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My Personal Technology History CEP 815 Sometimes I wonder how it all started; I mean my interest in (and later on my addiction to) technology. If my memory serves me well, 1993 marked the beginning of what I call ‘tech exploration’. I call it as such because I truly waded through the hardships of technology on my own. I got myself a desktop computer, hooked it to the net, and began my journey into the realm of technology. Of course, Word was the first application I enlightened my puny knowledge with as it was (and probably still is) the most common way to present written material. It wasn’t before 1994, and more accurately 1995, that confidence settled in for the first time: I had familiarized myself with Microsoft Office, learnt to save my work on different media, gotten my way with surfing the web, and used email quite extensively. However, I felt something was missing: connecting to the rest of the world. I felt somehow in a ‘digital cage’ - after all, I was communicating only with my computer. One day, a friend of mine told me that it was possible to meet people online! I thought he meant the email, but then I understood that he was talking about social networks. The first one I used was mIRC, followed by ICQ, an acronym for I Seek You. And that was a mistake, because I spent around 8 hours a day chatting with people. Luckily, the craze didn’t last very long, and soon I found myself experimenting with other features of the net, namely Internet Explorer and AltaVista. I grew tired of being tied to one place, so I got my first wireless-enabled mobile. I went on with my tech quest until I satisfied my curiosity and needs. I educated myself with online tutorials, which helped me set up a small home network to play online games with friends. That was also when I developed a liking for laptops; along with the wireless mode of connection (GPS), I didn’t have to compromise my mobility. The second phase of my learning initiative, between 2000 and 2005, was delineated by my teaching experience out of my home country, where I had the chance to integrate more advanced technology in the classroom: LCD projectors, SmartBoards, and Intranet. I was still using previous technologies, such as MS Office, webcams, and social networks (now MSN), but more profusely. This period witnessed a growth in technology that would underlie the decision to pursue a degree in technology. Sadly, time and cash were scarce... The years 2006 and 2007 were more of a preparation for what would lead to a more serious approach to teaching with technology. I began planning my lessons around technology, namely researches and essays. Oral presentations accompanied by PowerPoint presentations were common student assignments, and I was more or less satisfied with students’ results. I was considering doing a course that would render my knowledge of technology more beneficial, and there came an email from a colleague of mine about MSU’s Master’s in Educational Technology program. It couldn’t have come at a better time, nor could it have been anything other than what I wanted: It combined both technology AND education! As the proverb goes: When the student is ready, the master appears. I enrolled in the program and voila! From there on, I kept expanding my knowledge with every course I took. The best part is that I learnt to use technology as a tool rather than as an object, and that created a huge impact on student achievement: Edublogs gave students a wider audience to address, Podcasts provided students with a sense of self-importance, RSS aggregators enabled students to keep in touch with their favourite topics, social networks improved students’ communicative and social skills, and the list goes on. In short, web 2.0 has performed miracles in terms of student results. I can keep on talking about this subject indefinitely. All I can say is that I’m glad I embraced technology as an educational aid. And my addiction to technology? Well, relax; it’s the positive type Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: January 2010

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Personal Technology History