A BRIEF HISTORY OF TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION

Friday, April 29, 2011

Online Applications

A few days ago, I had to fill out an online application for a university. I always dread these tasks because I don't know what to do if I get stuck or have a question. There is no human being who can help me. Of course, the more you fear something, the more likely it is it will happen to you.

After I finished each page, I was supposed to click "next" to save that page and continue to the next. At one point, I got an "error" message. An arrow next to my residence address which now appeared in red letters and numbers indicated my address was wrong. I checked my address again and it seemed correct to me. Even the spaces between the words were right. So I submitted the page again, and I got the same message and my address turned red again. I looked at the recent bills that were laying on the table and compared my address to the one on the bills. There was nothing wrong.

After spending at least twenty minutes on this - clicking "next" and getting an "error" message, I decided to leave the address blank. After all, I had already entered my P.O. address as my permanent one, so I figured it would be fine if they didn't have my residence address; besides, the computer wasn't accepting in anyway. I tried submitting the page without a residence address, but the page bounced back, saying I needed to enter an address. Even though there was a line clearly explaining that they don't accept a P.O. Box address as a residence one, I had no alternative at this point and typed my P.O. address in this box as well and clicked on "next." Guess what? It worked! I was miraculously presented the following page.

A few pages later, I was asked my total annual income for the previous year. I looked at my tax documents which were sitting on my desk and entered the number. When I clicked "next," however, I got an error message on my annual income. I figured maybe they don't want an exact number, just an approximate one, so I rounded the number and tried again. Still red. At this point, I was completely frustrated and suddenly realized I was talking to my self, saying, "Yes, I'm not happy with my annual income, but it is what it is. Now what do you want me to do?" After at least ten attempts, I realized this application just did not like my income, so I tried a different number at random, and it worked.

Filling out my online application took me a whole day, and at the end of the application, I had to sign my name that all of the information on this application was true to the best of my knowledge. Well... it was close enough, but what else could I do? I mean I know that I live in a tiny studio, but it's still not a box, or at least, it's not at the post office. I also know that my income is five thousand dollars different from what I entered. But seriously, what should a person do in this situation?

I've decided that using technology to facilitate our daily life is an excellent idea, but what if it does the total opposite and complicates our life instead of facilitating it? Should we still use technology for everything, no matter how out of hands things can get?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Upside Down Screen?

An acquaintance came to me with a computer problem. This alone - asking me, Miss Technology, a computer question - is a joke all by itself and proves this person doesn't know much about me. He just saw me writing - typing - on one of my blogs and assumed that I was an expert in the field of computers.

Anyway...

His problem was that for some reason, his screen showed everything upside down, and he had no idea how this had happened. Everything seemed normal except the display. The mouse worked, the cursor moved, and all the keys functioned; however, everything appeared upside down, and when you moved the mouse, the cursor obviously didn't go in the direction your eyes would expect it to go.

Of course, this was very interesting to me because I had never seen such a thing, so I googled "upside down screen" and found quite a few links that helped me solve the problem. Apparently, if you hold down the 'alt' and 'ctrl' keys at the same time and press the down arrow, everything becomes upside down, and to restore the window, you need to hold down the 'alt' and 'ctrl' keys and press the up arrow.

I'm amazed at how much information is accessible on Google. I alone use Google every single day for anything and everything. It's the best source of information. Even though all the links that appear as a result of a search can not be trusted, many links are useful and helpful.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Good Old Days

A few days ago, I accidently came across a familiar name on Facebook. I didn't know that particular person, but I knew another person with her name. After searching for a moment, I discovered an old classmate. Her Facebook picture looked really the same as when we were in high school together... over twenty years ago. I sent her a request and she remembered me and sent me a message. Through her, I was able to find seventeen other old classmates now spread all around the world. I have been spending a lot of time chatting on Facebook over the last few days. It's wonderful to find that a lot of my classmates from high school are now very successful people in different parts of the world. I thank the people who have made this technology possible.