I'm taking part in a Webinar this afternoon and I'm just a little nervous - nothing to do with the content of the course or my ability to understand and apply what I'm about to learn (working online creating templates for e-mails and using the database system on the work computer to fire off e-mails - which will make my life easier by eliminating the step of pulling information off the system, creating my own spreadsheet and then sending off e-mails from Outlook Express). What I am nervous about is the physicality of the course - online!
It's hard to believe that 20 years ago I was teaching in the Arctic and computers were only being introduced into the school system. And I had no idea how to use one, so I was learning right beside the kids. We used those old Macs mostly for word processing - writing stories in order to 'publish' them after the kids had gone through first drafts and two revisions (even back then writing was important to me - and I loved to teach the process to kids). We'd print them off, bind them with the fancy book binding machine we had in our school, and then have the kids present their books to the class (Pat - are you reading this? Remember the fun times? :)
Flash forward - I'm now working on a computer every day for my Day Job. Not only working on a computer, but using remote entry into a computer 5 provinces away (yes, I have an office computer in Saskatchewan that I log into from my own computer here in Nova Scotia). The world is at my fingertips with the miracle known as Internet. Research is a lot easier now, than even 10 years ago. And if I want to know something (and I always want to know something), I just Google it!
Creating and writing this blog has also brought me further into the technology that years ago scared the crap out of me (when we got our first computer, I was afraid to turn it on in case I messed up and broke the thing - don't even get my started on my first couple of times using a bank machine). I know some HTML (like <>, no spaces, followed by < / i >, no spaces, will put everything in between those puppies in italics). And I can upload a video to this blog so that all you have to do, People of Blogland, is click on the 'play' button. Amazing.
And today, I will add another technological aspect to my resume. A webinar! A seminar over the Internet where I will log into someone else's computer along with 9 other people, watch and learn how to create and send e-mails from the company's system, and chat with the other participants or ask questions. All in two hours. I get the log on details by e-mail a few minutes before we go live and already I'm panicking that the e-mail won't work - or my Internet will be down - or I won't be able to log on and I'll be sitting at my desk, staring at my computer, wondering who to call for help (kind of like my writing process these days).
Ah, technology - drag me along kicking and screaming, will ya!
So, People of Blogland, have you ever attended a webinar? Easy or hard? What about technology - does the thought of trying new things on the computer scare you? Or do you go with the mantra: "What's the worse that can happen - everything is fixable?" Do you remember your first computer - or the computer you first used? Did anyone notice how many parenthesis I used in this blog alone (a lot)?