Journal: Thrice Blasted Internets

Internet learning is officially rolling in my classroom!

And by rolling, I mean kind of dragging along the ground.  Uphill. 

Things that would’ve helped:

  1. A second instructor.
  2. Any kind of pre-test in technology skills.
  3. For hotmail to not have disallowed us from signing up for more than 5 email addresses.
  4. For my college email’s search function to function.

Many students did not have email addresses.  This didn’t really surprise me.

Some students had trouble locating the url bar.  When they did find it, some had trouble with troubleshooting, i.e., noticing that they’d spelled the url incorrectly.  This was only vaguely surprising. 

Some students could not find the “-” key.  Some could not use the mouse.  This should not have surprised me, but it did.

Even for just getting set up, we were so multi-level in terms of computer skills (let alone English skills) that I had to ask one of the students to help the others make email addresses.  I had to ask all of the students to wait many, many times.  And I had to not swear at the machines. 

So I guess this class period was the pre-test.  It has certainly informed instruction.  It will be hard for tomorrow to not be smoother or more productive in comparison.

4 thoughts on “Journal: Thrice Blasted Internets

  1. why do they have to have email addresses? that alone would make me want to use different educational software.

    1. It’s so if they forget their password to the educational program, the program can email it to them. Given that they’re also likely to forget their email passwords, maybe it wasn’t worth the hassle. 🙂 That being said, many students did seem to be interested in having an email address for personal use, so I hope it does come in handy for them.

      1. Ah. Granted, when I was a computer trainer all my users had emails and navigating email was one of the first, basic lessons people could take from me… but this was in an office, and the purpose of the lesson was “how to use email.” I was thinking for ESL it would make more sense to install software on the computers themselves that the users could use directly without having to have emails, browse the ‘net, etc., since you’re more concerned with them learning English than learning how to use computers.

      2. Such a program would be nice, and the program we use ( is almost like that. Since we’re in a computer lab, to the best of my knowledge I can’t save a bookmark or a desktop icon. That being said, it’s an assumption. I should test it! (duh)

        Regarding teaching English, not computers… actually, we kind of have a parallel teaching goal, which is general computer use. I’m not sure what the college’s rationale is, but my own rationale is primarily that they’re highly functioning adults in their language and their culture, and to function highly here, they need some basic digital literacy. A secondary piece of my reasoning is that they tend to have far-away family, and with just basic computer skills, they can fire up Skype (or somesuch) and video chat with loved ones for free. So I’m actually fine with them having to navigate a tiny bit of the internet because I see it as an embedded lifeskill.

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