I am beginning the ascent of a virtual Mt. Everest, i.e. becoming computer literate after functioning as a computer illiterate for 59 years. I am discovering that the fear of trying something new is my greatest obstacle, followed closely by the need to acquire quick and effective supports to aid in the successful completion of tasks that are assigned weekly in the college computer course in which I am enrolled. Pride is also an issue; I usually shy away from courses of study that I know will not come naturally to me, preferring to choose classes in which I can more easily excel. However, I have arrived at the end of an endorsement program and must pass this computer class in order to obtain a critical endorsement for my teaching license. More importantly, I must face the fact that if I do not overcome this reluctance to learn computer skills, I will not have the abilities with, or awareness of technology that I must have to be an effective teacher of students preparing to work and live in the 21st century!
This week, I have taken a few extra self-help measures. First, I made two visits to a local high school, where I am getting help from a high school student tutor in solving technical problems. The focus for this week’s help session was how to function with Power Point; specifically, how to pull photos from internet sources and put them onto a Power Point slide. Second, I bought a book entitled, Microsoft Office 2013: the Fast and Easy Way to Learn, by Elaine Marmel. The book looks like it covers everything on my course syllabus sheet. If I cannot understand what it is saying or the ramifications of what it is telling me, I can ask my tutor. Third, I am openly communicating about the difficulties I am having with my children, who live at a distance, but are supportive, and often make comments that help me realize that problems I have are due to something simple that I overlooked on the screen. Learning does take place best in a community, where those who know can pull up those who need to know! Technology allows access to a broader community of learners, each of whom has something of value to offer.
I have acquired a new computer skill this week; I am able to import a photo to a Power Point slide. I was able to access this newly created Blog and find the web address for it. I also managed to put aside fear and pride, summon courage and push myself forward as a lifelong learner in a new and vitally important realm. I even developed a shred of belief in myself as a by-product of these efforts, so it has been a great week!