As I’m sure most people in this course have been, I’ve been using the internet for quite a few years. When I graduated from university in 1998, we had very basic email capabilities but no one had their own devices – you had to go up to the computer lab on campus to use the internet. In 2001 I moved to Australia for a working holiday and I designed my own travel website, using HTML and Angelfire. It was pretty cheesy, looking back, and I can’t believe the time I put into it. I printed out the HTML code instructions for inserting images and texts and used it religiously, using trial and error until I got the look I wanted. I used to take photos with my 2.0 megapixel camera (Kodak) trustily bought at Sears, bring my compact flash card to a shop and have them put the photos onto a CD ROM, then I’d bring the CD ROM into an internet cafe, and use those photos on my website. My family back in New York thought I was an absolute genius!
Next, in 2005, I moved to London. I then created another travel website using Google Page Creator. I could not believe how easy it was – and at this point I had my own clunky HP laptop so it was much easier! I was able to insert pictures and links like a pro and I didn’t even need HTML knowledge, and I didn’t have to pay for it like some people out there who were using Dreamweaver.
When I moved to Singapore in 2010, I realized Google Page Creator had migrated into Google Sites. I remember thinking, how can they improve on such an amazing product? There I went – creating another travel website, using Google Sites. This time it was a snap and I was able to edit my pictures and create collages using PIcasa, then upload them to Picasa Web Albums, then even create lovely slideshows with my comments flashing up for all to see. Just to note, my family still thinks I’m a genius.
Using all this background knowledge, I was also able to begin using Google Sites for my classroom and create class websites and help my colleagues set up their own. All of these global connections and links I’ve been able to maintain throughout my years of living abroad have helped me realize how important the internet is to me. I get quite a laugh out of reading my old sites and thinking about what was important to me at different stages of my life.