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IT 521 - Computer Application in Education

I took this course in the Spring semester of 2007. The main objectives, as set forth by professor Jay Pfaffman, of the course were for students to: a) increase their familiarity with uses of computer applications to support teaching and learning; and b) learn how to learn new things about computers and computer applications.

The approaches that we took on achieving these objectives varied. Professor Pfaffman's favorite teaching strategy was to use Open Source Software as a learning tool. He was especially adamant about us, as students, learning how to use Moodle. As a matter of fact, the syllabus stated for us to, "Stop using MS Office right now." We had to learn / find new ways to create documents using Open Source Software.

This was a challenge for me at first, because I had always used MS Office for any type of computer document that I was creating. I did not have a clue what Open Source Software even was, much less did I know how to use it! As time passed however, the "learning curve" began to sit in and I was able to work with software that I never knew existed. Software such as Bluefish / NVU, a content management system called Drupal, and I even took a liking to Moodle.

All of this leads me to the main lesson that I took from this course. I learned that if you do not "shut the doors" on other possibilities, simply because you have not tried them before, then you may find yourself learning another way, a better method, or enjoying something that you would have missed had you stuck to the same mannerism of learning / teaching. I will take these lessons with me, as I become a teacher.

I took and applied these lessons, while taking the course. I had to create a project for the class, which was part of my grade. My project can be seen here http://www.googlethisbaby.blogspot.com/. Using the lessons and knowledge gained from the class I created and kept a blog for my project. As you will see, the Blogger can be a very fascinating, and entertaining tool with which to work.

 

 

computer
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