Yesterday I went to a technology training at the new U. I just wanted to know the basics--how to use the computer console installed in my classroom, how to get to Blackboard, etc. But the training, to which I arrived late because of a class I was teaching at the college, involved a completely different matter--a very complex system that allows teachers to film something--an experiment, let's say, or the teacher grading a paper--and put it up on the screen for the students to watch. It is quite complicated, but there were no handouts or links given to which we might go should we actually want to use those tools. We just had to take notes and figure it out ourselves.
I won't be using that camera, interesting though it was. But another tool caught my attention. I'm always running out of markers because I write on the board a lot. The U offered us a light pen we could use to "write" on the screen. I immediately thought about how, when I'm teaching a film, as I will be, I can stop the action and notate the image, drawing students' attention to particular features of the composition, etc. The trainer said she had never thought of that, but that I ought to be able to do it even in the midst of a scene, as it progressed. I think that would be rather distracting for the students though.
The class starts this afternoon, after my first office hour. We'll see how it goes.