My technology story

Posted: January 20, 2009 in EVO 2009
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For the Digifolios session, I am supposed to be telling you my technology story, how I got started using technology.  So here it is!

Several years ago my boss asked me if the ESL instructors were using any technology in classes other than the software in the computer lab.  I was embarrassed to have to tell him that we weren’t.  At the time — probably 2003 — I wasn’t even aware of what technology existed to be used.  So I began investigating.

My first tool was the online classroom Nicenet.  The college where I was teaching did not use any kind of course management system at the time, so Nicenet was a real find.  My students posted their assignments, had discussions, commented on each others’ work.  They were not very computer savvy then, but they felt very comfortable on Nicenet. We used it for probably two years, until the college began using Moodle.

Then came the 2005 EVO sessions.  I did the one on blogging.  That was one of the scariest but also most life-altering educational experiences I have had.  I fell in love with blogging and have been at it now for nearly four years.

Of course, with all the talk about blogging with students, I was determined that my students were going to blog.  My early attempts were far from successful.  I couldn’t figure out how to use blogs other than just someplace to post writing assignments.  Eventually, though, I did.  Darren Kuropatwa was the inspiration for me there.

After that, I discovered WebQuests — also thanks to an EVO session.  I developed a number of different WebQuests that I have used with my students.  These have been a lot of fun to develop, and my students have enjoyed completing them.

After many false starts, I finally persevered with a wiki until I figured out how to make them work.  Since then, I have incorporated wikis into my teaching and into my professional development.

But the more I learn, the more I realize there is to learn!  I don’t think I will ever know it all or even use all that I know about with my classes, but I really enjoy the process of trying out the different tools and adopting the ones that seem to work for me and my teaching style.

So even though this may look like the end of my technology story, it is really just the beginning!

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Comments
  1. Hi Nancy, great story.
    I can’t relate to it. I also started small, evolving progressively. And like you, I am aware that the more I learn, the more I seem to know there is to learn. Is like a constant discovery and you never where it is going to take you next.
    But we can only keep trying.
    Those days in 2003 the access to technology wasn’t that easy at it is today – we have come a long way in such a short time, yet there is such a long way to go…
    But as long as we keep having fun and being aware of what is there to explore we will be ok!
    Thanks for sharing! 😉

  2. I am ashamed of myself – I don’t even have a personal URL to add (though I am now the lone webmaster of our departmental website.)
    I enjoyed reading your story – you kind of seem to manage to stay focused in this multifarious universe 🙂

  3. turgayevren says:

    Congratulations. As an English teacher, I am happy to see such enthusiastic and creative English teachers immersed in searching for new methods.

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