I have always thought computers were useful. When I was 11 and 12, I went to computer sleep away camp. I said it--computer sleep away camp, also known as "geek camp." I played soccer with my counselors from Trinidad at night and learned how to program in BASIC and played with Midi systems during the day. As geeky as it was, it made using computers in high school much less intimidating. It also made me more willing to sign up for jobs that involved some basic level of computer skills as I got older. Geek camp lead me to apply to be trained to be a faculty technology worker at my first university. I mostly plugged in cables and taught older instructors how to turn the LCD project "ON" instead of "OFF," but it gave me a taste of how fast technology would change in the future and caused me to stay at least aware of what was going on in the tech world.
Considering how far computers have come over the past 20 years, the idea that I ever learned BASIC is funny now, but my simple understanding of how computer languages work has made me less fearful of HTML. My ability to at least comprehend HTML lead me to my current position. In a lot of ways, I feel the same about this class. Second Life will grow and change, and may someday go away completely. It may be replaced with something more revolutionary and cutting edge, and this new thing will seem inaccessible to anyone who is unfamiliar with Second Life. Classes like CALL keep me literate both in things that I find interesting and things that I find annoying. No employer will care what my personal opinion of Wikis is in the future, but they will care that I can sit down and build one so that students and/or instructors can communicate. Truthfully, if I am still working in ESL in 10 years, I will probably seek out another class like this to update me on the things that I missed in my world. I know I missed Delicious, Voicethreads, and blogs the first time around. My career is just starting and I have no clue where it will lead me, but I know that computers, like them or not, will always be involved, so I am grateful for any chance I get to learn more.
5 years ago