Academic success through embracing technology

She had made it her lifetime ambition to be a college professor. To her, there was no higher calling than to challenge and teach tomorrows future. Not only to teach them but to instruct them on how to care for the future. It was important for them to see that life was fragile but when handled with care and studied carefully, they could maximize the span of it. Of course, nursing wasn’t always her passion. There was short stint in veterinary medicine and the even shorter playtime in creative writing. But those were past, thankfully. And now she has become what she’s always wanted, Dean of Nursing at Jackson University. She had arrived.

Classes for the fall semester were to begin in just a few weeks and it was time for her to start preparing for the task. There were the syllabuses and the tests along with the research projects that would be required to pass her class. She did not intentionally try to make her classes difficult, but by nature they were. Hematology and psychiatric care were her favorites as opposed to geriatric and oncology, which she found trying. Still, her grades never reflected so much as a flicker of struggle through any class. Perhaps her photographic memory helped.

Her three classes that she would be teaching, Microbiology, Pediatrics and Anatomy, were proving to be labor intensive on her part. Just the syllabus for microbiology took 3 days to write, never mind the tests and projects. One day she would learn that if she would just save her work on a flash drive to access it by computer and not make it date specific, she would be able to reproduce the same work each year, thus shortening her preparation time. Perhaps she should try that this year on the peds class. “It sure would eliminate a lot of hassle” she spoke out loud as she was feeding her cat “Tigger”. “What do you think? Do you think I should give it a try this year uh?” No response from Tigger was usual. The calico cat only cared about her stomach and her perch on the back of the couch.

Deciding that the pediatric class was the test bunny, she sat down and began to schedule out her class on the computer. The syllabuses were easy but the tests were challenging. Breaking open the folder that contained last year’s tests, she retyped them into the computer. Now for the research project, that was always a struggle. She tried to dream up new ones every year for a couple of reasons. First of all, so she wouldn’t get bored seeing the same thing each year, and secondly, students from prior years wouldn’t be able to share information that they’ve already researched. “Bilirubin!” she shouted. That would be the subject for the research this year. Each student would be required to pick an aspect of the condition and provide a ten page research paper back to her on a preformatted college flash drive that each student was required to purchase.

“There, we’re done Tigger!” she exclaimed. This year’s syllabus was now on her website. The tests would be put there as needed and each student would be able to access her site and take the tests as needed and view the syllabus. Technology has really empowered the educator, she thought. Thank goodness.

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