Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thought today I would write about my current reflections on  using the computer and internet. From my previous entry, I had wrote about learning to type (which is a godsend) on a manual typewriter then progressing to today's computers.  

I have noticed something new about myself, that I used to always write all my notes or papers by hand, then type them out as if I was my own secretary.  Now I think that I have evolved into doing less writing by hand and just going straight to typing on the computer.  This seems to save a lot of time? 

 I also feel that  I am enjoying the computer more as I am finding that I can communicate with far away family and friends by using my NEW!!!!  Facebook and looking at my realatives blogspots.  I can view pictures of their children, animals, friends and travels.  It is simply amazing.  I also have signed up for:  Twitter, Flicker, Yahoo (required for Flicker) and "this Blogspot", required by Mae638.  I am excited about putting all my accumulation of pictures onto flicker so my friends, who sometimes ask me for a copy, can pick and choose and print out the ones they want for themselves.  I have a huge archive of very interesting and cultural pictures to upload or scan. Forgot to mention that I had bought a digital camera a couple of years ago. This project may have to wait as I am sure it will be time consuming, but I hope to try to up load a few before this class is over as Dr. Meiers could give me some tips.

I also have been reflecting about how others around me are accessing the internet like wildfire.
My retired friends are creating very elaborate facebook walls (I think thats what they are called?) and getting REALLY into it. 
They have gone to the extent to take old 8mm black and white movies, then tranfer them onto CD-roms then upload them on the computer.  They also sell stuff on-line.  Other friends have created You Tube videos and yet more friends are calling me up to tell me to check out what they have been watching on You Tube. And I vice-versa.  I laughed so hard at "The Farting Preacher- Releasing the Faith" a friend had asked me to watch (No disrespect to those who do believe in the tele evangelists)
I could be wrong, but, this could be the right area to use twitter.  NONE of my friends have twitter but I could see them using it to let each other know of their favorite current events or videos, pics that they are wanting to share???
I found a new website that I love because  a friend called me by phone to tell me about it.
Another recent discovery is HULU a website where you can watch tv shows or cartoons.
It is amazing!

Not to sound like Debbie Downer, I'm sure there is a trade-off to all this and although I am having fun, I am not completely sold.   An example:  I love Pacific Rim Film Festival, a once a year International film festival where you can watch movies for FREE.  Like traveling  without getting in an airplane.  This was the first year I didn't really go.  I only saw 3/4 of one movie.
Part of the reason I didn't go was that i knew that I could rent these later on  so I stayed home to try to do homework.  (want to elaborate on this thought for my next blog about the physical disconnection that technology is creating AND what are the environmental tradeoffs?)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Decided that I'd be a good girl today and come to the new library and try to overcome my resurfacing writers block.  If there is one important thing that I have learned about studying, I would really have to say that for me, I need to be in a supportive environment AND, be around others who are in the same boat.  Being around others who are reading, writing,  typing  while zoomed and honed in on their books and computers can be very encouraging for me. It is very hard for me to find a place that I can focus and work and produce something to show for it.
I have tried every coffee shop in town and only found two that worked for me.  And you would think that in Santa Cruz, for God's sake, being one of the Coffee Drinking Capitals of the world I would have more success. Unfortunately one of those is gone and the one that folded was the one I used to pump out the most writing ever!  College  libraries are super helpful, as long as I am not sleepy.  They are quiet, usually clean and if I am disciplined enough, will try to get my big fat butt in there.  This new Tanimura and Antle Family Memorial Library at CSUMB is pretty cool!   Walking in for the first time I immediately noticed the Peet's Coffee. Ya! Throughout the library there are  nice Ikea looking tables and variety of chairs filled with a variety of studiers.  The reference desk was freindly and the computerized catalog was a cinch.  I found a book for a class quick, and somehow found it with out even looking at a map of the library.  I think I have a weird sense about finding things?  I noticed that they even have loaner lap tops here.  Can you even imagine?
I remember having to go to a computer lab and look for an available unit, then grapple with the seats etc.  Now, one could check out a lap top, find a seat and area in this giant library that meets their fancy.  
I am hoping that I will use this new library and beable to pump out some work.  
More later

Saturday, September 19, 2009

From Manual Typewriters to Mac

For this blog I was thinking about how lucky I was to have someone decide for me that I needed to learn to type and the evolution of the equipment I experienced while learning.
I was very fortunate to have taken typing in my freshman year at high school.  I attended the first semester of high school in North Yorkshire, Harrogate, England at Rossett High.  I'd ride the bus to school, dark in the morning and dark by the time school was out, then at school they put us on another bus, mostly girls,  to go to a business school to learn typing.  We used manual typewriters.  I think by starting to learn typing on a manual typewriter it actually helped me a lot to reinforce my memory of the key board  as you needed to use  much force in hitting the keys and there is something to be said about tactile learning as I work in special ed.  I think I learned to spell better too with the syllabic rhythmic taps that formed words.   When I returned to US and entered back into the rest of the school year, I continued learning to type but this time we had electric typewriters.  They were a lot of fun,  but don't want to give the impression  that I liked them better than the manual as I like old fashioned things.  I remember using chalky tape to type over mistakes which we placed manually over the letters.
When word processors came out I was impressed.  At that time they were a little pricey and I would have liked to have had one when I attended Jr. College.  My dad had got me an electric typewriter with a little window for word processing.  This was almost a joke, as you couldn't see the whole page you were working on and I was a bit jealous of others who had the full screen to look at. Non the less  I was grateful for the gift and used the hell out of it.  With my electric typewriter to change fonts, you simply  would remove the plastic disc and install another font.  There were cartriages for ink and correctable ribbon.  I still have this typewriter and haven't used it much since I am on my third computer.  

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Adventures in Technology

Tonight is my first class for Masters of Education Technology as a Tool for Excellence and Equity.
I am excited about this class as I think it will help me become more technology literate and be able to pass valuable information and tools for using technology to my students. It seems like at my work site one of the most computer literate employees is the librarian and I haven't seen too much computer interaction with the students who are in the process of learning the keyboard.

I am hoping to review some of the basics that I am rusty at, such as scanning and uploading pictures (where Dr. Meier says he can help us with image manipulation as to not take up enormous amounts of space)
I would really love to learn End Notes for research writing as I am so afraid of MLA or APA formats
Time to go home!