Last semester became a round of firsts for me. First time to move out-of-state, first semester as a doctoral student, first course to teach. Working on classics like The Aeneid and The Decameron, I thought that technology would sometimes be useful, but wasn't certain about how useful. I used Blackboard as a backup, asking my students to email me papers as well as uploading them, and gave one or two quizzes online.
This semester, however, my course schedule (for classes I was taking) seemed to be scattered. I would find a course I wanted to take, and it would conflict with another. A course I was enrolled in was dropped. Graduate seminars beckoned me, and interfered with my plans to take a fun history course. Still, I thought I could make the Spring work for me. And then I started looking for courses to fit with a teaching certificate offered by the University.
I found a promising course: Teaching with Technology in the College Classroom. I thought it was perfect. I was going from teaching one not-so-popular course to teaching two sections of a course that covered a university requirement. I was looking for easier ways to assemble my students' works, such as weekly journals on books we were reading. Not only was this course going to fulfill a requirement for the certificate, but it would also provide a good background in Blackboard and other technology resources that would make my teaching semester easier. So I signed up.
This semester will be interesting. I have had mixed feelings about courses in which I was required to use online forums for discussion, or to find resources to add to my learning in a course. But as we continue to find ourselves in a world of technology, it seems that using technology in the classroom is an important step towards the future. It gives me more chances to communicate with my students, and helps them develop practical skills they will continue to use in their future. So, although the literature may be older than the technology we use, I look forward to exploring options I can use in my courses.