Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Dawning of the Age of Technology



          Oh, don`t  get me wrong, this is a very personal story. It is how I changed from a second-hand user of technology to …… technology-friendly user! I have never heard anyone actually saying `second-hand`  user of technology ,but that`s exactly who I was. You see, I did use technology, but only if somebody else set up everything for me. So I had a facebook account because my daughter opened it for me. I used Skype only when she was around. My sister downloaded from youtube for me. I used Twitter but only for direct messages to my friend Natasa, who opened my account. It gets even more sophisticated! I made a few PPTs! Actually I did the typing, my daughter did everything else, including saving. …… So you see, there was always a pair of first hands to help. Mine were the second! Very kind of them, but I could have asked them to explain, to teach me how to do it. Maybe I did, and maybe they did explain. And then maybe I did something once and then I definitely forgot everything! I`ve told you I am forgetful in my first blog, remember?
          I must say I`ve come a long way from the decision to change that and to join BaW. It seems so long ago that I can hardly remember the beginning. Is it possible it was only five weeks ago? Time flies, doesn`t it? And yet, I can still feel the occasionally bitter taste of the first week! I stiill see my giant photo serenely smiling from the deleted BaW wiki page! I can still remember wandering around Tapped In Building like a ghost invisible to everybody and everything. I, in a nutshell, felt like Alice in Wonderland, I even wrote about Alice and me! (take a look at two blogs down)  And I also wrote the letter to the mods, trying to explain, justify, confess, come clean, like I was keeping a bad secret that needed to be said aloud. I still keep the letter just to remind me!  (http://entri.co/Lna21O) . After saying that, I felt much better, I felt free from my guilty conscience! Free to go on!  How great and supportive you mods and webmates were then! And that was the point of no return! I crossed the Rubicon, it was time to conquer Rome!
          Yes, it is true that all the roads lead to Rome, just some are more direct than others. Of course I chose the most indirect roads, I chose a lot of bypasses and detours, not to mention blind alleys. Especially at the beginning! It changed in the weeks to follow, and I`m extremely satisfied with what I`ve learned. And I`ve learned here absolutely everything I know. I still don`t use highways, too much speed for me. I`m probably still on country roads, but I don`t mind. I know this is just the beginning of an exciting journey to the age of technology. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Grammar & Listening and Showbeyond!



So why Showbeyond? To be honest, I undertook the adventure of making it out of pure ignorance. I didn`t know it would be so difficult! And for me, it was difficult, indeed! Otherwise it is a  simple, easy  and rewarding tool. I first saw Simonida`s showbeyond story and I liked it so much that I decided to make one myself. I wanted to make  a really nice graduation gift to my new friends because I was so impressed by this whole BaW experience and I wanted to contribute to the positive energy that was all over the place.
But being  talented to complicate, I decided to put a couple of Wordle images in it. Again it is so simple to use Wordle! What is difficult is to move the image away from it and to put it where you want to put it. You can`t copy-paste it. You can`t embed it. You have to take a `screen shot`. I wasted 3 hours trying to learn how to do it. I read the instructions, I watched the tutorial, I kept pressing Prt Sc button but nothing happened. I had no other way but to contact my `teenage connection` (my daughter) to help me. So she did, in about 10 seconds! She couldn`t believe I couldn`t do it. I couldn`t believe I couldn`t do it but I couldn`t do it! Still, my troubles were not over as I needed to convert Youtube to MP3.  I`ll keep it to myself how I did it. Let me just tell you it took as long as putting in the Wordle images! Everything else was the fun part! So here it is:


p.s. This post originally started with these two tests I made in week 3 but  I can`t delete it just like that. You see, I have a problem parting with old things, so let them stay here without any particular reason. This is a grammar test for beginners.
http://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/story.php?title=articles-beginners_1
ProProf is very simple and easy to use. I tried ESLvideos and chose my favourite MontyP scene. This would be intermediate/ FCE level. You shouldn`t laugh too much if you want to do it properly :)
http://www.eslvideo.com/esl_video_quiz.php?id=10401

Alice in Wonderland ...and me



                                                                                                                              
                   (Disney)                                                 (Code Lyoko - edited in piZap)


`Alice in Wonderland
How do you get to Wonderland?
Over the hill or underland?
Or just behind a tree?`

          I have been humming this little song for more than three weeks. Why? Oh, because I like Alice in Wonderland and I like the song and most importantly I feel like  Alice now. You can guess why, can`t you? Yes, down the hole I went and into a strange land for me, where nothing is impossible just some things are impassable if you don`t know how to pass them (I paraphrased the Doorknob a bit here). 
          So why do I feel like Alice? Oh, believe me there are many reasons. Just as for Alice everything was curiouser and curiouser in Wonderland, equally curious is everything for me in this Cyberland. When I first met Alice and her Wonderland many years ago, I was most impressed by those magical portions EAT ME and DRINK ME that changed her size so dramatically. And she didn`t even know what would happen to her, still she ate and drank the stuff politely. When I started my journey here, I was truly  puzzled by so many signs saying PRESS ME, LOG IN, SIGN IN, SIGN OUT, JOIN IN, POST….  I didn`t know what would happen to me if I did what they asked me to do, but I clicked the buttons anyway.
          Even more strangely, the buttons were not satisfied when I pressed them once, they kept calling me to do it again. So I signed up for Yahoo Groups, and Pbworks and Edmodo from Digitools, very likely three or more times! I knew it  because I was getting the messages You are already signed. So I was never  sure if I did everything I should have done or didn`t do what I shouldn`t have done or whatever!
          I knew I had gone too far when  a message came `Someone has requested access to baw2012.pbworks.com`. Oh dear, what did I do? I mean, I didn`t want any access to anywhere, I wanted to do what I should, not what I shouldn`t. And the message politely explained  that access is not given to reference pages in the wiki, only to pages where the participants will collaborate  when they are ready to write intro. Well,  I had maybe seen a wiki page once or twice before that, so I didn`t know what reference pages were or how to collaborate in one. I knew I wasn`t ready to do anything! And that moment I knew I had drank a portion that shrank me to the size of  the White Rabbit. And I also knew I had to find a way to undo the undersized me!
          As Lewis Carroll said: `If you don`t know where you are going, any road will take you there!`. I didn`t know where I was going but I wanted to get there quickly! So I decided to collect any courage left and to INSERT my photo and intro in the participants page.  I kept reading the instructions remembering the Doorknob`s wise words: Read the directions and directly you will be directed in the right direction!  And indeed I was directed and managed to do it and was instantly restored to my original size! 
          Just I wasn`t quite happy  with the size of the photo, it wasn`t quite right. Since one good turn deserves another, I ventured into something that turned out to be my major disaster….but that deserves a post of its own. J