• October 30, 2014
October 30, 2014, 12:44:18 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with your Chronicle username and password
News: Talk online about your experiences as an adjunct, visiting assistant professor, postdoc, or other contract faculty member.
 
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 6
  Print  
Author Topic: NOT Digital Natives  (Read 4709 times)
melba_frilkins
Doing laundry.
Member-Moderator
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 17,469


« Reply #30 on: February 09, 2013, 4:27:56 PM »

I apologize for the snark.

I spent 12 years teaching a 5/5 load, almost entirely freshman surveys. And I was the first person teaching online at my institution. I know the trenches, and shared the frustrations.

What I do not understand is how a teacher can state "my students have trouble with X" and not immediately pivot to "so how do I help them?"

But we do help them and they STILL ignore the information.

For example, every semester my students need to log into the CMS to access course materials. To do this they need to use a given log-in name and a password. Instructions for how to log in (and contact information for the help desk) are provided directly on the log-in page AND on a handout that I give them AND I demonstrate the entire procedure live in class. Frankly, I feel like I'm wasting most students' time when I explain the log in process; the written instructions are clear enough, why am I walking them through this like they've never logged into a website before?

I still get a few students every semester who miss the first quiz because they "couldn't log in". To find out what is going on, I'll have the student follow the log-in instructions while I watch to make sure there's not a glitch in the system.  However, most of the time when the student is forced to actually try to log in, following the same instructions they've had all along, there is no problem logging in whatsoever.

What these students seem to need from me is not just the information for how to log in, but for me to point at each step on the piece of paper and say "do this", "ok, now do this step".

(Then there was the student who recently told me "I can't do the online quizzes because I don't have a computer", you should have seen his face fall when I told him "Then you need use a computer in the library or the computer labs in the X or Y buildings.)
Logged

Light up the corners of your neighborhood with disco balls matched with dancing green and violet beams.
mountainguy
The no longer carbonated
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 17,123


« Reply #31 on: February 09, 2013, 5:48:17 PM »

I appreciate LarryC's clarification; no apology needed. (And thank you, Proftowanda, for continuing to work with first-year students!).

(Then there was the student who recently told me "I can't do the online quizzes because I don't have a computer", you should have seen his face fall when I told him "Then you need use a computer in the library or the computer labs in the X or Y buildings.)

It sounds to me like that student really doesn't want to be in college; any American college student should be able to figure that out.
Logged
quasicat
Junior member
**
Posts: 61


« Reply #32 on: February 09, 2013, 5:52:54 PM »

I had a student successfully attach a file to the assignment page in the CMS and submit on the first day of class.  Actually, they all did.  Great!  Everyone knows how to do it.

First homework/major essay:  Student attaches a file to a yahoo email and calls it a day.  He didn't know he had to send it. 

And--he was the only one to try to email it rather than use the CMS. 

I walked him through both email and CMS again today.  He was grateful.  Though privately, this week, I wanted to break something because he didn't ask for help until past the point of any student concerned about getting stuff in on time. 

Let's see if he does it right when the next paper is due.
Logged
larryc
Troll Proof
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 22,995

Be excellent to each other.


WWW
« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2013, 6:35:24 PM »

I apologize for the snark.

I spent 12 years teaching a 5/5 load, almost entirely freshman surveys. And I was the first person teaching online at my institution. I know the trenches, and shared the frustrations.

What I do not understand is how a teacher can state "my students have trouble with X" and not immediately pivot to "so how do I help them?"

But we do help them and they STILL ignore the information.


Then you give them an F and move on. Often flunking someone is helping them! Took me years to figure that out.

And never accept student shortcuts. If I get an email with an attachment that should have been submitted through the CMS, answer instantly: "Sorry, you need to submit this through the CMS and the late penalties are adding up until you do. Please reiew the handout/video on how to do this."
Logged

Trolling for sex is not what this forum is all about.
melba_frilkins
Doing laundry.
Member-Moderator
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 17,469


« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2013, 6:40:08 PM »

I apologize for the snark.

I spent 12 years teaching a 5/5 load, almost entirely freshman surveys. And I was the first person teaching online at my institution. I know the trenches, and shared the frustrations.

What I do not understand is how a teacher can state "my students have trouble with X" and not immediately pivot to "so how do I help them?"

But we do help them and they STILL ignore the information.


Then you give them an F and move on. Often flunking someone is helping them! Took me years to figure that out.

And never accept student shortcuts. If I get an email with an attachment that should have been submitted through the CMS, answer instantly: "Sorry, you need to submit this through the CMS and the late penalties are adding up until you do. Please reiew the handout/video on how to do this."

Oh, I don't even "give" them an F, the online gradebook automatically starts at zero and that's where those students remain if they miss a deadline. However, I was responding to the comment suggesting that we aren't helping our students enough and ought to be doing more. There is no more to do.
Logged

Light up the corners of your neighborhood with disco balls matched with dancing green and violet beams.
mouseman
Oh dear, how did I become a
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 9,708

The Validater/Validator-in-Chief


WWW
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2013, 6:56:52 PM »


I have seen that there is a basic difference between us oldie Gen-X who grew up with the technology, literally (the technology was developed as we grew up).  We started with very basic stuff and learned to use the new stuff as it came out.  The older electronics, if you all remember, were a lot less like black-boxes than the stuff on the market today.  If you owned a desktop PC, you were constantly opening it up to add RAM, memory, change video cards, etc.  The real geeks just removed the top and left it open.  The technology was also more expensive, so we also learned how to fix stuff up and keep using it.  So nowadays, we have a basic idea of what's going on in our computers, etc, and are more willing to trouble-shoot, as well explore the ways in which we can use the technology. 

The Millenials however, started using the stuff very young, and took what it does for granted, without really ever thinking how it works, like we did with telephones, refrigerators, and cars.  It is also a lot cheaper, and so they replace things, rather than fix them. 

Also, back in the 80's and 90's the people who owned computers were usually the geeks, i.e., people who had the interest in, and the feel for, technology.  Now technology is much easier to use and it is used for all sorts of everyday stuff.  So people who have no understanding of technology can now use it, and technology is so widespread that people who, had they grown up in the 80's-90's, would not have come within 50 feet of a computer, now have the latest Dell notebook at home, and walk around with an iPhone 5.

These kids don't understand technology any better than any previous generation, including our grandparents.  They just have more experience using some of it.  However, if they need to use anything but the stuff that has surrounded them since childhood, they're as lost as their grandparents are. 
Logged

In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away -- -
For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.
                                                  Lewis Carroll
bioteacher
chocolate loving
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 7,410

Confused and sad. Or happy. I'm not sure...


« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2013, 7:31:30 PM »

In my writing class (for seniors in the major) I always take the time to put a MSWord document up on the big screen and demonstrate the following:

show hidden characters and formatting symbols
insert a page break
change the margins
set up a hanging indent
"superglue" a section heading to a paragraph of text.

I then demonstrate how proper use of these commands preserves the format no matter what size font I use.
With the slack jaws and awestruck gazes I see on their faces during this short demonstration, you'd think I was demonstrating the wheel for the first time to a bunch of cave dwellers. 

They are college seniors! It always makes me want to weep.
Logged

Lifesaving dream crusher and member of the Real vs. Zeal club.
proftowanda
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 6,943

"Righter of wrongs, queen beyond compare."


« Reply #37 on: February 09, 2013, 7:45:55 PM »

I amaze my digital non-natives, especially when they have forgotten their flash drives to print out papers, and when they do not know how to use cloud (even the campus cloud), by suggesting that they could have emailed their assignments as attachments -- to themselves.  Awestruck does not begin to describe the reactions of some.
Logged

"Face it, girls.  I'm older, and I have more insurance."     -- Towanda!
frogfactory
Totally Metal
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 10,600


« Reply #38 on: February 09, 2013, 8:11:18 PM »

 I recall demoing some very basic Excel functions - like =SUM(), that kind of thing.  The whole class (I had determined they were all Office users previously so I was sure returning assignments using Track Changes would work for everyone) was amazed.
Logged


At the end of the day, sometimes you just have to masturbate in the bathroom.
prof_joeb
New member
*
Posts: 2


« Reply #39 on: February 09, 2013, 8:45:00 PM »

In my writing class (for seniors in the major) I always take the time to put a MSWord document up on the big screen and demonstrate the following:

show hidden characters and formatting symbols
insert a page break
change the margins
set up a hanging indent
"superglue" a section heading to a paragraph of text.


I would add to the list of things students don't know how to do in Word:

Automatically indent paragraphs (Instead, they hit the Tab key every time they start a new paragraph. Except when they forget. The result: papers in which some paragraphs are indented and some aren't.)

Automatically number pages (Instead, they manually insert page numbers and then have to reposition all of them if they later insert or delete a line anywhere in the paper.)

Eliminate the extra spacing that Word inserts by default between paragraphs

Similar to bioteacher's experience, these aren't freshmen. These are juniors and seniors. I show them these "tricks" in class, and many of them seem amazed. Then they ignore them and go back to doing things their way, wasting a lot of time. I want to ask them, "In 4 years of doing assignments in college, it NEVER occurred to you that there might be a setting in Word to automatically indent paragraphs? Or number pages? Haven't you ever been even slightly curious to learn what some of those icons at the top of the screen do?"
Logged
barcrossliar
I guess anyone can be a
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 1,350


« Reply #40 on: February 09, 2013, 9:12:05 PM »


What I do not understand is how a teacher can state "my students have trouble with X" and not immediately pivot to "so how do I help them?"

It's rather a big leap to read "These 'digital natives' won't try to solve tech problems" and conclude that it means "We're not trying to help them."  One can use the fora to vent even if one is doing one's best to help the hapless.

Great idea with the dictionaries, though.
Logged

Every educated person's not a plumb greenhorn.

"where whining mendeth nothing, wherefore whine?"--R.L. Stevenson

+-LR is wise. Listen.
history_grrrl
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 4,355


« Reply #41 on: February 09, 2013, 9:35:06 PM »

Oh, how I miss the days of the punch cards and giant piles of SPSS printouts from my first statistics class, the first computer I used at a job in the mid-1980s (the CRT, as we called it), and DOS. Not.

Somewhere I still have a major research paper I wrote in my last year of college. My boyfriend was a sociology grad student, and I used the super-cool computer system he had access to. Among other things, it involved typing long strings of code every time I wanted to make a footnote. In at least one case, I typed a slash mark going in the wrong direction, so the entire footnote, long strings of code and all, appears in the text of the paper.

I'm amazed at how limited students can be in their thinking about finding research materials for papers. I've been meeting with students about paper topics, and while we're talking I'll type a few keywords into Google and turn up all sorts of relevant goodies. Sigh. All they seem to know how to do is look in JSTOR because someone told them that once.
Logged

pigou
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 1,473


« Reply #42 on: February 09, 2013, 10:48:14 PM »

I'm a big fan of Let Me Google That For You (www.lmgtf.com) for people who can't be bothered to even try and find a solution on their own. For those who haven't yet seen that in action: http://bit.ly/V7x1ss

I'd like to think it gets the point across...
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 10:48:34 PM by pigou » Logged
watermarkup
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 2,037


« Reply #43 on: February 09, 2013, 11:12:57 PM »

This semester I resolved to stop accepting any student essays that were not doubled spaced and or did not include the student's name at the top. So I added a couple entries to my boilerplate file: "[Student], please double space and resubmit," and "[Student], please add your name and resubmit." Soon I'll probably need "[Student], this type of assignment can only be submitted through the CMS." So I educate my students by about 5 seconds' worth of copying and pasting, and then forgetting all about their assignment until they format it correctly. I'm wobbly on due dates, but I'm holding the line on double spacing.
Logged
polly_mer
practice makes perfect
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 37,440

Have you worked on that project today?


« Reply #44 on: February 10, 2013, 8:17:27 AM »

I'm not ready to let LarryC off the hook yet because I still think
Respectfully, Larry,* I think you're missing the point here.

I am quite purposely teaching people problem solving skills through trial-and-error.  That's basically the point in making non-scientists take my science classes.  I spend quite a bit of time wondering why I can do outreach with precollege students (pre-K through 12th grade) and students can basically do what I ask or ask a reasonable question, but somehow when I ask college students in my classroom to do less complicated tasks, I might ask well be asking those students to dig a tunnel to China using their fingernails.

The difficulty, so far as I can tell, isn't a difference in teaching, it's a difference in student attitude.  Outreach is that fun thing that a stranger comes and does for an hour once in a while.  The classroom means one can shut off one's brain and wait to be spoonfed because, after all, the teacher can't fail us (oh, how much do I hate thee, No Child Left Behind) and nothing in the classroom pertains to real life anyway.

Do I give up?  Nope, but with the limited time I have, I'm often faced with the choice of recording a lot of F's and getting to have a talk with my chair/dean/faculty oversight committee about why I am not teaching my students or spending all my time "teaching" things that even most sixth graders can already do and ignoring the science completely.

Yeah, LarryC, you were in the trenches, but, so far as I can tell from many conversations, at least some students required to take history as freshmen are at least neutral to history.  Indeed, just yesterday as I did student interviews for campus-wide scholarships, about half the students who were going to major in something else mentioned how much they liked history, even to the point of giving their favorite books as non-fiction history books.  However, when I even mention what I teach to adults, the response is usually "I was never any good at that and I'm glad I never have to take another course". 

Open-enrollment freshmen classes are not all the same and a little acknowledgment that those of us putting out all kinds of containers and shouting, "Drink!" don't have the luxury of offering wine, but only have plain, uncarbonated water.
Logged

I've joined a bizarre cult called JordanCanonicalForm's Witnesses.  I have to go from door to door asking people things like, "Good evening, sir!  Do you have a moment to chat about Linear Transformations?"
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 6
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.9 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
  • 1255 Twenty-Third St., N.W.
  • Washington, D.C. 20037
subscribe today

Get the insight you need for success in academe.