I had an early introduction to computers
My parents bought a PC when I was in high school in the early ’80s, just months before IBM released their version. It was a major purchase for them, requiring a top-up on the mortgage. This was our first lesson into how quickly technology can become obsolete. However, it had the magic gift of a word processor that justified both left and right margins. At school I was the only one who submitted word processed assignments. I also learnt a little programming in Basic from my Dad and from a short adult education course at the local college.
I worked in finance for 8 years
One cannot avoid technology in the world of finance, particularly in banks. I was exposed to a variety of data management systems and other than the first year of work, had a PC on my desk, at which I sat most of the day. Again, the Word Processor was a vital tool but Spreadsheets became my best friend. I learnt to write macros in Spreadsheets. I had to keep moving between Lotus and Excel when the workplace changed or I changed workplaces. Excel upgraded and Lotus was forgotten but I still don’t like typing ‘=’ in front of numerals. When I left the financial world in 1997, email and a little bit of Internet use was occurring in my work environment.
I have a husband who is an IT Professional
While I was a stay-at-home-Mum my husband kept me in the IT loop and I discovered Yahoo email and Internet shopping. Later, the Internet became an almighty research tool with my husband’s patient guidance.
For 9 years I worked at a school that is innovative and gung-ho about technology.
The first school at which I taught exposed me to a whole lot of different ideas for using technology to improve curriculum and pedagogy. Some of the ideas at the school I now reject but others I continue to embrace. I feel really blessed to have been able to develop my teaching skills in a school that encouraged trying new methods of teaching. It created a student-centred mindset for me and further developed my desire for authentic thinking and learning in education.