Sunday, August 22, 2010

The best 15 bucks I ever spent!

I have completed the 10 lessons of Betty Blogger's Web 2.0 program.


It's over.

Boo hoo, sob, sob...I really do feel this way.

How do I rate my knowledge of Web 2.0 and it's applications? Probably about a 7 - 8; the reason I don't feel I'm at a level 10 is not due to defects in the material or failings on part of the teacher - both were exceptional; it's me. I haven't developed the ability, yet, to get around in it and use the many tools that the social net offers with complete ease and understanding; practice makes perfect. I'm still left with many questions, but enquiring minds want to KNOW, right? No matter how much I know I always want to know more - I'm a glutton for information, and I want to understand how things work and connect, not just for this knowledge to take up space in this vacuous brain of mine that will never be satiated, but so, I can really "get" how the pieces fit together and use them easily to manifest my vision of a great blog and realize my inner tekkie.

The Blogger summer school exceeded my expectations. Honestly, I expected it was going to be pretty rudimentary and a piece of cake. I had no idea the number of the applications available out there.

Library Lady, and Melissa, I can't thank you two enough for: your incredible patience, kindness, sense of humour, encouragement, great teaching styles, knowledge and generousity...and comments on my blog which made me feel like a real blogger.

The most challenging part of the summer school was my resistance to some of the applications. Some lessons left me wondering, Am I ever going to use this stuff? Often I felt the potential to become overwhelmed; bombarded by the sheer volume of information out there.

Wiki was my least favourite app because of this, and the goodly number of messages related to the assignment that still keep coming in on my e-mail (there are over 30 people who are completing the work) which feels like being in the middle of a traffic jam. Theoretically, in my life, I should have need for co-ordinating at most 7 people at a time - so probably I'll find this app more helpful and manageable.

I'm still absorbing how to keep track of my accounts and understand how they affect each other. I was puzzled when setting up my Library Thing account that info got filled in automatically, but I don't have an account , I kept assuring myself. Why is it rejecting my password, I haven't set it up yet? Why is it telling me that this name and password has already been taken? Do I have an account? I tried various ways of entering the info to no avail. Library Lady informed me about auto fill, cookies and the way they work. I didn't realize that autofill was activated as I was trying to set up this account and I would have never in a million years figured it out without her help.

I feel I should be able to teach myself this computer stuff as I've taught myself a lot of things, am highly self-motivated to learn and am persistent to the point of being downright stubborn, so I feel like an idiot when things don't compute. It doesn't help when my friends, in an effort to encourage me, say, "play around with it, you'll figure it out." I've finally realized that they have all had live in computer consultants aka kids who got them started with the basics and so now I don't feel so bad. Library Lady and Melissa have been my kid substitutes through this process - not that I'm old enough to be their mother.

The "self-directed" learning model is perfect for me. I like to take something as far as I can before I ask for help. It worked best when I worked ahead and then came to the drop-in sessions with questions prompted by the assignments. I must admit when I didn't work ahead I was a bit lazy, felt deadline pressure, and was inclined to seek help before I'd given the task my all.

I also dropped in on all my classmates blogs and gleaned lots of great info in the process from the blog itself or the comments left on their posts. So, they became my teachers too - cool, eh?

I have been recommending this program to many of my friends, so I hope you run it again as I know a lot of people who expressed interest in Betty Blogger.

So, I want to express my great gratitude to all who made this such a fantastic experience. You have no idea how much you've helped me!!!


  1. For she's a jolly good fellow!

    Great job, Nance. It was our pleasure to work with you through the summer and to see you at the drop in's week to week.

    And *blush* thank you for the reminder to shut off the "notifications" on our group wiki!

  2. Congratulations on finishing the program, Nance! It was an absolute pleasure to work with you in the Drop In sessions! I learned a great deal from you, too.

    My favourite line in your blog post: "I also dropped in on all my classmates blogs and gleaned lots of great info in the process from the blog itself or the comments left on their posts. So, they became my teachers too - cool, eh?" Wonderful!