This semester’s workshop series

This semester’s workshop series is off to a bang-up start. As of right now, we’ve had 9 sessions (total) of 5 different workshops, with attendance at 42 students overall*. This semester, the series has grown into 15 workshops (each offered twice) and has been split into two sub-series. And so we have:

Emerging Technologies Series: XHTML & CSS, Wikis, User Interface Design, Social Bookmarking & Tagging, XML, Podcasting & Internet Radio, Google Earth and Setting Up An RSS Aggregator. (Yeah, I know that technically these aren’t all “emerging.”)

Tips & Tricks Series: PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Using Macs, Managing Digital Photos, Websites with Dreamweaver, Navigating Photoshop.

Of all of these, 8 were offered last semester and the rest are new. As for instructors, I’m not sure if the increase is proportionate compared to last semester, but we also have more volunteers leading and developing the content than we did in the spring, which is great! We have six instructors who answered my requests for volunteers out of the goodness of their hearts – all of the rest of us are either on the board of ASIS&T@Simmons and/or work at the Tech Lab. The best part of this volunteerism is that someone stepped forward to do a workshop which we didn’t propose in our original list – User Interface Design. That gets to the heart of what this series is about: GSLIS students helping other GSLIS students learn new tech skills or brush up on old ones.

I’m glad to see more participation from regular students, because to me that means the likelihood of being able to maintain this many workshops is pretty good! (And on a more personal note, it means that I am responsible for developing and leading fewer of them – at the beginning of the semester it looked like I was going to be responsible for as many as seven, but I slowly gathered volunteers and was able to cross myself off as the instructor for several, so now I’m down to four.)

Having grown so large, the workshop series has been a bit of a beast to coordinate, though it seems that most of the craziness was confined to the first couple of weeks of the semester. Now that I have my system down and e-mail templates set up, it’s a bit less time consuming to take care of listserv announcements and making posters. (On which I am still employing what I find to be amusing clipart and stock photos.) One of the most helpful things I’ve done is set up a ton of reminders in my Backpack account so I don’t have to think about who I need to e-mail when, regarding what, and which posters need to go up in a given week. I figured that all out in one go and now Backpack emails me and tells me what to do. I heart those guys, because they saved my head from exploding at the beginning of September.

In any case, as the semester progresses the handouts that our instructors develop will be posted to both the ASIS&T@Simmons website and the GSLIS Tech Lab Download Center. Help yourself!

*Last semester, we offered 9 workshops (3 once, 6 twice) and had overall attendance of 82. At this rate we should certainly surpass that.

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