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"I want to inspire students and get them excited about History!"
Occupation: Professor, on-track for tenure
School: Faculty of Liberal Arts, History, University of Alberta, Canada
Technology level: Comfortable with email, the web, office products... He sees technology as a "means to an end".
Ahmad received his PhD in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Yale. Ahmad taught for several years at the University of British Columbia, before moving to the History department at the University of Alberta where he's been for four years. He's on track for tenure, is working on his third book, and has numerous publications in academic journals. Though research is very important to him, both in his pursuit of tenure and because of his passion about his field, he tries to also be an engaging teacher. He wants to get students excited about history too! He sees teaching as another important way to make an impact in the world.
He teaches both graduate and undergraduate students, and no matter who is students are, likes to make the class an exciting experience that will inspire students to learn more about history. He likes to use PowerPoint slides with lots of photos, multi-media, and video (instead of text), and uses clickers to allow students to give feedback in his large undergraduate classes. He thinks they enjoy the 'game-show' atmosphere he works hard to create, and encourages a lot of class participation. He really likes classes to 'spill over' outside of the lecture; a good day is "when students have a lot of questions after the class is over. He's always making notes about what he could do to make his classes better next time.
Though Ahmad likes the benefits technology can give him in the classroom and for his research, he sees it as "a means to an end." He doesn't explore much beyond what he sees as necessary to meet his needs. For example, he tried Firefox when everyone was raving about it, but switched back to Safari when he found Firefox too slow. He does enjoy using websites such as YouTube and thinks it is a way to reach a large audience. He really loves any application that will help him search for rich content like movies and images.
He has a big yard for his black lab, Farah, and likes to work from home as often as he can (which he usually ends up doing about 3 days a week) where his dog can sit by his side, chewing on a bone. He uses a Mac laptop, which he brings back and forth between work and home. He's been a Mac user since grad school, when he bought one as a present to himself.
Ahmad has been too busy with his scholarly work to think much about marriage, but does date occasionally, often when he meets someone via his work. He is very concerned about the environment, and takes public transportation whenever possible, including to school. He usually works on his laptop on the bus.