Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I Need Your Input!

I will be teaching a class in the spring dealing with information, the Web, using the library, finding resources, etc. It's a 2-credit course that meets twice a week.

I'm trying to come up with innovative assignment ideas that will help the students stay awake and actually learn. I want it to be fun (I have unrealistic goals, what can I say?). Plus, since I have not taught before (except for a few library instruction sessions), I'm basically a clean slate as far as teaching style is concerned, and I want to develop a good one right off the bat.

So, what I want to know is what you all do to learn about things. It's not really important what you are learning about, just how you do it.

For example, I am very interested in computer technology but not very knowledgeable. To learn about it, I read library blogs that are tech-oriented, pester my tech-savvy friends (you all know who you are) with questions, and attend the occasional workshop, conference, or presentation.

Anyone have other techniques you use? Wikis, friend networks, etc? I'd love to hear your ideas and comments!

By the way, for anyone who teaches, a really good article is Growing Up Digital, which is from the USDLA Journal (full-text available online).


Stacy said...

I don't know how effective it is (or, really, how interesting), but when I do an info lit session I try to demonstrate using timely topics. Usually, something pulled directly from that day's newspaper (I find Factiva's "News Pages" helpful). I feel this shows not only that I'm up-to-date, but that our resources are current, too.
But that's rather obvious. :o) Would love to hear what you learn! (Or: I need ideas too!)

Stacy said...

Ok, ok, I know already commented. BUT, I wanted to let you know that I tried the whole "pornography" example in my IL session today, and you should have seen the looks on the students' faces! hahaha
Oh, and I was asking them to pick a LC general subject area where they might find info on pornography. Some of their more creative answers included T (Technology... for the internet) and G (which covers "Recreation"). hahaha
Great tip, though, Kat! (And I like that name, btw.)

Kat said...

You are welcome to comment as many times as you want, Stacy! I like your idea of using timely topics - I will have to try that once I am no longer team-teaching BIs (plus I'm still new enough that I plan them out a few days ahead).

I bet the pornography search really got their attention! I love their LC general subject area ideas (recreation and technology!) The pornography idea wasn't technically mine - one of my coworkers allows students to suggest topics during BIs and one that comes up from time to time is "pornography."

A funny aside: We were doing a BI the other day and he was showing students how to access their record. He had a hold on a book about buying a home but the record had cut off the tail end of the title so it looked like he'd requested a book about buying a ho. Boy did that wake up the students! :)