For today’s post, I am going to reflect on my relationship with the internet. So far, it has been all about what I get out of this relationship, and not about what I give back. My hope is that eventually I will use the internet to make a positive impact and contribution.
14 years ago I was introduced to an e-mail, and the internet at work. I was so impressed with what it can do, and immediately wanted to learn how to use it. I called up our curriculum coordinator (don’t know why I chose him, perhaps somebody suggested I contact him?) He showed me how to search things for an upcoming family vacation. I was surprised how easy it was to search. At the time and for a while after, I really didn’t have that much need to search anything online, but felt empowered or “with it” to know how to do it.
13 years ago we bought out first home computer. With a computer at home, I created a personal e-mail account with AOL. I really didn’t need 2 e-mail accounts, but wanted to feel important enough to have a professional and a personal setup. I must confess that I loved “you got mail!” from AOL. To me that was like having a personal assistant, and it wasn’t yet annoying to hear that voice.
Over the years, technology continued to evolve rapidly around me, but I wasn’t taking a part in it beyond e-mailing, searching, and occasional Facebook. I did start seeing elementary age children using more technology, and it was starting to play a role in their friendships. (good and bad) I was becoming very interested in how children learned to manage technology, and started incorporating digital citizenship discussions in my guidance classes.
Slowly, but surely, I have come a long way with what I can do with technology. I now have an iPhone 4S, iPad 1, and a MacBook Pro, and a PC (I rarely use the PC anymore). I blog, twitter, and use Evernote, Dropbox, and Diigo faithfully. I am definitely using less paper and saving trees. In 2011 I discovered a network of school counselors through Twitter, and my professional network multiplying instantly! I am learning so much about my profession by way of Twitter.
In 2012, I’d like to use technology to help children from Namie, my own hometown, located right next to the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Plant, where children had to evacuate in panic leaving most everything and everyone they felt familiar with. Though physically separated, these children could reconnect on-line: digital scrapbook of their town in order to preserve their memories, digital yearbooks for their schools, chat room to share experiences, talking and meeting on-line when they can no longer do so in person.
*laptop image from Office.