Hold My Beer and Watch THIS!!

Have you ever gotten into something you had absolutely NO clue about?  Well, jumping back into college after a 27 year hiatus called life, is exactly what I’m doing now.  I took 3 classes this summer to “get back in the swing of things” and am starting this semester, as a junior, with 14 hours of classes and a computer.  To say that things have changed a bit in the learning world, would be an understatement.

In my opinion, computers are the devil.  Am I an idiot?  No.  I consider myself a fairly intelligent person who can learn about anything.  Have I spent a considerable amount of time on a computer?  Yes.  In the past 17 years, I have spent a lot of TIME on computers.  However, it has been with programs that I needed to use to do my job at the time.  I was taught every key stroke and every screen to monitor and control.  I did not spend time on social media as I did not even own a computer.  I have been on Facebook for about 5 years and am just learning how to post pictures from my phone.

Microfiche and the card catalog were my greatest friends when I started college.  I had to be very specific about what I was looking for.  Now, there is an overwhelming amount of information at the touch of a key stoke, even if you do not know exactly what you are looking for.

Let’s just call a spade a spade.  I am NOT the definition of digital literacy.  According to Wikipedia, digital literacy is defined as: ” The set of competencies required for full participation in a knowledge society.  It includes knowledge, skills, and behaviors involving the effective use of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs, for purposes of communication, expression, collaboration and advocacy.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Literacy

That being read, I would assume, and be quite accurate with that assumption, that I am definitely not digitally fluent.   According to Karen Spencer in her article What Is Digital Fluency (2015), digital fluency “requires competencies and capabilities that go beyond the skill level.  Someone who is digitally fluent not only selects tools and knows what to do with them, but can explain why they work in the way they do and how they might adapt what they do if the context were to change.” https://karenmelhuishspencer.com/2015/10/30/what-is-digital-fluency/

Elements?  Aren’t they on the periodic table?  Little did I know and much to my surprise, digital literacy actually has 8 key elements.  In a reading about the book The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies, by Doug Belshaw (2012), the 8 key elements of digital literacy are cultural, cognitive, constructive, communicative, confident, creative, critical and civic.  After reading the descriptions of all of these, I found myself lacking in all of them but creative.  https://digilitpride.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/making-sense-of-the-8-elements-of-digital-literacy/

I can do THAT?  Looking at the 8 elements, I could find my weakest point in life in the element of confident.  I am very scared of delving into the unknown, taking risks, and making mistakes.  I do not like to “mess around” and click on things that I do not know about.  My greatest fear is to click on something and not be able to go back.  I am scared that I will go somewhere in cyberspace that I cannot get out of, hence my lack of knowledge of computers.

I am about to invade my own comfort zone.  I am looking forward to stepping out of my box and exploring this great new world that is technology.  As I read my assignments for some of this semester’s classes, I cringe but know that, being the grade hound that I am, I must do what is asked of me and complete the assignments to my best ability. This is all to ensure that I become the best teacher I can be, which is my goal.  Moving one step forward every day, with the help of a few patient people, I plan to one day tell those who know me, and my fear of computers, to…”Hold My Beer and Watch THIS!”

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6 thoughts on “Hold My Beer and Watch THIS!!

  1. Go you! What an amazing feat to come back to college after all that time! I agree that computers can be the devil but with how much technology is used in classrooms these days and by the children growing up in the world I suppose it’s something we just have to learn.

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  2. Good for you! That is so amazing that you are so determined going into this class! Don’t feel too overwhelmed – I didn’t own a computer before I started college, so it’s all still kind of new to me too. You sound like an amazing person! I just can’t get over your determination and humor! Can’t wait to see what you do with the rest of the semester.

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    1. You make me feel so much better about computers 🙂 Until this summer, I had never encountered online learning. What an eye opener! There is so much you kind of have to do for yourself, instead of asking questions and getting instant answers from a face to face class. But, that is the trend and it makes my life a lot easier to be able to live in Central City, NE, with my husband, rather than with my sister in Chadron, while my husband is in Central. I am very slowly getting the hang of it 🙂 I, too, can’t wait to see what all I have learned after completion of this semester 🙂

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  3. Jackie, I really love you opinion on computers! I personally do not like social media. It take away from people interacting with eachother. I personally have been guilty of being on my phone too much, when I am around my friends and family. I do not like this. Therefore I do not think social media is the best invention made. Thank you for sharing! I cannot wait to read more of your posts throughout the semester!

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    1. Paige, thank you for sharing some of my thoughts about technology:) I am an older student (48) and an avid pen and paper person. This computer stuff scares me as I am afraid to click into something I can’t get out of and I am very nervous about making mistakes. The more I have been assigned to do, the better I feel, but I am still apprehensive due to my lack of complete understanding.

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