Mature Learners and New Technology

For many mature learners who have gone back to school in later life, the plethora of options for communicating seems mind boggling; FaceBook,  Skype. Twitter, and dozens more not to mention the number of platforms available; desktop, laptop, tablet, smart phone, and a myriad of apps. When I first started college at McGill in 1973, I had to type my term papers on a manual typewriter. I  enrolled in a brand new course on computers called Management Information Systems where we learned FORTRAN, the hip new computer language of the day. We had to type our progarm code onto a machine that punched holes in cards. Then we trudged down to the computer room trying not to drop the huge stack of cards, all in order. The computer was the room-sized complete with spinning reels and flashing lights. That cooling fans were very noisy. You’d have to line up with other students to hand in your stack. Aout an hour later you’d return to find out the program crashed because you had missed a letter on one of your 987 punched cards. Needless to say, I failed that class and had to make it up later. It also left a bad taste in my mouth about computers.

Returning to class after 36 years has been a huge learning curve for me , not just with the amount of technology but also with the speed with which we are expected to use it.  How have you found it? Are you in a face to face class on campus, or are you learning from a distance?  What’s your story? Love to hear from you…

Mark B. 

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About M. Behrend

As a kid growing up in the sixties I had an overactive imagination. As an adult I realized that sometimes the truth can be more amazing than fiction. Everybody has at least one good story to tell.

2 responses to “Mature Learners and New Technology”

  1. Richard Schwier says :

    I still have, in my office, a stack of keypunch cards from a routine I wrote a lifetime ago. Wasn’t that a brutal experience? I’m really kind of surprised that computing ever caught on, given the sadistic things that were done to us as students in the earlier era of computing.

    And you know what? I consider myself one of the learners, not just the teacher here. And I’m just as intimidated, just as fearful, just as hopeful, and just as excited as just about everyone in the class!

  2. mbehrend says :

    Hi Rick. Thanks for posting your comments. Nice to hear from users who have embraced the technology, (the tools) and are using them to the fullest. MB

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