AQ ePortfolio Artifact: MS Word 2000

This is one part of a 5 part assignment, highlighting contributions to an ETFO AQ course. The assignment asks the student to select 5 – 7 pieces of your work from this course that shows “You”.

The Question: Go to the following tutorial page on Microsoft Word 2000 and take some time to go through some of the tutorials. Make sure you thoroughly understand this program as you’ll be required to use it for the next E-tivity.

In a brief posting tell us if there is anything interesting that you learned by doing these tutorials that you didn’t already know. Post your work in the discussion board.

The Answer: Why are we learning how to use Word 2000, an Office productivity suite released while Windows 98 was still the most recent operating system (Windows xp, itself a 12 year old OS, wouldn’t be release for another 2 years, and Windows 2000 existed for a year between the two release dates)?

There are 5 versions of MS Office that have been released since the release of Word 2000 (Office XP, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013). If this course is being offered to help teachers integrate technology into current practice, I would argue that learning how, and then showing our students how, to navigate Word 2000 would be the equivent of teaching them how to operate a VCR.

The link did offer access to Word 2007 tutorials, which would probably echo more accurately the experience students and teachers may find within computer labs, or within their homes. It’s here:

Within those tutorials, the most useful content for me was the ability to Customize Autocorrect and Create a new Default Dictionary. The other functionality I didn’t know existed, and one that exists in newer versions of Word (but did not yet exist in Word 2000) is the ability to Track Changes: This functionality has grown exponentially since its existence in this version, with the newer versions of Word allowing the use of tools like Office online and Sharepoint/Skydrive to share and collaborate on one document, stored in the cloud, rather than emailing multiple copies of the doc back and forth. Being able to Track the Changes in a document is very helpful if you are emailing a copy back and forth to multiple collaborators.

The Motivation: Frankly, I was shocked that a course aimed at helping teachers to adopt current technology into practice could be so woefully out of date. Having just participated in a previous forum assignment regarding the usefulness of computer labs, based on articles written in 1998, the content of this assignment seemed like something I couldn’t overlook. Watching my colleagues in the classroom talk about the engagement factor the ability to add drop-caps might provide to students, when collaborative document editing like Google Docs exists to totally change the word processing game was troubling. This would be another example where I’m not trying to be difficult, but am seeing the shortcomings of a course laid out in the past, and not being responsive to the changing landscape of technology. Perhaps other subjects can be set out in more static ways, but the age of the content within this AQ course made for a very frustrating experience.

Published by jarbenne

Jared Bennett is the Student Information System Consultant at Hamilton Wentworth District School Board.

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