My Tech Background
I figure I’d start out by elaborating a little more on what tech skills I have. This won’t take long:
- I was a call centre technical service representative. If your internet went down in Texas, Louisiana, or New Jersey, you called me. I told you to unplug your modem and count to 30. I also asked you to disconnect your router. Then nine times out of ten, your internet connectivity issues were solved. When you asked me why you had problems when the router was connected, I referred you to the router manufacturers’ websites and wished you a good day.
- I was a call centre representative for a major automobile assistance hotline. When your keys were locked inside your car, or you had a flat, you called me, and then I figured out where you were and arranged for a tow truck. Less technical than the internet position, but I needed to access a number of different programs at the same time with some precision. Lots of toggling between screens and empathetic conversations with anxious Americans.
- I became the go-to person for photocopier jams at my one job, and then at my current one. Here, I help out colleagues with internet issues in the classroom with the media cart, help set up the media cart, trouble shoot compatibility issues (i.e a student has a presentation saved in a new format that our ancient computers can’t handle).
- Also, I was fortunate to have a SmartBoard in my classroom and have taken some workshops on how to effectively use it. I love it. I have been asked to deliver training several times now to colleagues on using it in the ESL classroom. I even presented “Interactive Media in the ESL Classroom” in a classroom that was without a SmartBoard.
- That transpired into two things happening at once: my professional organization asked me to become their communications chair and maintain the website, mail server, etc AND I was asked to develop the Blended Learning program for ESL learners using the D2L platform with a colleague, for which we received a few hours of training .
That’s it – that’s where I am. We have spent our first day going over the syllabus for “Writing in the Real World” (which I think sounds like a reality TV program).
One of the challenges is that the syllabus was not written for a flipped classroom; it was meant for the traditional ESL class, so there is some adaptation to be done. We need to decide what to keep and what to chuck. What are the functional, experiential outcomes of the course? I.e. what do we want the learners to be able to do?
Information overload is also another challenge. As of this moment – we have a bare skeleton plan for day 1 laid out. The goal is to outline the program by the end of the day. Wish me luck.