Thursday, April 10, 2008

Are You E-Handbook Compatible and Ready for a Longterm Commitment?

It's one thing to flirt with the idea of an e-handbook, it's another to start a teaching relationship with one where you invest time and energy in getting to know and use your e-handbook. Sure, the e-book is sexy – everyone's talking about them and how hot and new they are. But is the e-book going to be there for you past first blush?

To help you decide whether to take the e-book plunge, we've created this short quiz.

1. Do you have reliable Internet access?

  • I live online! I always have great high speed access – at work in my office and classrooms; at home; and via wireless in cafes, airports, and beyond. (5 points)

  • I'm online a lot (but still live in the real world), and have high speed access at work in my office and classrooms and at home. (4 points)

  • I have high speed access in my office and at home, but not in the classroom I use. (3 points)

  • I have high speed at the office, nothing in the classroom, and dial up at home (2 points)

  • I have high speed at the office, nothing in the classroom, and not even dial up at home. (1 point)

  • They don't call me Analog Andy/Annie for nothing. What is this thing you call "access" anyway? (No point)

2. Do you already work with your students electronically in any way? (Add one point for each that is true.):

  • I have e-mailed one or more students in my life.

  • I have collected work digitally (handed in on disk; uploaded to course space; done in course space; paper attached to e-mail; etc).

  • My students cite online sources in their papers.

  • I teach students about using online sources.

  • I have used the Web to look for something to use in my teaching.

  • I have sat with students (maybe during office hours, or in a lab, or in class) at a computer to help them revise, edit, search, and do other work for my courses.

  • I have a Facebook or Myspace page my students know about.

  • I have "friended" students in Facebook/Myspace.

  • I use social bookmarking tools such as delicious to share links with my students.

  • I use online writing spaces with my students sometimes: blogs, discussion forums; wikis; chats or related programs, either within or without a course management system.

  • I have used PowerPoint and liked it.

  • I have wished, every once in a while, that I could apply a gentle electric shock to a drowsy or sleeping student. Nothing painful mind you. Just a jolly jolt to get them upright and wide-eyed.

  • I have talked to my students by telephone.

3. Do you want more choices and ways to teach students how to use a handbook to improve their writing?

  • Very much. (5 points)

  • I'm curious enough to try. (4 points)

  • Yes, but finding the time is hard. (1 point)

  • I already have too many choices in my teaching life, and don't need one more right now. (No point)


10 – 15: You're more than ready for a longterm e-handbook relationship

5 – 10: You're shy, but ready to take the first step to see if the e-handbook is right for you.

0 -- 5: You're a wonderful person, but the e-handbook isn't right for you.

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