My digital life may have begun as a kid in the 1970s in attempting to draw cartoons (and doing it poorly) from step-by-step books found at the library.
The 1980s popularized the Atari 2600, and I remember my fingers nearly bleeding from playing low-graphic games, like Decathlon, for hours on end.
In the 1990s, I finished high school and moved on to college. The family finally purchased a Windows machine — a Compaq Presario if I remember correctly — a significant upgrade from the DOS-based, 5 1/4-inch floppy-booted machine we previously possessed. I wrote papers in the standard Microsoft Works, and near the end of my time in college, around 1994 I think, I found the on-ramp to this newfangled thing called the Information Superhighway with an AOL account.
After college, in the mid-1990s, I started writing copy for a B2B audio advertising and production firm. Microsoft Word quickly became one of my most used tools. I also started using PageMaker for editing and creating marketing collateral and promotions for the firm (nothing too fancy). In the late 1990s, I started grad school, and as part of my library & info science degree, I took an introductory Web design course, and I coded HTML by hand in Netscape Navigator (don’t ask why I didn’t use FrontPage or the like).
In the 2000s, I started working in libraries, and I began creating Web pages in Dreamweaver for a consortial project that never got off the ground, but it was a good learning experience. On the user side of things, I moved from Netscape to Firefox to Chrome. I became intrigued by the learning and entertainment on YouTube, and in the late part of the decade, in working as a full-time librarian, our library started using the library-centric platform by Springshare called Libguides, which allows for creating content and re-purposing media quickly in boxes and templates.
As I began teaching online more regularly in the early 2010s, I leveraged LMS’s like ANGEL and then D2L to create learning content, and in taking on a fuller role as an administrator of libraries and learning centers in 2011, data mining and visualization became almost as important as the persuasive word, with pivot tables and other Excel functions becoming the “frenemy.”