Tuesday, May 20, 2003

I taught my first computer class tonight. Unfortunately, attendance was less than overwhelming, so it ended up being less like a class and more like a small number of private lessons taught by me and Georgina. I feel like I actually teach better one-on-one, but it was a bit disappointing that more people didn't show up. I think we need a different approach to recruiting people. We basically just sent out flyers to all our students and tutors, letting them know this was happening, but the flyers really weren't very descriptive. I expect most of the tutors saw it and assumed they didn't need the class (which most of them don't) and most of the students saw it and didn't understand it, or didn't want to come alone or whatever. What we ought to do next time is to talk to the tutors directly, and convince them to bring their students. I think that would work a bit better. We should talk to the students who come into the lab, too, but they're less likely to need a class (seeing as how they're already using the computers). It's trickier to bring in the people who don't use computers at all. In hindsight, this is all fairly obvious, but at the time we were too busy creating flyers and lesson plans to realize it.

Anyway, this was a pretty basic class, but it went okay. The woman I spent the most time with still seems a bit tense around the computer, but she seemed to be getting a decent understanding of things like opening folders, clicking vs. double-clicking, getting CDs in and out of the computer, etc. Just those basic things people need to know to use our programs. (That probably sounds insanely basic to most of you, but it's been an interesting change of perspective to work with people who literally don't know any of this stuff.) I do hope to teach something a little more interesting at some point, like an internet or word processing class, but first priority is still probably just getting more people to learn the basics. Maybe later we can get some more advanced people together for a different class.

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