Learning Can be Painful

Learning can be a painful process. Being prompted by my peers and blogs like The Bamboo Project to believe that life is not worth living in a web 2.0 environment without the Mozilla Firefox browser, I finally bit the bullet. I decided that I would commit the next 30 days to working in the Firefox environment, to learn what this “religious experience” is all about. I opened the Firefox browser and started to focus on the tools. All was well and interesting in Mudville. However, at some point, I was prompted to update Firefox to the latest version and this seemed like a good starting point, so I did. I chose to do a typical installation, however I got strong recommendations regarding a few tools I should add to enhance my experience. So, I added a download manager, PDF download, Cooliris (which really did seem cool) and one of my top 10 tools; delicious. This is when the learning got interesting. With the few tweaks I made to my new browser, I realized what a different and unpredictable experience we may have from others with whom we connect and share content. The waters became even murkier when delicious made reference to bookmarks (I already thought that bookmarks were “old school”) and its ability to save the bookmarks on my local machine to my delicious account. When I went to a website to “tag” the site, the Google homepage appeared and a sidebar was presented on the left side of my screen which contained bookmarks and tags. Perplexed, I discussed what was happening on my system with my colleague, Britt Watwood, and reiterated the notion of different user experiences and how this impacts our work with faculty. This consultation confirmed the differences our individual experience with Firefox and delicious. It led to the reinstallation of Firefox, which did not solve the problem, and the restoration of my system to reflect its state 48 hours earlier. My computer recognized that today is Wednesday, but I’m sure it’s fuzzy logic must feel like it is Monday. Again, I removed and re-installed Firefox and this time I was careful to avoid the option for a “new feature” to save my “bookmarks” in delicious. After a morning of restoring my computer, removing and replacing my virus protection software and re-installing delicious, I’m ready to start. I’m engaged and I’m definitely learning.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe that is why your blog title of "exploratory" and "learner" is so appropriate for all of us. It also reiterates that given the stew of different browsers, different operating systems, different manufacturers, institution portals, etc., it is amazing that we share as much as we do!