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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Interesting accomplishments to be proud of.

I can now officially decipher really bad photocopies in Spanish.  That may seem like a strange thing to be proud of, but it means that I understand enough of the language in the readings to be able to fill in missing letters and/or words. 

I think my ability to understand has surpassed my ability to speak.  When I first arrived, I definitely felt that I could talk better than I could understand.  Now I can understand more than I can speak myself.  (My home stay-mother keeps "subtly" suggesting that I take a grammar class...hmm...)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Technology use on campus

There is a really interesting dynamic here between what the teachers or the university mission statement say about the use of technology in the classroom, and what the school supplies as technological materials to be used in the classroom.

In my classes, I have been required to create Power Point presentations, type up my assignments to email to my professor, and do research on the internet.  The problem is, there are about 15 computers available for student use in the School of Education and they are almost always all in use.  And while the computers do, technically, have internet access, the speed is so slow that it is very difficult to actually obtain information before the connection times out.

I don´t really know what to say about this, except that every time I am given an assignment for which I need to use the computer or internet, I notice this problem.  My computer is more or less broken, so I am essentially computer-less and need to rely on either the school´s computer lab, or an internet café to do homework on a computer.  I just cannot, can not make myself do homework in an internet café.  It just feels wrong to have to pay about $1.00 an hour to do my homework.  So, I try to make due with the school´s computer lab.  But it´s impossible to find an open computer much of the time. 

I suppose part of the problem is that I am used to having a computer with internet access available to me at all times.  The students here don´t know that, so they know how to be successful with the technology systems available to them.

But still, it really confuses me as to how the professors are all so into requiring technology use when many of the students don´t have computers at home, or at least don´t have internet access, and the computers available for use at the school itself are limited in number and ability.