The Art of Going from Technophobe to Tech Guru

Contributed By

Dylan Rodgers

Content Strategy Manager and Editor in Chief of the Schoology Exchange

The Art of Going from Technophobe to Tech Guru

Posted in Community | September 17, 2015

When Mary Yager talks of the many ways Schoology has helped her students, she's quick to point out the effect it has had on her as a teacher. "Schoology has transformed my classes and improved the learning experiences of my students,"€ she explains, "but please indulge me as I share how Schoology transformed me."

An Uphill Climb with Technology

Seven years ago, Mary transitioned from being a full time social worker to being a Professor of Social Work at Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. "If you are unfamiliar with social work, trust me when I tell you that it is low tech," she says. "Case files were hand written and only administrative assistants had computers. I was clueless about technology."

Everything was new, from PowerPoint to Outlook, to saving files on a flash drive. Gradually she mastered the basics, but in the classroom she would collect papers from students and grade by hand.

"Hyperlink? Zip drive? URL? JPEG?" she says, laughing. "My Power Points were pathetic and I longed for a chalk board."

A Way to Level the Playing Field

When Schoology entered Mary's life, it was love at first sight.

"It felt like social media, not an intimidating information management system," Mary explains. "€“It was user-friendly and intuitive, and my Online Education Department made it fun for me to learn. They were excited to teach this old dog new tricks, and I became an eager pupil."

Mary learned to grade papers using Schoology's annotation tools and recorded video messages for her students to help them with individual issues and questions.

She used PowerPoint Mix, uploaded video lectures, and, with the help of the folks in the Online Education Department, learned to use Snagit, transforming her Schoology pages from boring text to visually stimulating, sensory, and exciting places to learn.

"I embedded videos, added links to the internet, and the word hyperlink no longer causes me to hyperventilate," she says. "And no more hard copies of papers!"

Leveraging Schoology's Video Tutorials

Mary credits the video tutorials in the Schoology's Help Center with helping her whenever she got stuck, allowing her to figure things out by herself without having to ask for help. And as her skills and confidence grew, fellow instructors started asking her for advice.

"I went from being afraid of technology to teaching others how to use it," Mary says. "I was transformed. I was confident. My classes went from good to great, and student reviews reflect this tenfold."

A New World of Possibilities

Since using Schoology, students regularly compliment Mary on the work assigned and the quality of the feedback she gives them, with some even telling her they wished other professors utilized the platform the way she does.

"Schoology encouraged me to walk into a world of possibilities," Mary explains. "It transformed me, and I am eternally grateful."

Mary Yager
Professor of Social Work
Lancaster Bible College
Educator of the Year Finalist

Written by Philip Charles Stephens, an English author and ghostwriter based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Learn more at Philipcharles.com

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