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My Journey as a Tech User....

Here is the story of how technology has affected my life.

Hilary Montroy

on 30 September 2012

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Transcript of My Journey as a Tech User....

My Journey as a tech user... I was a child of the 70's, and as such technology did not have much of an impact on my life and learning. Reading books was encouraged, and we were given frequent trips to the library and even sometimes to the bookstore. We had a TV, first in black and white and later in color, and we even eventually got cable. However our TV viewing was restricted to nature shows and PBS. Exposure to both of these directly affected (in a positive way) my amount of general knowledge and literacy. I loved watching Sesame Street, Mr. Dressup, Zoom, Mr. Rogers and especially The Electric Company (who wouldn't love Morgan Freeman in bell bottoms singing a jazzy tune!!). I had fun looking for some clips off youtube that brought back memories for me. Both are from The Electric Company - enjoy! Technology didn't really have much of an impact on me as I was growing up in the 70's and 80's. However there were a few innovations that I distinctly remember, such as the Walkman.
It's appearance meant that people no longer
needed to carry those giant boom boxes
around on their shoulders; cool! As a teen in
high school there was no internet and no cell
phones; we did things the old fashioned way
with pen and pencil, and used the phone to talk
to friends. My first recollection of using a computer was in high school when I took a computer course. We only had about 2 computers, and we needed to log onto a mainframe located at John Oliver. It sometimes took ages! Often we got logged on only for the bell to go a few minutes later.
We also got to use a career computer called "Choices". We had to fill out information on cards (what we liked, didn't like, personality traits, etc.) and a few weeks later we would get the results. It seemed really cool at the time, but when I look at what students can do now in regards to obtaining a career profile online that computer seems very antiquated. I'm not sure where this journey is headed, but am excited about the prospects of teaching and learning with technology alongside students and colleagues. The interconnectedness is what is the most exciting. I'm not sure if it makes our lives and faster or easier, but it sure makes it interesting! Here is a video from Corning (the glass people), with a vision of the future and technology. One of my daughter's teachers shared it with the class, then she shared it with me. It's called "A Day Made of Glass" This is where it all begins..... How do I use technology today? Online banking and shopping, communicating with family and friends using email and Facebook, Skype, booking travel, donations to charities, looking up phone numbers for people and businesses, (no need for that big yellow phone book anymore!), exploration (yes, Wikipedia is my friend), photo storage and sharing, website design (at work and at home), blogging, teaching, online courses, using online library catalogues, and more! http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AROBAZE.png http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Wikipedia-logo-v2-en.svg&page=1 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Picasa_logo.jpg http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vancouver_Public_Library_Kensington_Branch_03.jpg http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Wordpress.svg&page=1 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Airbus_A380_blue_sky.jpg How does my family use technology? Their use of technology is very much interconnected to mine. A primary example is a physical one; our dining room table is our place to do all of our work. Even though we have wireless, everyone does their work in one place as this picture shows (I must admit that I did tidy it up a little; it's usually impossible to see the table!) I don't see their use of technology as having a negative impact at all. For example, their main mode of communication with friends is via email or facebook; we never have to ask them to "get off the phone"! This is so different from when I was younger. Because 4 out of 5 of my family have cell phones, we are always able to connect with people. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1979_TMA7214_706_Style_Two_Tone_Grey_Rotary_Dial_Telephone.JPG Remember these phones? **I've used arrows going in both directions to indicate the impact that technology has had on my life and it's interconnectedness. How do I use technology at work? I work in a high school library, so I am constantly around technology and use it all day when I'm teaching, connecting with staff, designing and developing our Learning Commons website, collaborating with teachers, and when I'm doing my own research and planning. And this is where my technology autobiography comes to end, but really it's just the beginning..... Things began to change a little (only a little) when
I entered university in the mid 80's and my dad
gave my sisters and I an Apple IIe. I distinctly
remember my sister showing me how amazing it
was; no need to use white out! The black screen with
green letters was difficult on the eyes though. Flash forward a few years to the early 90's. I had moved out, was married and was still at UBC. However I had regressed in my tech use and reverted to using an electric typewriter (the erasable kind!). I didn't see the need or importance of forking out a lot of cash for a computer when I could get by with a typewriter. That old Canon sure served me well for many years! I didn't use technology much at university, execept for the micofiche when doing research in the libraries, with one exception. I chose to take a computer programming course in Fortran (the old punch cards). It was an OK course, but I didn't find it very applicable. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Apple_IIe_original.jpg I found this one on ebay for $32! I didn't know anyone used these anymore....mind you, there were no bids on it. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FortranCardPROJ039.agr.jpg Things began to change a little when my husband and I realized that we needed to start using some of this "new" technology. When I was pregnant with our first child we rented a pager for about a month so I could get a hold of my husband when the big time came. I can't remember if we actually used it though. Eventually he got a cell phone. It was one of the giant, 2 lb brick phones that was virtually indestructible. We know this as a fact because one day he dropped it out of the window of his truck and ran over it and it still worked fine. I know I couldn't do that with the phone I have now! I found this one on ebay as well, however the seller is asking approximately $200 Cdn. No bids.... My dad came to the rescue again in the mid 90's when he bought us a computer for our kids. However, think it was also for my husband and I so we could become more tech saavy. We mostly used it for email, wandering around on the web, writing papers for university courses and for games. In particular our kids loved playing Arthur games. http://www.amazon.ca/379274-Arthurs-Computer-Adventure/dp/B00004NHKU From the mid 90's to the mid 2000's we kept on the same path; upgrading our computers and phones as they either broke or they needed to be able to do more. Our friends and family still had land lines and that was still our main mode of communication. I used the yellow pages book, and wrote letters and thank you cards by hand and sent them by snail mail (which I think is still really important to do as it shows you have taken time and $$ to express your thanks/greetings). Our girls were still pretty young so weren't needing computers for school, however I did for online courses. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Phone_book.jpg This is a lovely thank you card I got in the mail just this week from a friend (we attended a surprise retirement/birthday party for him) http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sony_Walkman_WM_A602.jpg http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sony_Walkman_WM_A602.jpg http://www.ebay.com/itm/MARK-100-TYPEWRITER-SMITH-CORONA-ELECTRONIC-W-CASE-COVER-/150905532529 http://www.ebay.ca/itm/GSM-Classic-Mobile-Retro-Vintage-80s-Brick-Phone-Motelona-Motorola-UNLOCKED-/ Here is the Learning Commons website (using Wordpress) that I have been working on for the past year. It is still very much a work in progress, but I have learned a lot about web design and content. I especially love that I can work on it at home. You can check it out at http://gladstonelibrary.edublogs.org
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