Posted by: Leslie | November 25, 2009

From printing to pdfs

For all of the courses I teach, I send like to send participants home with class notes that they can reference later. I cover a lot of material and it’s easy to miss a detail or two, and it frees up students from having to write anything down. In the past I’ve had booklets printed up and handed them out at the start of class, which has worked fine, but I usually end up with a few too many. Given that I’m always updating the notes, I’ve ended up with a stack of older booklets that I don’t have much use for, which is both a waste of money and an unnecessary negative environmental impact.

When I taught at Ariadne a couple of weeks ago, however, I decided to offer my students a choice: I could either email them a pdf of the notes after class or mail them a hard copy. Everyone enthusiastically chose the pdf, saying they’d prefer to save paper and were more likely to lose a printed booklet, anyway. So, from now on I’ll offer all of my students the same choice. I usually have one or two people who don’t have email, and I’ll be happy to mail them a hard copy, but I predict the pdf will remain the more popular version, and I’ve solved my problem of excess outdated notes.

All that being said, for my next intermediate spinning class, I will be having one sheet of cardstock printed up for each participant. I took a few classes from Kaye Collins back in Colorado and she gave us all yarn sample cards to save lengths of each type of yarn we spun, along with a few lines to note the style of preparation and spinning:

I’ve used it a few times to help myself make similar yarns to the ones I spun in her classes. I also like the tactile part of it; notes can tell you a lot but being able to see and feel the yarn is a greater inspiration to try spinning that way again:

Like Kaye, I use a variety of preparations and fibres in my intermediate-level class. Although everyone goes home with a chain-plied sample skein of everything they spun, I think the addition of the sample card (as well as the usual notes) will help keep everyone confident and inspired to practice the new techniques they learned.

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