To: Donna Shea, Instructor
From: Phil Fournier
Subject: WR4 Professional Plan for Personal Technology Development
I signed up for EVOC 519 primarily because I need the course for my BVE degree, but I also wanted to learn something about website development.
I began my expansion into computer technology nearly simultaneously with my branch into teaching.† The first computer that my wife and I shared was a dual floppy disk machine with no hard drive that cost $1,000.† (Just today I ordered a machine with about 1000 times the power from Dell computer for use as a file server in my business for just over $900!)† This first computer had a very simple word processing program and I began using it to write my lesson plans for my first teaching class.† I recall my one year old daughter toddling around me as I worked the keyboard and taking a whack at it with her little baby hand.† This froze the computer and I sat there and stared at all my work on the screen which I had no way to save!† So, we live and learn, and learning to save work often is one of those skills that has current day application, in spite of technology advances (like auto-save)!† The computer saved my skin during those early days, when I lacked nearly every skill that a teacher should have, and was called upon to design a brand new course and be the first one to teach it.† My department head gave me a bootleg copy of the venerable Word Star 4.0 program, a DOS based word processor that allowed me to do some decent word processing, though its graphics capabilities were just about zero.† Since those early days I have continually worked on improving my computer skills, including a staff development course that taught me enough about desktop publishing to design my own newsletter using Microsoft Publisher.† I continued my education by taking several courses in the use of Microsoft Office at MSJC and by studying programs I bought on CD.† I also took advantage of PowerPoint mini-courses offered during California Automotive Teacherís conferences.†† While I still donít consider myself to be particularly proficient with PowerPoint, I have designed several seminars of my own using the program.† As to my expectations in starting 519, my hope was to learn something more about using graphics and photos in my presentations, as well as learning how to use software to develop web pages.
As to my future goals in the use of technology, I really would like to continue learning PowerPoint, in particularly, the ability to insert digital video into presentations.† I still feel myself deficient after years of learning and using Word and would like to continue to improve.† Web page publishing is also of great interest to me.† After taking the 501 and 519 classes, I am thoroughly impressed with how the internet can be used to greatly enhance student learning.† The e-text is marvelous and makes all kinds of sense as a textbook that can be access from anywhere there is internet access.† At present, the lack of universal use of the internet is still a drawback that would prejudice an all-internet system against a number of my students, particularly those who are low income. (You have to understand that about one half of my students delay buying the textbook for several weeks into the class due to money constraints.) †Still, it would be of great benefit to be able to post assignments and projects for those who could make use of them.† I am hoping to start the process with this 519 and continue to build on what I learn here for the future.
As to a time-line and specifics on how I intend to
accomplish my goals of improving and building upon my use of technology, I will
have to be realistic.† I am a serious
over-achiever and have a driven personality.†
I am happiest when I am really busy and right now I am REALLY busy.† I run my own small business as both the
president and the lead technician.† I am
taking eight units from CSUSB and hope to continue to do so for the next two
quarters, possibly three, and I need to focus on the EVOC courses.† I am going to
As to the improvement of 519, my suggestion would simply be that the course be modified into modules, or else available in both a beginning and advanced version.† I could see during the times I came to class that the students who were attending had only very basic computer skills and needed the skill set offered in the current 519 curriculum.† For myself, I would have liked to take just the Front Page portion and had the option to do some advanced stuff with PowerPoint.† However, in the current format of the three options, there is lots of flexibility for those who already have most of the competencies.†
Although all of collective your suggestions may not be immediate implemented for any number of reasons, each suggestion received is given consideration and maintained for further reviews.