Growing with Media

My first interaction with computers started as I’m sure many other 7 year olds in the late 1990’s started… with computer games. I remember playing “Freddi the Fish” on our family computer with my brother intensely staring at the screen over my shoulder. My early memories with of our family computer are actually more social compared to how I use the computer now. Other people were participating in my computer experience, making in much more interactive. I was always playing, drawing with Microsoft Paint, and playing minesweeper with my friends and family.

My first interactions with the the internet didn’t become practical until specifically the third grade when each classmate was assigned an historical figure to make a presentation on. I remember during “library time” our teacher showing us how to research using Google, AskJeeves, Yahoo, and Dogpile for our projects. With these search engines our teacher told us how using specific keywords would help us gather better results.  I was assigned Amelia Earhart and I believe that one of my sources for my presentation was Wikipedia which now a days no teacher will accept as a credible source.

ask_jeeves_screengrab

Our school also offered computer classes taught by the librarian which our class went  to once a week starting in the third grade. This tech class taught us proper computer skills such as how to print, how to save, Microsoft Word applications, and also included typing exercises. Later in the year the librarian gave us orange plastic covers to cover the keyboard, to prevent us from staring at the keys and keep our heads up as we type. As well it was imperative that we  use all ten of our fingers, not just the index. She would read out sentences for us to type, I remember being specifically horrible at this and to this day I use my index finger for the majority of my typing. These once a week classes turned into three day a week classes. Like Karl Marx said an “ideal citizen would be cutting wood in the morning, gardening in the afternoon and composing music in the evening” But now the “ideal citizen” has grown to using the computer and internet for almost every activity; weather it be work, communication, learning, or discovery. Those computer classes and exercises we took in elementary school have formed us into the ideal citizen.

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2 comments

  1. I remember using Ask Jeeves in grade school to do “research” too. They had an Ask Jeeves Kids tab you could use too. Sadly Jeeves is no longer around (I wonder why). However, I think it is funny that they had a special search ended created for ease of use by children. Now, children are just as efficient at using computers and the internet, if not even more efficient, than adults.

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