In our everyday life, we have to learn so many things. Now, especially in the digital world, we need to know how to use technology. But some people don’t know how to use technology. Some countries don’t have the opportunity to learn about that and teach their students to be technologically smart. Sometimes they only give it to the students who study in a big city or town in the country, but the smaller places don’t get the opportunity to learn it. If students are not getting the opportunity to learn what they need, then they struggle when they are asked to use technology. There are the students who move to a country that is used to technology with no knowledge of it and that is a challenge.
At a very important time in my life, I didn’t know anything about technology and then suddenly I had to use so much of it. I came to the U.S. during the pandemic. I had just come here one week after the pandemic started. I was used to in-person classes, I never took virtual classes before I came here. I never used Zoom. I was scared. What is Zoom? How can I go to class with that? My school gave me a laptop for Zoom meetings and other things I have to do for my studies. I didn’t know how to use it though. When I started my classes I had to use not just Zoom, I also had to use Google Drive, Docs, Meet, and Classroom. This wasn’t always easy, so now I’m putting together a list of struggles I faced with mastering technology and providing resources so you can learn to use it too.
Computer education is very important for everyone. People have to use it to do a lot of work. The computer is one of the things that if you don’t have, you can’t do online work. Especially for students, computer learning is so needed. Classes, doing assignments, sharing any documents with teachers, and any of the personal meetings are all on the computer. At this time, computers have played an important role. It’s very important to know some basics about learning computers. Some basic tips are moving the cursor on-screen with the mouse or touchpad, clicking, right-clicking, and double-clicking the mouse. Using basic keyboard functions such as backspace, enter and return, the space bar, delete, tab, shift and caps lock. These are the basic skills.
Zoom was a way that I met with my teachers. In the pandemic, all students have to use Zoom for their classes. I struggled with joining meetings, was kicked out of meetings, had internet issues, and sometimes couldn’t hear teachers or see the teacher’s screen or video. I also faced another problem: sharing my screen with the class. However, my teacher taught me what I have to do for that. Now I am used to it. If you don’t know anything about Zoom first my recommendation is to learn some basics about Zoom. It might be some video tutorials or learning from teachers or adults. Below is a video that will help you with Zoom.
Google Classroom is a platform where students can get their assignments and announcements from the teachers. This is the best platform for online studies and a way that you can submit your assignment properly. For remote learning, that was the only way to do my studies. I did not understand what it was until my teacher showed me everything and explained it to me. Then I enjoyed doing my assignment and took directions through “announcements” from teachers. This is a very important part of doing homework because teachers post all assignments there. Once you learn how to use it you will see some of the advantages of using Google Classroom. If you are new in the classroom or you don’t have any idea about what it looks like for you, you can learn something from the following video.
Google Drive is not just a place to store things, it is a place where you can make things. This means students can use these tools to do any kind of writing assignment. Students can take tests and quizzes and create slideshow presentations all inside of the platform. Google Drive is a great platform to add things.
When I started classes, there was an assignment to make a presentation using Google Docs. So, at that time I had trouble finding a blank page to add writings. I was too shy to ask my teachers because all of my classmates already knew how to use it. From that, I learned that if you want to learn, you have to ask or share what you want to. Then as always, it helps to do any writing. For the students who don’t know anything about Google Docs, you can start learning about it here.
Google Meet was a very new platform for me, but everyone in the U.S. knew about it. The first time I used it was for the Summer Journalism Institute. I thought that maybe I would click a link and it might put me on Zoom, but it was not what I thought after all. Google Meet meetings are very easy to join because it doesn’t ask you to sign up or something — everyone is already signed up if they have a Gmail account. Google Meet is a great platform to learn about.
New teachers are the most important people for students to know, especially international students who come from different countries. I was very scared before I joined my classes, but after classes, I was very comfortable with my teachers. They help me learn everything here. They help me succeed in all of my struggles. What I know about everything now is their teaching. I owe them. So, for every student, it is very important to maintain a good relationship with teachers. Especially for me, to learn those pieces of technology, my teacher helped me a lot. That’s why I thought that it was very important to add them to this list as a resource.
Everything I talked about here is connected and all of these resources and tools are very related to our everyday life. It’s common, when we learn new things, that we struggle. To learn something from your heart, you have to be patient. Try to understand, follow the guidelines, ask questions, practice more and more, and don’t be shy.