Teaching Technology to the ‘Digital Native’

While I often opt to allow students to learn technology using available tutorials (for example, Prezi offers an array of video tutorials), for my WordPress assignments, I created a tutorial video using Screencast-o-matic as well as a document containing guidelines.

I did this for a few reasons. The first time I had students complete assignments in WordPress, I discovered that they had different levels of ability: some were well-versed in blogging while others had no experience writing online, and others were a little afraid of the technology.  The screencast introduces students to the basics of working with the text editor, which is common to a lot of online tools, as well as some of the unique features of WordPress blogs. Students can see how WordPress should work, and are better equipped to formulate questions when they encounter problems. I created a written set of guidelines with the same information so that students can use it as a quick guide.

Because the screencast is housed on my YouTube channel, I can also see how many students access the tutorial, giving me an idea of how prepared they are to put to use the information. Usually, I have students view the tutorial outside of class, and begin creating their drafts in computer lab.