2003 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
EDUCATORS CAN USE MICROSOFT?S FRONTPAGE TO IMPROVE COMMUNICATION WITH THEIR CLASS, AS AN ELECTRONIC CAREER PORTFOLIO, AND AS A MEANS OF FOCUSING THE RESOURCES OF A COMMITTEE OR PROJECT
Stephen C. Carey, M.S., R.R.T., Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee
Using web sites to communicate information isn't a new idea. What has changed is the accessibility of computers by students and faculty and the ease with which web pages can be written and displayed. In estimates cited by the report, Home Computers and Internet Use in the United States (August 2000), "In August 2000, 75.7% of U.S. households with at least one member achieving a college education owned a computer (U.S. 2001). Sixty-six percent had Internet access."1 The internet is either quickly becoming or, as some say, has become a top source of communication and entertainment. This increases the opportunity for collaborative learning and communication to take place outside of the classroom. The internet offers a unique experience through Email or chat discussion boards that provides a tool for discussions which also remain on record with a time and date stamp for the instructor or the student to later review. There are many applications for web pages in the day to day uses in education. Three easy to implement applications include:
- Using websites used as a means of improving communication with students
- Websites used as an electronic career portfolio to track career achievements
- Websites used to document the goals or progress of a committee or project
The advantages of a using websites for faculty and student objectives can be seen in some of the following examples:
- To allow students & faculty a means of increased communication.
- To allow students & faculty the ability to have access to documents at any time anyplace. (instead of documents stored in one location such as a file cabinet)
- To give the faculty increased ability to creatively log career achievements.
- To increase the focus on a special project or committee.
CONCLUSION: Whether we are educators, administrators, or managers, we are always striving to improve our results. Web pages offer a tool with a significant impact to improve a part of the process that has, until now, seen little real change or improvement. Choosing technological solutions to traditional job or teaching related issues allows us to leverage additional opportunities for change. Utilizing websites in education and career growth will continue to take on new importance as these technologies become mainstream. Advances in technology such as personal digital assistants offer a glimpse into the future of accessibility and portability of data. It is up to the instructor not to be left behind as the technological revolution moves on with our students on board. Learning to write or program web pages in MS FrontPage may not take a large investment in time and money, but it may pay large dividends in the areas of communication, productivity, or documentation. We as educators have to "mine" technology for what it has to offer our student's learning as well as our own job growth and advancement. The time is right to consider learning MS FrontPage and adapt it your specific needs.
1. Home Computers and Internet Use in the United States. (August 2000), U.S. Government table B, U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S . Census Bureau.