Education to offer tech workshops

By Sara Blankenheim

All education majors and students in education classes with computer quandaries can get free help.

The Office of Instructional Assistance currently is offering educational technology workshops.

“The general purpose of the workshop is to provide computer technology training to pre-service teachers and education majors,” said Christine Alfeas, educational technology program coordinator. “They in turn can integrate the technology into the classroom.”

The educational workshops are offered weekly on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Alfeas feels positive about the response.

“We get anywhere from one to 10 people per workshop, but we’d like to double that by semester’s end,” she said.

Sessions include word processing, telecomputing, spreadsheets, presentation software, educational software, Web publishing and electronic portfolios.

Some skills learned include how to do grade books, attendance lists, newsletters and general class management.

Lisa Owens, a sophomore pre-elementary education major, seemed slightly skeptical.

“I had to go to one through my old job, and I didn’t find it helpful because it was stuff I already knew,” she said. “If it is a more detailed workshop, I’d go.”

The sessions are taught by Alfeas, who has a master’s degree in instructional technology, along with two graduate students: Krisana Skothanarat, a graduate OMIS student, and Cathleen Macintosh, an instructional technology graduate student.

In addition to the workshops, Alfeas said the office offers a technology competency certificate obtained by taking an exam.

“It’s not a teaching certification, but it will certify you in technology, which looks great in a job portfolio,” Alfeas said.

Although the workshops mainly are offered to education majors or anyone taking classes through the College of Education, Alfeas said the workshop will accept anyone.

“We aren’t going to turn anyone away,” she said. “We will take anyone who wants to come to brush up on computer skills, but the class is mainly directed towards education technology.”