Normally what occurs in my doctoral classes is like Vegas, only in the sense that what happens in our meetings, stays in the vault of the unrepeated. At our first face-to-face Spring course session we were asked to recall our personal journeys with technology. Aside from helping me feel very old, it was interesting to discuss how instant message and Google have played a large role in our educational experiences and lives.
A while back there were some Google commercials that showed the protagonist googling advice on issues that include travel, dating and translating languages etc. I felt that this commercial, and others, encompass my digital history in so many ways.
The Evil Word Processor
In high school, I used a ballpoint pen, typewriter and word processor to construct essays. Rewrites in my honor classes became almost impossible until I befriended a guy with two computers at his house. When I left for college in the fall of 1999, my grandparents bought me an “e-machine” which is one of the worst computers ever produced but I loved it dearly. Though I was an adult when I had my first personal computer, I was comfortable with technology before then.
Minors Stealing Passwords
There are two memories I have of using the Internet. The first is coming to CSU, Bakersfield as a high school student and using the online search engines, specifically Lexis Nexis to research for debate. Lexis nexis is amazing but as the internet grew, we would also use the campus computers to find research from a variety of sources. No one taught us, high school debaters, how to use the search engines.
Gaming and then College
When it comes to my first interactions with the internet the second vivid memory is sitting in the living room of my best friends house, which is coincidentally now my husband, with a network port connecting all of the computers to play Diablo. This was in the mid 90’s and I can count on one hand how many people I knew that actually had the internet.
At the start of the new millennium when I went to college I lived on “instant messager.” Emails became like a virtual diary where things could be sent off into the virtual world.
Personal Learning Network
I have been married for 11 years and my very geeky partner is my PLN (personal learning community) when it comes to technology. Over the years anything we might want to know and didn’t, we googled it. I discourage my students from relying to heavily on google: I cannot imagine life with the ability to search through google.
It was insightful to share my contact with technology with others. My favorite history of technology was by an artist who drew a visual representation of her journey as a means of sharing her story: I hope she posts the photos on her blog so I can share with you soon.