A Reflection on HSLS Technology Classes

Julia (Jankovic) Dahm, CMC Intern, May 2008

Ten years ago, I was hired as a summer intern with Falk Library’s Computer and Media Center. My main task was to update class content that was affected by the change from Microsoft 2003 to Microsoft 2007. As a recent Pitt graduate about to enter library school, I was eager to take on the challenge of investigating the changes in our software classes and creating sleek, new handouts.

In my current position as Coordinator of Technology Integration Services, a decade of preparing software classes has taught me a lot about how our health sciences community uses these programs and what they hope to get out of the one or two hours I spend showing them the ropes.

Here’s a snapshot of the major class changes over ten years:

The Beginners and Advanced PowerPoint classes merged into Advanced PowerPoint for Presentations. As the general population became more familiar with Microsoft products, there was less need for basic skills. The current session now demonstrates how to make plain slides into a well-designed presentation that will engage your audience.

The Wow! Factor became PowerPoint for Conference Posters. With a name change that cuts to the chase, this class became a hands-on experience of designing a poster from scratch in PowerPoint.

Prezi for Presentations was offered as a new class in 2013. This introduced a new flavor of presentation software that is web-based and uses a zoom feature to flow between subjects. Although Prezi is still generally well used, the need for instruction has dropped off in recent years.

Adobe Photoshop instruction has been offered since 1997 and remains popular. After teaching it for several years, the class went through a major redesign. The new Photoshop First Look class now offers an introductory session for those wanting to learn more about the program options and practice basic image editing. Plans are underway to add more skill-focused sessions to the HSLS Photoshop lineup, and your input, sent to jdahm@pitt.edu, is encouraged!

~ Julia Dahm