A day in the life of Kevin Instructor

Sometime in the near future

Kevin Instructor logs on to school from his homecomputer


At 8:00 am . He checks his groupware scheduler to see what is in store for today.


He sees that he is monitoring the Help Desk today from 9:00 to 11:00. Also 15 students have registered for the 11:00 audio/visual tutorial on Ohm's Law. At 1:00 pm, he will be conferencing with the Comm Arts department to discuss developing an industrial electronics communications program. At 2:00 pm, he will be providing a 3 hour hands-on electronic lab to verify the theory that the students have been learning on the Computer Managed Learning system.


When he checks his e-mail, he finds that one student has sent a message stating that she has to cancel a scheduled hands-on lab for tomorrow at 9:00 am and would like to know when it can be rescheduled.


Afterreplying, Kevin checks the next message, it is a notice of a departmental meeting with the last week's minutes attached. He downloads the minutes and prints it out. The other e-mail messages are the standard brou-ha-ha that comes from a large organization.


At 9:00 sharp, Kevin walks into the Help Desk area, straps on the telephone headset and sits in front of one of the 5 supervisory knowledge databank computers. He quickly scans the screen and asks the student monitors if there are any problems that he should know about. One student monitor mentions that Jill Student had a question about a lab procedure that he couldn't answer.


The knowledge databank didn't have a reference either. Kevin consults with the student monitor and sends off an e-mail message to Jill Student explaining the procedure. He enters the procedure into the knowledge databank and fires it off on to the lab newsgroup (edu.school.digital.lab) to inform the rest of the class.


Kevin then checks the edu.school.digital.questions newsgroup to see what new inquiries have emerged overnight.


Scanning the listing, he sees that several students (one from Pincher Creek, one from Red Deer, two from Calgary and one from Airdrie) are having problems with a certain digital concept. He sees that the newsgroup has become a discussion group on "which is the correct procedure" for solving the problem. In fact, both procedures being discussed are correct, but one has distinct advantages over the other. He adds a thread to the discussion that provides subtle nudging towards the better procedure by asking a few questions. The discussion appears to be going in the right direction, he thinks, better to let them work it out on their own.

One student from school has posted a message to the newsgroup stating that he is stuck and needs an answer to a question. Kevin answers the question (feeling that it is a reasonable question) by a quick search of the knowledge database and includes pointers to reference material available on the web server. Another student has his question answered correctly by a fellow student. Kevin confirms that the fellow student has correctly answered the question. Kevin thinks, "You know, it's really hard to tell where the students are located these days. They could be anywhere in Western Canada or the world for that matter".

A student monitor has a voice call on the line with a digital question and he wants to know if Kevin will take it. Kevin hops on the line phone and realizes that a drawing is needed. He quickly sketches the answer and asks the student if he can fax it to him. The student says that he doesn't have a fax machine or fax/modem and could it be downloadeddownload instead. No problem, the drawing is scanned and placed in the student's home directory located at school. The student can then download the drawing to his home at his leisure.

At 11:00, Kevin walks over to the audio/visual conference room, says "Hi" to the students assembled there and puts on the collar mike. He dials into the bridge and says "school's on-line". Immediately he hears, "Cochrane's on-line, Claresholm's on-line, Coaldale's on-line and Black Diamond's on-line". He types in the keyboard on the computer, the command to bring up the first graphic on the interactive screen and large screen TV. "Today", he begins, "we will be discussing Ohm's Law. The graphic that you should all be seeing is a picture of Georg Simon Ohm, a German professor who ...." He writes: " Georg Simon Ohm" on the touchscreen with his special pen and immediately, the student from Coaldale responds "isn't George spelt wrong?". "German spellin" Kevin replies.

At the end of the lecture, Kevin indicates that there is a self-paced module available on the Web Server on the subject if anyone wants to review it and that today's lecture notes are available for downloading with all the squiggles and chicken scratching that he has added during the lecture. One of the students stops to chat at the end of the lecture about the upcoming Western Canada Robotic Games.

After lunch, Kevin goes to his office and connects to the Comm Arts department where he joins in an audio/visual conference lead by the Comm Arts' Curriculm Development Coordinator (CDC). The CDC is leading the group through the competencies on the Technical Writing program. Kevin's computer displays the exact same screen as the CDC's. Kevin can ask questions about the competencies over the voice link or point, draw or write questions to the group's screen displayed on his monitor.

After gaining a consensus on the direction and resources available for the new industrial electronics communications program. Kevin downloads the information, forwards it to his coordinator and prints it out for later perusal. He opens his groupware program and checks his coordinator's schedule. He finds a mutually free time and slots himself in. He leaves the message "Comm Arts info on Industrial Electronics comm prgrm". He then heads off to the 2:00 electronic lab.

The students are to have completed the computer simulation fo the lab before doing the hands-on lab. The computer simulation tests the theoretical aspect and the hands-on lab tests their motor skills. Kevin checks that the students have successfully completed the computer simulation on his lab computer monitor as the students file in. The computer is turned off and the traditional laboratory setting takes over.

Click here to return to the Internet for Education Page