As I reflect on Chapter 9, I think of a time when I actually used a typewriter. Yes, I used the archaic machine for various assignments from middle school through high school. I remember being happy to be able to white out letters in case of a mistake. That was considered advanced technology in the realm of journalistic devices. Then Microsoft came up with a computerized word processor and writing exploded into a whole new stratosphere of possibilities. I was able to actually utilize the program to change the size and type of font or even insert a table for a science report. It allowed me a whole range of possibilities to organize reports that no typewriter could even come close to in comparison. In fact, MS Word is probably the culprit for killing the typewriter industry. My recollections of the use of word processing by any of my teachers was relegated to writing a syllabus, create worksheets, or write tests and quizzes. Aside from those, I cannot recall a time where a teacher used MS word for something that bedazzled me enough to remember. Today, most people use word processing as nonchalantly as talking on their cell phones, although I believe that these people probably are not as savvy with the full range afforded to an MS user. I used to think the program was quite basic, but it has evolved into a very powerful and extremely creative program. In fact, I am looking forward to learning additional ways that I can utilize MS Word that I was not familiar with in the past.
As a current teacher, I have used MS Word for simplistic creations as teachers before me such as making tests, study guides, tables, graphs, or notes. However, I feel that I have advanced beyond my predecessors by utilizing MS Word to design a brochure for certain events or programs that the school hosted. In fact, I created one for a science program that will begin in summer 2010. Working with that feature was new to me, but it was fun creating the design, and satisfying once completed. I was able to copy and paste different scientific photographs from the internet that added "pizazz" to the look of the brochure, and would catch the attention of the reader. Another creative aspect of MS Word that I was unfamiliar with was creating a newspaper. The textbook gave me an idea that I could develop for a future project with my science students. By taking a big unit, such as genetics, I am contemplating the idea of having students work together to design and write articles and format them into a newspaper. Before I attempt to tackle that project, I first need to learn how to do that, which is something I hope to learn while taking this course. I was unaware of just how versatile MS Word really is for users.
I have already learned some "tricks" with using MS Word that I was unfamiliar with, which I intend to use. Some of the short key strokes that we discussed and were shown in class are very useful skills for working more efficiently with MS Word. Additionally, I have also worked with MS Paint, which I was not too familiar with until two weeks ago. After playing around with it for a couple of hours, I was able to design a pretty cool underwater scene that I am proud to show. I took the idea from an internet website, and the fact that I was able to work with the MS Paint options to create it is a skill that I think is useful for designing future brochures, or even for prepared PowerPoint presentations. There is still a great deal that I am unfamiliar with regarding MS Word, however, I am confident that the skills we learn in this class will help me to implement them in my classroom, and share with my students to help them be more efficient with the program. After reading some of their typed essays over this past weekend, I see it is apparent that not all students are as technologically experienced as the teacher, therefore, I think it will take beneficial to take some time out of my normal curriculum to impart a little wisdom in their direction, and help them learn how to use MS Word better then before coming to my class.
I have included a copy of my MS Paint image that I created, which took some time, but I think it turned out alright. It is supposed to be an underwater theme. Let me know what you think.