I am a technophobe. This is a fact I can usually keep secret, but there are times when it is difficult to hide my shyness around doo-hickies and new-fangled contraptions. Today, for example, I attended a long training session for my online teaching job. The program I work for has partnered up with a much larger, more substantial national corporation. The result is a highly competitive, higher-tech teaching environment. In short, all the latest technology at the teacher's fingertips as soon as we learn how to use it. As I'm watching software demonstrations projected on a screen in the computer lab, there is a part of me that feels like a deer caught in the NASDAQ headlights- the corporate bus is headed right for me, duck and cover!
Someone reading this might respond, but you are blogging and teaching online and you're not 60 years old. What's the big deal? OK so I'm not 60, but I am thirty-something which means I can remember life before personal computers. Believe it or not, we still survived somehow. I also remember the excitement of my family's first PC purchase. It was a TI (which stands for Texas Instrument, in case you're too young to know that.) My dad read the information about its word processing capabilities and my siblings and I were all so excited to try it out. We were sure it would revolutionize the way we did our homework. It turns out the TI in our house was used for one purpose and one purpose only: gaming (think generic ATARI.) The point here is, I was not raised on the high-tech computers of today like my children will be. There was no internet until I was half-way through college. When I first saw e-mail, I thought it was something so complicated it was consigned to the world of the geeks. Perhaps the source of my technophobia is that my students can do more on their cell phones than I can with all of the interface, gigs of RAM, and spread sheets in the world.
For me, navigating my way around cyberspace is a matter of comfort zones. I have a really hard time taking technological leaps. I have to get used to the temperature of the shallow water before I can dive in. In the meantime, the rest of the world has moved on to Guitar Hero and I'm still hunting the Wumpus.