Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Dawning of the Age of Technology

          Oh, don`t  get me wrong, this is a very personal story. It is how I changed from a second-hand user of technology to …… technology-friendly user! I have never heard anyone actually saying `second-hand`  user of technology ,but that`s exactly who I was. You see, I did use technology, but only if somebody else set up everything for me. So I had a facebook account because my daughter opened it for me. I used Skype only when she was around. My sister downloaded from youtube for me. I used Twitter but only for direct messages to my friend Natasa, who opened my account. It gets even more sophisticated! I made a few PPTs! Actually I did the typing, my daughter did everything else, including saving. …… So you see, there was always a pair of first hands to help. Mine were the second! Very kind of them, but I could have asked them to explain, to teach me how to do it. Maybe I did, and maybe they did explain. And then maybe I did something once and then I definitely forgot everything! I`ve told you I am forgetful in my first blog, remember?
          I must say I`ve come a long way from the decision to change that and to join BaW. It seems so long ago that I can hardly remember the beginning. Is it possible it was only five weeks ago? Time flies, doesn`t it? And yet, I can still feel the occasionally bitter taste of the first week! I stiill see my giant photo serenely smiling from the deleted BaW wiki page! I can still remember wandering around Tapped In Building like a ghost invisible to everybody and everything. I, in a nutshell, felt like Alice in Wonderland, I even wrote about Alice and me! (take a look at two blogs down)  And I also wrote the letter to the mods, trying to explain, justify, confess, come clean, like I was keeping a bad secret that needed to be said aloud. I still keep the letter just to remind me! 
Dear friends in need, dear moderators! I just feel a need to write about the first week here. So, how was it for me? Well, it was exciting, frustrating, amusing, time-consuming, enlightening, painstaking, groundbreaking, rewarding! I felt great, satisfied and happy when I didn’t feel lost or confused! To sum up, it was beautiful!!! Now I have a confession to make. (No, I`m not an alcoholic :) ) I don`t think I am passionate about technology :( !I wish I was! I really wish! I think it is useful, I think it is necessary and I am keen on it. But I don't feel on the safe side with it. I hesitate to use it. I am afraid of making mistakes! I know it is wrong, (I keep encouraging my students to do so. NB I teach adults in a language school). So, why did I join the courses? (Alas, I'm also on the Digitools, too!) Because I want my computer to be my friend, not my misery. Because I need some driving force to make me sit and learn about technology. Because I need a friendly push, advice, encouragement. And that is what I've realised I have here with you. Thanks a million for that! Thanks to organizers, moderators, peers for sharing and caring. You are doing a great job! And I'll keep clicking :) ! Lots of love to you all!
 After saying that, I felt much better, I felt free from my guilty conscience! Free to go on!  How great and supportive you mods and webmates were then! And that was the point of no return! I crossed the Rubicon, it was time to conquer Rome!
          Yes, it is true that all the roads lead to Rome, just some are more direct than others. Of course I chose the most indirect roads, I chose a lot of bypasses and detours, not to mention blind alleys. Especially at the beginning! It changed in the weeks to follow, and I`m extremely satisfied with what I`ve learned. And I`ve learned here absolutely everything I know. I still don`t use highways, too much speed for me. I`m probably still on country roads, but I don`t mind. I know this is just the beginning of an exciting journey to the age of technology. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Alice in Wonderland ...and me

                   (Disney)                                                 (Code Lyoko - edited in piZap)

`Alice in Wonderland
How do you get to Wonderland?
Over the hill or underland?
Or just behind a tree?`

          I have been humming this little song for more than three weeks. Why? Oh, because I like Alice in Wonderland and I like the song and most importantly I feel like  Alice now. You can guess why, can`t you? Yes, down the hole I went and into a strange land for me, where nothing is impossible just some things are impassable if you don`t know how to pass them (I paraphrased the Doorknob a bit here). 
          So why do I feel like Alice? Oh, believe me there are many reasons. Just as for Alice everything was curiouser and curiouser in Wonderland, equally curious is everything for me in this Cyberland. When I first met Alice and her Wonderland many years ago, I was most impressed by those magical portions EAT ME and DRINK ME that changed her size so dramatically. And she didn`t even know what would happen to her, still she ate and drank the stuff politely. When I started my journey here, I was truly  puzzled by so many signs saying PRESS ME, LOG IN, SIGN IN, SIGN OUT, JOIN IN, POST….  I didn`t know what would happen to me if I did what they asked me to do, but I clicked the buttons anyway.
          Even more strangely, the buttons were not satisfied when I pressed them once, they kept calling me to do it again. So I signed up for Yahoo Groups, and Pbworks and Edmodo from Digitools, very likely three or more times! I knew it  because I was getting the messages You are already signed. So I was never  sure if I did everything I should have done or didn`t do what I shouldn`t have done or whatever!
          I knew I had gone too far when  a message came `Someone has requested access to`. Oh dear, what did I do? I mean, I didn`t want any access to anywhere, I wanted to do what I should, not what I shouldn`t. And the message politely explained  that access is not given to reference pages in the wiki, only to pages where the participants will collaborate  when they are ready to write intro. Well,  I had maybe seen a wiki page once or twice before that, so I didn`t know what reference pages were or how to collaborate in one. I knew I wasn`t ready to do anything! And that moment I knew I had drank a portion that shrank me to the size of  the White Rabbit. And I also knew I had to find a way to undo the undersized me!
          As Lewis Carroll said: `If you don`t know where you are going, any road will take you there!`. I didn`t know where I was going but I wanted to get there quickly! So I decided to collect any courage left and to INSERT my photo and intro in the participants page.  I kept reading the instructions remembering the Doorknob`s wise words: Read the directions and directly you will be directed in the right direction!  And indeed I was directed and managed to do it and was instantly restored to my original size! 
          Just I wasn`t quite happy  with the size of the photo, it wasn`t quite right. Since one good turn deserves another, I ventured into something that turned out to be my major disaster….but that deserves a post of its own. J