Computer Club experiences growing pains

Growing pains, as it turns out, are not just for preteens. It’s a phenomenon being experienced right here in Quail Creek by the Computer Club. These numbers help tell the story:

* In 2013, Computer Club instructors taught 168 classes and help clinics. Classes are generally two hour events; a total of about 336 hours instruction time, an average of 28 hours per month.

* So far in 2014 (through May), 99 classes and help clinics have been offered; an average of 20 classes per month.

* Sometimes three different classes are scheduled in a day; one at 10:00 a.m., another at 1:00 p.m. and still another at 7:00 p.m. to accommodate the needs of students and teachers alike.

Is it any wonder the club takes a bit of a break each summer? This hiatus is not altogether idle time for teachers, though. It’s a good time for evaluating class offerings and developing new classes. As new technologies are advanced, for example smartphones and tablets and updated operating systems, time needs to be taken to assess and update class materials.

One of the major challenges the club has faced over the past two to three years is the club’s rapidly growing membership. At the end of 2012 there were 183 members. By the end of 2013 361 people had joined the club, almost doubling the previous year’s total! And so far this year through April, membership has already reached 314, a very strong indication that 2014 will see continuing growth in numbers.

This increase in membership has created greater need for more classes. Demand has often outstripped availability of instructors and some Computer Club members have commented that it is often difficult to get into a particular class. Limitations on class size are determined by a couple of factors: the availability of appropriate hardware or software and the number of students who can effectively be taught by one instructor.

An obvious solution to this problem is seemingly simple: Add more instructors and helpers to allow more classes to be scheduled. That means that more of the club’s members are needed to step forward. Instructors who have been teaching in recent years do so because it’s very rewarding work. Students are grateful for the opportunity to continue to learn and the payoff for instructors is the heartfelt gratitude of their students.

Anyone who thinks he or she might be interested in teaching or helping out in class should contact either Rand Hoffman ([email protected]) or Steve Pruess ([email protected]). The club offers orientation for new instructors and helpers and experienced teachers will be available to help in any way possible. A teacher need not be an expert but merely be willing to share knowledge on a particular program or operating system.