Always more to learn

February 12, 2013 at 1:14 am Leave a comment

Today, in writing class, I taught a lesson on using word processing programs. True, it wasn’t a usual session, but I was finding that members had varying comfort levels using a computer. After all, our generation has not grown up with computers that our children, grandchildren, or nieces and nephews take for granted. Rather we were familiar with using a typewriter or writing by hand, and in one of my student`s cases, having used shorthand.

We’ve enrolled in classes—or occasionally learning from our younger family members— to make better use of those possibilities, and yet there`s always more to learn.

Today, with laptops and a large screen, we went through basics of the word processing program, tabs, drop-down menus and other features. By focusing on those things, I hoped to help my students have more productive writing sessions less fraught with anxiety over pressing a key that could delete hours of writing. Sometimes we went through a process a second time so that everyone would understand so that they become more familiar with what is already at  our fingertips.

Those, for whom computers are second nature, will perhaps chuckle at our lessons on copy and paste, changing font style and size, learning about track changes, and adding line numbers to our writing for critiquing purposes. It was a valuable session for writers..

Not totally convinced that she could repeat all these steps at home, one student asked, “Are you available at 2 in the morning?”

“No, sorry, I’m not,” I said with a grin.

Times have surely changed, with digital recorders, computers that record a person’s voice, and so many other features. I am proud of my students for applying the effort and learning the new programs and social media, so they can connect with others online, including younger family members.

As technology zooms along, even what our children know now will surely look outdated and obsolete, just as our past wardrobes look to us now.

C. R. Wilker, author of Once Upon a Sandbox, pub. 2011.

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Entry filed under: writing. Tags: , .

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