Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Ah, to be a student

We bought our first family computer in 1994 or so. It was a Sony Vaio: sleek, charcoal-grey, one incredible gigabyte's worth of memory...and it had these cool computer-animated videos that played while it was booting up. Amazing. The Internet was a bit like Wonderland, even in its text-based form. I taught our kids the joy of Boolean (How do I find a picture of a manatee skeleton?)   I admit it, I still miss Alta Vista.  It simply took my search terms and didn't try to 0h-so-helpfully second-guess them.  Do you mean toe jam?  (No, I do not.)

We had conversations about site credibility, and how important it was to close an inappropriate window.  I wonder how many children, doing research on presidents, typed whitehouse.com instead of whitehouse.gov and got an unintended eyeful?

Students still need those conversations about using the Internet wisely.

Doggone, this is going wildly off-track. I shall refocus.

Students today don't know how good they have it when it comes to Web 2.0 stuff.  Admittedly, some of those tools are unreliable - here today, gone tomorrow - but most of the best ones will stick around.  Zoho is one of them, word processing wherever you are, especially useful on our opacs.  Alas, if only the opacs would allow tabbed windows.

I signed up with Stikkit, curious to see how useful it might be.  It could be terrific for a student, with all those organizational tools.  Useful for me?  Probably not so much.  I love computers and other technological coolness, but I don't want to be online quite that much.  At least, not for organizing myself.  I'd rather be listening to a podcast of Says You on npr.org.

And that's about it for me this time around.  There's nothing very humorous about this 2.0 section.  But, in honor of Super Tuesday, I could refer you to an article I enjoyed in the January 14 issue of U.S. News & World Report, titled "What They Should Have Said".  One quote:  "I don't approve of political jokes; I have seen too many of them get elected."

Stay tuned.

No comments: