December 31, 2003
Students Helping Faculty Get Tech Savvy
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 4:40 p.m. ET
Paul Dame possessed the knowledge and Willard Morgan the willingness to
learn it. It was a classic teacher-student relationship -- except for
one thing: Dame is an undergraduate at the University of Vermont, and
Morgan a lecturer.
As a generation weaned on computers descends on faculty that still rely
on overhead projectors, students at up to 50 campuses are being paid to
help their professors become more tech savvy.
Educators say an interesting dynamic occurs when computer-literate
students teach faculty members how incorporate PowerPoint presentations
and other technology into the learning process.
``It's a crossover moment,'' said Lisa Star, director of the
educational tech center at South Dakota State University, which hired
73 students as technology mentors, qualifying them for free tuition.
At Vermont, the Technology Collaborative Action Teams program
(TechCats) paired Dame with Morgan after the faculty member requested
assistance in brushing up his Web page design skills.
``I originally thought it would be weird teaching someone not only
older than me but also an established faculty member,'' Dame said.
``But it was not nearly as awkward as I thought it would be.''
Morgan said Dame's knowledge was instrumental in helping him and his
students develop Web-based formats to display their ideas.
Morgan, Dame reported, turned out to be an attentive and dedicated
student. If TechCats awarded grades, Dame said Morgan would have
received an ``A.''
Morgan was tougher: he gave himself a ``B.''
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Kelvin Chu, Physics Department, Cook Building
82 University Place, University of Vermont, Burlington VT 05405-0125
http://www.uvm.edu/~kchu/; (802) 656-0064; Fax: (802) 656-0817