For many years, when asked where my website was, I would paraphrase Cato the Elder, the Roman statesman. “I would rather people asked,” I’d reply, “where Kay’s website is, than why Kay has a website.” Cato, famously, said that about the absence of statues honouring him in Rome. Guy Gavriel Kay (2004) The Last Light of the Sun. Viking Canada.
I read this at the end of a rather good book and laughed. It articulated the thoughts I’ve had about my explorations of the web. I am by no measure a pioneer on the Internet. I began exploring email and newsgroups (K-12… what a disappointment back then) with my muscular Apple IIe (by the end it had a hard drive and graphic interface… the things I could do with AppleWorks 3 and Publish It 4!). My educational environment seduced me to the dark side; I bought a used 486 clone and became amazed with color and windows (Macs were/are so expensive). As the years progressed my computers slowly improved. In the last few years I started exploring ways to make my presence known.
I have tried Blackboard, Wiki Spaces, Blogs, web sites, and the list seems to be expanding. It’s all a learning experience but I have tried to keep in mind that our presence on the net needs to be functional. Well I always think it should… don’t throw the bottle back yet! Mostly it has been professional development. Each attempt did have a certain functional quality to it. My web use seems to take on the aspect of recipe hunting. I fuss with the ingredients (different applications) looking for a nice balance that satisfies my professional needs. The thing about a good recipe is you would like to share it with others (and who wants to share the bad ones?) Another thing you need is to find people who have the time to sit down at the table. I’m an introvert, but I have discovered like most people that I hate to eat alone.
I have learned over the decades that the opportunities provided by these technologies are growing and becoming increasingly accessible. I have been working in a technology-rich environment for these last few years. I look forward to the opportunity to move around this next month. I hope to gain a sense of how things progress elsewhere. I made some progress with the Blackboard software with students. I’m shifting my attention to Wiki Spaces next and continuing to look at weblogs. This is all so engaging.