Saturday, March 10, 2007

Dragging myself into the 21st century

Firstly, thank you for the lovely comments on Angora Froth.

Ok, I've gone and invested in a memory stick. What a handy little gadget!

It's amazing the way the technology we used to associate with James Bond is now part of our everyday lives. For instance, accessing the internet from a mobile phone, all this info at your fingertips, was just a dream only a few decades ago.

Anyway, to the case in point, I have been using my new memory stick/pen drive all the time this past fortnight.

Lots of the following post will be absolutely old-hat to some, but you've got to start somewhere, and I am starting here.

One of the main uses I've been putting it to is to prepare Power Point presentations for the pupils. I don't think technology could ever replace a decent teacher, and I believe that a genuinely good teacher could be successful with a stick in the sand or a chalk and a slate, but it is another resource in your toolbox.

So, I've been sitting of an evening making sooper dooper animated presentations, saving them to the memory stick and then using them the next day with the little darlings.

It is a fair bit of time investment to do that of an evening, and fairly cuts into one's knitting time, but as ever in life you have to pick your battles, so I am doing presentations of things which I teach year-in year-out, such as the tenses of verbs, the rooms of the house, housework chores, places aroud your town, school subjects to name some of my recent attempts. And the good thing about the highly visual ones such as the house, can be used for both French and Spanish with a bit of copy and paste and minimal editing.

The other problem is that it entails a fair bit of setting-up at the other end. It would be easy peasy if the equipment were in place all the time, but for the moment it involves a fair amount of planning and set-up. We have been told by our Senior Management Team though that the "Use it or lose it" rule applies to the data projector etc. so it seems a good time to become familiar with the technology.

Some of my colleagues are scratching their heads wondering how I can be bothered with it. Well, for two reasons really. 1) When you have a presentation prepared on French regular -er verbs in the present tense for example you will be able to use it from now until doomsday. 2) When I am happy I am a better teacher, and I am enjoying my new resource.

Does this memory stick have any impact whatsoever on my knitting life? Kind of. I am now essentially sitting in the middle of field, and with the aid of laptop and memory stick I am able to show you my Leaf Lace Shawl being modelled in front of the iconic image of Gai Paris. Yes, we have found the camera!


carol said...

Thank heavens that there are still teachers out there as willing and dedicted as you to not only to try something new but to do it in your own time. Your students and school district are very fortunate to have you.

Poshyarns said...

Well done for embracing the technology and as you say, those verbs aren't going to change. I bet teaching using these resources probably relates well to today's kids too.

Thank you for your lovely comment on my finished Kelly, you are so right about seeing a "real one" often making you view the pattern differently. I wish sometimes that the pattern books would include some "real" photos, or maybe a website. I find Rowan in particular quite difficult to decipher the picture sometimes, the books are so beautifully shot but sometimes the garments are not very clear. Thank goodness for the google image search! I always do a search for things I fancy knitting.

Flavaknits said...

The shawl looks lovely Kathleen - very impressed with your using a memory stick, wasn't sure what they are/it is ! Got a new phone recently, don't know half it does, but if I potter about I'll either learn how to use it or break it - so far haven't broken it!

Wee Minty said...

Please have a word with my sister! She is a 'blackboard and chalk' old timer. However, as much as she hates the computer she does use it and uses it well. But ... how she moans about it and how she harks back to the good old days.

Me? I love new technology (when it works!). I love memory sticks. I love my phone but I would love the phone thing my nephew has - it's like a mini computer with a wee stick and he can watch films on it and phone and access the internet. Cool!

To paraphrase(?) - getting one stitch done now means you will be able to do nine later. lol

yvette said...

Your shawl looks great, memory sticks are fab, I just taught my Mum how to use a photo printing machine she was dead impressed!

Anonymous said...

The leaf lace shawl looks georgeous - always good to see knitting in action :)