Technology plays an important role in my personal and professional life. I worked in a technology related position for about ten years as a computer teacher, computer lab assistant and in tech support.
Personally, I see the computer as both a cool toy and a vital tool. One of my earliest experiences with the computer was my dad bringing home a stack of floppies with games and other programs from school. He gave me a few basic lessons on how to get them to work. After that it was up to me to figure out how to run the programs. I approached the task of learning to use the computer like a puzzle. Most of my computer skills have been self-taught. As a first year teacher I was discovered that the computers (Apple IIEs) in my classroom were broken and there was no money to replace or repair them. So, once again I was left on my own to find a solution. I rebuilt both machines and was even given access to a closet full of other non-working machines for spare parts. Soon, I had a several working machines and was often called to repair other machines. While I quickly learned to make computers or software work there were huge gaps in my knowledge and skills. I often knew how to do things but did not know the way to accomplish a task. This is where technology literacy is important. As a computer teacher, I often had parents and students that did not understand that being computer/technology literate was more than being able to surf the web, play games or even type a paper. For example when teaching students to use MS Word for I insisted they learn how to use styles and formatting rather than just manual formatting each piece of information.
Professionally, I rely on computers to complete my job. Outlook helps me stay one top of meetings that I must attend, communicate with colleagues and schedule meetings with students. Currently, my job is as a consultant rather than a classroom teacher. On a daily basis I use a database to monitor student’s progress and placement.