E-news May, 2017
Something I have noticed in my years at Senior College is that the technology requirements and expectations of our instructors have steadily increased. It is probably not more true of Senior College than of society in general, but that doesn’t make it any easier. YouTube videos, for instance, are now ubiquitous. Ten years ago, most of us had no idea that YouTube even existed. Or how about storing information in and retrieving information from “the cloud?” We now entrust important information to anonymous depositories that we have no personal connection with whatsoever. Many instructors have replaced paper handouts with links to sources on the internet.
If you are entirely up to date on all the new technologies, you are a rare person. But even if not up to date and not terribly proficient, most instructors are plunging ahead anyway. Our computer use is usually pretty basic; nevertheless, we often need help. The Hutchinson Center has excellent equipment and an excellent IT coordinator, Zora Merrill. But she is just one person.
So I am appealing to you tech-savvy Senior College members to help us out. One need is to assist faculty members in preparing such things as PowerPoint presentations so that we are comfortable with them before we even get to class. A second need is to be available before a class starts to help with last minute glitches. Sometimes, too, especially on the first day of class, just getting plugged in and powered on presents a challenge if the home computer used to prepare the materials is different from the one in the classroom, or has a different version of the software.
Zora has a tech orientation for faculty a few weeks before classes start. Not everyone attends, however, and sometimes things change in the meantime. It isn’t in her job description to offer personal training or presentation preparation help to individual instructors. However, Senior College volunteers might be able to. And in the half hour or so before class, if instructors arrive that early, she can only be in one place at a time. Our volunteers might be able to fill in some of the gaps.
So, thinking ahead to fall semester, if you are tech savvy, how about giving some thought to putting that knowledge to use for Senior College?
Spring semester is now over. Vacations are beginning. Keep your eye open, though, for Senior College events throughout the summer. The Festival of Art is coming up June 1 to 4 and then the Special Events Committee is hosting a garden party on Thursday, June 22. Several one day classes will also be announced very soon.
15th Annual Festival of Art
The 15th annual Festival of Art will be held June 1 thru 4 at the UMaine Hutchinson Center, 80 Belmont Avenue, Belfast. Sponsored by the Senior College at Belfast, the event is free and open to the public. The Festival begins with an opening night reception on Thursday, June 1, 6-8 p.m. featuring the Belfast Bay Fiddlers, light refreshments, and wine bar. One hundred fifty-four Maine artists will exhibit their work at this year’s event. A presentation by Special Guest Artist, Marsha Donahue, is scheduled for Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The exhibit hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 12 noon to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.