Growing in the Digital World

When I first made my acceptance to Guelph I knew that I had a great deal of preparation ahead of me. One of the first items I checked off of my task list was buying a laptop. I believe that this was the first step I took toward entering the new and exciting digital world that University had to offer me. Over the past four years my skills in researching online and exploring new databases have improved significantly, mind you they still are not great.

In order to fully grasp how much my understanding of the digital world changed once I began University, I must first brush upon my high school career and how little I was involved with technology. At my high school research was very limited for papers and assignments. Most of my work was done by typing a question into Google and using the first source that came up (most of the time this was not an academic source and especially was not peer reviewed). Then I would compose my work into a Microsoft Word file and that would be the end of it.  Formulating research throughout University was very different. I would begin by browsing journal articles on the U of G Library website, after that I would then use the same website to locate books and archives that would be beneficial to my topic. Professors arranged for Guest Speakers to come in and lecture us on how to differentiate creditable academic sources on the internet and those that were not peer reviewed.

Aside from introducing me to a better way of conducting research, my digital understanding of tools and approaches flourished at Guelph when I took an two online computer classes : CIS*1000 and CIS*2050. Both of these classes advanced my skills with computers and gave me the opportunity to learn how to create blogs, formulate codes on an internet page and work with different applications that I more than likely would not have outside of school.

Guelph has taken my skill level for using and understanding digital tools from poor to mediocre. My future has more possibilities now that I am able to work with computers and different applications aside from Microsoft word. Although I do not see myself in a career that I would need to extensive digital knowledge it is comforting to know that I am able to provide research and create WebPages if needed.

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