Saturday, May 01, 2010

The final countdown

Friday was the last day of classes; with mixed emotions I removed the GA created and student monitored course deadline countdown sign from the IRC door for the last time. We have facilitated an independent lab, Instructional Technology Lab, offered by the College of Education in the IRC for ten years (good grief).

When I first started at AU, there were many instances of students who did not know how to use email and the course featured technology skills geared toward using a laser disc player, over head projector, and carousel slide projector (the audio viewer). Technology progressed, course delivery evolved to Angel Learning, and basic course requirements reflected inclusion of web 2.0 elements alongside basic software requirements; students this spring were using Word, PowerPoint, Excel, scanners, World Book student, and researching the Internet for Blogs, Wiki's, and videos. Friday was not simply the end of the Spring 2010 term, it marked the last time this course will be offered, it has been decommissioned (so to speak).

One thing that did not change was the opportunity this course represented for the IRC; each academic year 300+ education students, pre-service teachers, visited the IRC in the library at least twice. One thing that did not change was the mixed reviews the course presented as students struggled to separate IRC and library functions and resources from the course. Hence the mixed feelings verbalized this week by me and the IRC student workers.

Freshman bring their own special energy to the AU each fall, it was exciting to be a part of their first steps to university life. My student workers have already brainstormed ideas we may be able to implement, enticing students to the IRC and library without the technology lab. Ideas have ranged from creating a Facebook page to instituting a game night highlighting materials kits in the IRC collection.

As for now, finals week and summer sessions are on our agenda as we bid the lab a fond farewell.

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