Since the beginning of this semester, our class was instructed to keep an evaluation of our computer experience each time we got on-line to do our assignments. We were given a data sheet to rate our computer session and our experience during each session. The data sheet looked like this:
Reading this evaluation poll sheet, from left to right, -3 indicates a very negative feeling, 0 indicates a neutral feeling, and +3 indicates a very positive feeling
With a total of about 15 data sheets, I realized that each computer session tended to get less stressful and more comfortable to me. From the beginning of this semester till mid-term (and even now), my internet experience rating system moved from a -3 (very negative) to a +1 (comfortable), and sometimes even a +2 (pretty positive). But unfortunately I never came to the point of marking a +3 yet. Here are some examples of how my computer experiences changed through the semester.
COMPARING MY EXPERIENCES WITH THE PREVIOUS GENERATION STUDENTS' EXPERIENCES:
An honest approach to self-monitoring behavior is essential and important in this class, because the material gathered is used in a generational style to help instruct the students of the future. I think some of these reports are still "edited" as to emotional content to protect the personal feelings and ego of the writer, but for the most part, they are truthful enough to be helpful.
Class discussions are really helpful to me, and other students. Sometimes I worry that I'm the only one encountering problems, but when the rest of the class is stuck with me, or if someone has a solution to the problem because they've been there before too, it gives me hope to keep on truckin'.
Diane has a very good point here for future generations to keep in mind. That is, attend class discussions because you will find that you are not the only one encountering problems. Dr. Leon James and your fellow classmates are there in one room to help answer questions or go over problems that perhaps everyone is facing. One will realize that the class is working as a group support and not individually. Believe me, I have gained much help from my fellow classmates and I am very greatful for all their help.
Humor anchor: I loved reading Diane Beauchemin's Fun Things to do in an Elevator. Sometimes when the tension of the computer work gets to be too much, a quick piece of humor that gets a smile on your face, can really relieve the tension. Once you get rid of the tension, you are able to see your problems from a different perspective. Sometimes, a different perspective is all you need to make a complicated problem seem really simple. If you're tense, and have a couple of minutes,try this link, "useless WWW pages."
Falling behind anchor: Well, I've had the worst case of the flu since I was about 10 years old. I'm way behind in my work for this class, and this adds an enormous weight of frustration. Well, maybe not frustration, maybe it's fear. This class covers so much information and new skills to learn, that falling behind adds a fear that I don't feel in my other classes. For the other classes, it is just a matter of putting in the effort. For this class, I am afraid that "I wont be able" to catch up. Shane Akagi also mentions that it is difficult once you fall behind. Hopefully recognizing that this element exists will help me realize why I am reluctant to get to it. I'll try to think "happy thoughts", and muddle through. I'm going to go try and find some incouraging words in the lab reports of the Psy 459 students!
I personally enjoyed Rebecca's anchors on humor and falling behind. I fell on the same ship as her. During my stressful and frustrating times while completing my computer exercises, I found myself going delirious. I was so fed up with finding the time to complete my assignments, and better yet completing my other class' assignments, I would just laugh for no reason. Perhaps I laughed at myself for taking this course again after all that I had experienced my first time around. Or perhaps I got tired of getting irritated that I had to laugh to calm down. When Rebecca mentioned that smiling or laughing can lessen the tension and help one to have a better perspective of the problem, I could not agree more. Once your mind is cleared and the tension has gone away, new ideas starts to collect in your head which makes your perspectives broaden. As the saying goes, laughter is the best medicine.
Also the falling behind anchor caught my attention for I definately faced that problem this semester. Because I did not have the access to a computer or the time to go to the computer labs, I had a difficult time keeping up with the exercises. And let me tell you, once you fall behind, you feel like you are far gone. Just as Rebecca mentioned, she felt fear when she fell behind in this class because there were so much informative and new information and skills to learn. Once you fall off, it takes a lot of effort to climb back up. Unlike your other classes where you can read and hopefully catch up, this class has constant researching, reading, and typing to do. Not to mention, if you are computer illiterate like me, this class is like learning a foreign language. There is an outstanding amount of time involved with taking this course. Learning the terms, the techniques, and completing assignments is a challenge. Luckily, I got the motivation and support from my friends to keep going and don't give up. After a while, working on the internet became a routine to me and I finally caught up with my class assignment.
I am proud to say, however, that I have progressed from being intimidated asking questions to asking for information quite plainly, to forwarding any information that might help in class. In an age when being able to learn how to acquire information may be more valuable than the actual information, or even knowing how to acquire the information, I consider this progression an important one. It is adapting to technology which changes every few seconds and not being afraid of such rapid change. This has been my most important lesson so far. It involved overcoming my fears (seeming stupid, slow, fear of humiliation, anger), but to know I can do this and produce feels rather good.
This is one important factor that I should have done more often in class...ask questions. I felt intimidated to ask questions because I fell behind in my assignments. I assumed that Dr. Leon James would humiliate me infront of the class, which would make me feel like a stupid idiot. Asking questions will surely save you time and frustration. As Lori stated knowing how to acquire information is important. This is the only way you will be able to solve problems and get through life. Solutions are not going to come to you, rather, you need to take the step into finding solutions yourself.
If you are having doubts about your abilities in the class what you need to do is make two commitments to yourself. ONE- I am going to be open-minded and discard all resistance to learning as I become aware of it and TWO- I am going to make the time needed ( check with DR. James on specific class requirements) to be successful and put those hours in regularly.
This formula might sound kind of simplistic but it has worked for me and that's how I know it can work for anyone. If a country boy like me, form the hills of kauai can do it anyone can. You just can't let your nervousness and technophobia stop you. In the end the work put in wiil be worth a 1000 times more than you could have thought.
I could not agree more to what Shane has mentioned here. In any class that you enroll in, there are certain committments you need to abide to, but in this course, you need to put more effort as to sticking with the committment and accomplishing your goals. Being open-minded is a step to take to open your mind to a new technology that is sweeping America. When I first begun to get into cyberspace community, I hit the "anti-learning forces" that made me want to quit right there and then. But I later acquired habits that were contrary to learning skills to overcome my "anti-learning forces" and learned new skills that were stronger than the forces. Also, the second step stated is a very important factor to being a cyberspace user, for there is a tremendouse amount of time needed to be successful in this course. As I repeated myself over and over, time and effort are the main key to survive Dr. Leon James' class.
COMPARING MY EXPERIENCES WITH MY FELLOW G7 CLASSMATES:
During this session, I remember feeling utterly HELPLESS because I could not, for the life of me understand how to upload and download files. I did not grasp the concept of moving files from one place to another because I didn't allow the new information the freedom to enter my discriminating brain. One of the things that helped me from going absolutely insane was being able to complain to my classmates. We moaned and groaned about our frustrations and the problems that we were encountering....and I think it helped a great deal. We could have formed our own Cyberspace Technophobia Therapy Group. I bet if we did, the number of people who would join would be astounding.
I surely felt the same helplessness as Dana, for I encountered the same problem with the uploading and downloading exercise. I could not grasp the concept of moving files from one place to another until I had help from some classmates. And it is so true that moaning and groaning to fellow classmates can help one from going insane in this class. Getting out your frustration to others can take a load off of your shoulders. At this time, you will also realize that you are not alone because everyone else basically feel the same frustration, irritation, and stress as you do. According to Dana's idea of forming a Cyberspace Technophobia Therapy Group, I would definately join, and I am sure the rest of the class would join too.
I was really beginning to feel hopeless. I think I felt this way because I was totally computer illiterate when it came to the internet. I tried reading the pamphlets and dictionary but I still could not understand what they were trying to say. I needed a dictionary to help explain the dictionary itself. I did not want to give up so I stayed at the computer lab for three hours. During the next session, something happend for the better.
I think that anyone who enters this class with no computer experience will feel a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. Just as I was computer illiterate, you need to add more efforts to learn and grasp the computer terminologies and the internet commands. If class lectures is unable to answer some questions, you will need to find other sources that can help you overcome your problems. Just as Chris experienced trouble, he turned to phamphlets and a dictionary to help him understand how to complete his assignments. That is what I call dedication to motivate yourself to stick it out.
This initial reaction, I have since learned, is a common one. Many people, who are infected with technophobia (a fear of technology) are overwhelmed with the Internet when they first encounter it. Being that I had a bad case of the technophobias I easily succumbed to my fears, and instead of working through my doubts and confusion I used them as excuses to quit. This initial reaction could have very detrimental effects to new travelers in cyberspace.. If newcomers and beginners to the Internet world allow their technophobia to take control, they will reject the Net and all that it has to offer. Individuals who don't have the ability to work through the initial confusion, myself being one, should find someone to guide them.
Amazing, I was not the only one who felt the fear of technology, known as technophobia. Ayada encountered the same experience as me. She felt overwhelmed with the internet and used excuses to quit. I went through the same path, for when I was confused or was irritated, I just quit. But that was not the right decision for Ayada and I to let our technophobia take control of our learning forces. Instead of rejecting the Net, we should seek for help through manuals or a friend to help us overcome our technophobia. Because once you get the hang of being a cyberspace user, it is a priceless gift to know and experience. Technology is our future, and now I can say I have been a part of this cyberspace community.
What did I gain from the experience of doing this report? Well...I truly feel that I have learned the three levels of acquiring skills, that is ACS: The affective-->cognitive-->sensory motor. From the beginning of this semester to the present, I noticed some developmental changes in my cyberspace skills. From level one, I became information literacy through the generational identification. I saw how our class worked as a group rather than individually. We all helped each other and motivated each other to overcome our technophobia and stick through this semester as a team. The nice part of working as a group was that you realize you are not alone. Although at times I was intimidated by what others had done already, I was able to accept the situation and motivate myself to get through my assignments. There were times where things just did not go smoothly with my work, which led me to just quit right there and then. But that is when I realized that I was behind and I need to figure out a way to get on the next phase. The answer is to ask questions, find the solutions and take the time (a lot of time)to update your assignments. By acquiring this level, one will see how he or she is having disciplinary content and culture of becoming a cyberspace citizen. We are all working as a generational carrier where we act like cyberspace citizens having our own homepage with certain characteristics and properties to make it easier for our visitors to understand and go forth, we use the e-mail to communicate with our fellow classmates and other generational students, and we transmit our own knowledge and culture to understand the new technology.
In level 2 I was becoming a self directed autonomous learner through generational modeling for I imitated and acted like a cyberspace user. Due to completing this course and finishing up on my assignments, I acquired a project orientation that needed a lot of sustained effort consistency. Although I fell behind during the beginning of this semester, I managed to motivated myself to complete my assignments. This was an affective skill to manage enough time and motivation to get the projects done. A lot of time and effort is involved in this phase.
The last phase is becoming leadership and inventiveness through generational loyalty. I am willing to continue my cyberspace citizenship. I feel a part of the community for I have worked day and night working on my files this whole semester. I feel that all of our files done for this semester pertained to helping future generation students to gain knowledge and support through our own experiences that we encountered. Students can read what we have gone through and how we were able to get pass the troubles. Looking at the past generation student's reports from previous semesters, it seems as if we all faced the same problems, and that we were all able to overcome the problem through providing our own unique solutions. This is where I feel my advice will help support next generations to get through their ACS levels of acquiring skills.
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