Wednesday, March 5, 2008

On Being a Newbie

My favorite things about being a newbie to the edublog circuit and communicating with teachers outside my county is challenging myself to become a better teacher all over again.

I have worked with computers since my second semester at college when I learned to program in BASIC on an Apple ][ computer. I always thought those brackets looked so cool.

I've always taught people how to use computers in some capacity or another. I was a "lab tech" person for a few years at my local community college. I helped teachers and students access the computer resources on our minicomputer - a Dec Vax 11/780 if I recall correctly. I helped people fix coding errors in COBOL, FORTRAN, Pascal, and even Assembly language (and I never took an Assembly language program - which is kind of funny).

A part-time teacher must have seen something in my skills because she asked if I wanted to apply for a job as a computer "teacher" in business. It was there that I learned to troubleshoot as a help desk person and teach computer classes to adults. I learned Word, Excel (which was a twist on VisiCalc), and how to create reports in a fourth generation language called Sperry Mapper. On it goes until I arrived as a grammar school computer teacher.

I guess the thing that I've been thinking about this past week or so is that I'm used to my accumulated knowledge and skill, but I'm so enjoying the challenge of what is amounting to "thinking differently".

Even though I brought a wealth of knowledge with me, I am behind in some of the skills of the read/ write web. I was listening to a "classic" episode of the EdTech Posse last night. They've been using Skype and creating podcasts since 2005! That was the year of my first blog. I can't tell you when exactly (Xanga is blocked at school).

I still need to learn how to look cool under pressure as a Skype call host. I still need to move beyond Kid Pix and Word in the lower elementary classes. I really enjoy my newbie status (I'm a big seven months into my current edublog). I'm so excited to see the difference in wikis March 2008 vs. March 2007 start date for wikis. I'm enjoying the ride.

Image Citation:
Wendenig, Wolfgang. "Apple II." wolfgang.wendenig - wuschL's photostream. 2007 Oct 30. 2008 Mar 5.

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