Finding information in a hypertext environment such as our course files, was extremely confusing. But I realized that practice makes perfect. The more time I spent getting lost and confused, while using the Internet, actually helped me remember how to do things better, find, and utilize the available sources more easily and efficiently. Being able to access Shane's home page and toggling it, as well as getting help from him, I was able to utilize the Internet a little bit better. Working in the lab with friends, and hearing about their problems encountered, when using the Internet, also helped me use better. It is now April, and I have discovered more easier ways to hunt for something specific. For example, when you use netscape, just type in exactly what you are looking for, adn it brings it right up instead of going through all those introductory pages, selecting this and that. Ialss found that WWW and Gopher is fast and easy. Although sometimes it does take forever to pull up some files. I just go HOmework #6 and click on Webcrawler of Gopher. It is most convenient to use Dr. James home page to navigate throught the course files, of course at the begging because individual pages are not established to the fullest extent. But as the semester comes to an end, you will see that linking to other peoples homepages etc, will be much easier, because many of the students will have so much links, you'll be linking forever.
Going through the syllabus and the Instructor's Weekly Comments helped me, get a better idea of how to do things, as well as giving me the chance to correct my mistakes and add to my shortcomings. To find something specific, I learned to use key words, and to simply, "ask" the aid who is working at the lab for help. I navigated through the course files by, just going to my homepage where I have a different links to things such as the class syllabus and Instructor's syllabus. The accessibility through links made navigation and searches more easy for me.
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I discovered that the only way to fight being a pessimist, is to have someone help you through it, step by step. Sometimes actually "doing" is easier than seeing. This meaning that even though the instructions are right in front of you on paper, it doesn't make it any easier when doing it. Fighting depression is very difficult, especially if you are a beginner at just "using" computers. So, practice, practice, practice, makes perfect! Being depressed, becuase you can't do something, will get you no-where. Use, your frustration as a challenge and incentive to do better. I feel the most comfortable using the information from the hypertext, when I have someone to lean on for help. Yes, I am dependent on others. I will try not to be, by using the Internet more for practice. My goals are to be able to utilize the Internet in my future job and life easily. My advice to others is, you will never know what the Internet contains, until you try it, so try it! In the middle of the semester, just before midterms, I did experience pessismistic attitudes toward the Internet. Because I did lose some of my files, I had a slight decrease in the "urge" to learn some thing new. Sometimes it takes a "step" back in order to get two steps ahead. I thought I a tough time, but after talking to Rayson, and finding out that he accidently lost his files into the cyberspace black hole, or bermuda triangle, I didn't feel as bad. I must commend him for all his hard work he put inot re building his files. But doing it the second time around, you can create better things.
The method I use to deal with my frustrations are to think positive thoughts. It could only get better and easier right? The uncertainty, I deal with by making attempts to find easier ways. It's a psychological thing. I did try to read through the book "Internet for Dummies", but I realized that it would be much more helpful if I first learned the "real basic" stuff first. At this point I think I was experiencing Resistance to Information
I just had no incentive of learning or doing anything that was not physical retrievable.(ex.getting the paper you threw away out of the rubbish can). But knowing that I was striving for a good grade, I knew that I had to survive. I learned that intent and feedback was two inportant factors in learning. Therefore, I found that Dr. James weekly comments helped me keep up and not fall way, way behind. And because your work you put into your files, determined your grade, I jammed.....
The greatest fear that I have is accidently erasing or deleting something. You never know what could happen. The touch of a single key could, send your file into never, never land. But you have to learn from your mistakes. And the anger built up inside of you, should help serve as another incentive at trying to master the Internet. It is now May, and I did conquer my greates fear. "LOSING STUFF WITH THE TOUCH OF ONE KEY"! You have to learn someway?! I guess, you learn from your mistakes, and from then on...I just stuck to using and doing things i was use to and know about. Unless I did run into someone who "really" new what they were doing and could help me.
Up until now, I never really took the time out to use my computer to it's fullest potential. I would just stick, in a program and type away, it got the job done. So, when Dr. James, started introducing us to the Internet, I was totally lost. Even though you keep hearing that computers are the future, it never really struck me, how advanced everything was already. Who would of imagined ten years ago, that today we would be able to retrieve and share information, as well as talk to and contact people from all over the world?! Well, the way I look at it is, knowing how to use the computer and all the programs etc... will only help you in the future. So, in order to protect your future children from information and computer knowledge shock, learn now. It's hard to lean and teach a old dog new tricks!
I must admit, I was first resistant to change. Of course I was scared to try something new at the risk of jeopardizing my work. You can't blame me, I did lose a bunch of stuff from my lab reports, when I did attempt to try something new. But I guess that you will never learn anything new. You gotta take a chance. Now at the end of the semester, that if I had more courage to try new things, my work and searches would have been more easy. Perhaps, I could of avoided alot of stress. Other alternative approaches are work with a friend. I found that most helpful. The working together is easier, faster, and more fun. Although I regret not having that "burning desire" to become a net potato,you have to give some credit for surviving through the course.
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Any comments? Messages? Thoughts?