discussed was how schools are now pushed for children to be the same (NCLB). No one is better or worse, everyone is average. Everything is rated by a test score, your self worth is determined by your college application. The article is even skeptical of high school volunteers as they are often volunteering because it looks good on their transcripts, so the volunteering is for them, not those is need. They are then praised for this which re enforces the narcissism.

The subjects of this study were college students, and I have seen my fair share of "look at me's" in my classes. What I find more disturbing is the dramatic increase of the lack of empathy and ability to think of someone other than yourself I am seeking in the k-12 population. Very often the younger generation feels they should get things just because and cannot fathom why they should have to work for it when I tell them no in class. Granted they have a lower level of emotional and cognitive development, however I do not think this bodes well for the next 20-30 years of our society.

To me this study supports my stance that MySpace and Facebook (and other social networks) should not be used in an educational environment. If the goal of higher education is to teach students not only the theory of their chosen subjects but how to be productive citizens we need to stop the breakdown that got them where they are today. They need to be exposed to ideas they are uncomfortable with, they need to be challenged, and they need to think of how situations affect someone other than themselves!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mac vs. Vista

I am looking into purchasing a laptop in the next year. Since there have been so many problems with Vista I am looking into a Macbook (just a basic one). What have people's experiences been with Mac and the new Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac?