Students Empowered

New Computer – Gifts in Career Guidance Class – Contributed by: dotted ravine, January 2018.

While some of us benefit from a tactile experience of playing with paper and sorting notes by hand, even I can appreciate the huge benefit to be gained by drafting a composition on the computer.

For the period up to Christmas 2017, it must be said that I was waiting a lot on the computer to warm up, and catch up as I tried to do my work. Access to the internet was limited.

One of the completed new PC's in GHIS with the AMD RYZEN 3 CPU inside the Aerocool case
One of the completed new PC’s in GHIS with the AMD RYZEN 3 CPU inside the Aerocool case

Santa has been good to us and we have been blessed with our latest tech arrivals getting 2018 off to a great start. We now have animal ‘towers’ (those tall boxes sitting next to the monitor on the desk, with major vents to prevent overheating.) They are up and running thanks to Santa’s trail of helpers.

In my opinion, the robotic lines of these new arrivals are substantial, and quiet aggressive in appearance, laying claim to their ultimate hidden power lying within. I expect it will turn into something else, at any given moment, though I say there is huge appeal with those who are into the ‘Transformers’ film series.

Keeping it simple

I am a user of this product for literacy purposes. The new computers are using AMD Ryzen 3 processors. Their outer cases are Aero Cool.

We continue to support Dell. Monitors, keyboards and what some of us call affectionately the Switzerland mice. They don’t eat cheese, remain neutral, and their chances of survival are greater than your average Irish mouse.

Irish Mouse?

Why? They seem lifeless to cats. Don’t let appearances fool you – they are made of tough plastic stuff.

Little Facts

I recall that Charles Dickens had his own scribe write for him.
Charles Dickens Quote: I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free.

Today, we have the wonders and bafflement (if I am being honest) of technology.

Literacy Benefits

How Word has helped . . . once more!

I initially learnt about Spellcheck in ECDL and I saw that it is truly a wonderful tool.

Alas, the computers in the Careers Class had a blockage and refused to cooperate with the students. Since Santa’s visit his Little Helpers totally reversed the situation.

SpellCheck helps with my spelling and trains my brain channels in searching for likely alternatives. While it hasn’t quite resolved Spelling & Grammar 100%, I know as I write, when a red underline comes beneath the word that spelling or punctuation is questioned. When I select all text, and go to the Spelling & Grammar sub-menu under the Review menu bar, it brings information to my awareness and offers options for me to choose from. This function helps correct typos and spelling errors.

Programs to teach yourself

I initially went to college and trained myself to touch type like a pro! It took a lot out of me, and then I forgot it all! Since then, I have established my own style of typing that I use today. Ironically, I am faster with my method than I ever was with the other!

Did you know?

You can now teach yourself to type in your own time with software on the internet. And there is plenty of video support ready to be tapped.
I use ear-phones to listen while I work. I brought in my own Mickey Mouse ones, as I don’t like things in my ears, no sound escapes them. It makes for a peaceful studying experience.

How I work

Using Microsoft Office, I start off by typing my ideas into Word, and then add snippets that are relevant. I play with it, pressing copy (Ctrl C), cut (Ctrl Z) and paste (Ctrl V) keys. Finally, I edit it. I like to think that I get the most out of its capacities while honouring the limitations of the programme. I use the shortcut (F1) Help key to learn more about the functions of the programme.

Helpful Tool Aids

Text Highlight Color in the menu bar is my best friend. Though I can use more colours from the expanded colour box in the Font Color menu, there is a limited choice in selecting highlight colours – I’d love to allocate my own (Microsoft please take note for your next update).
Colour is my lifeline and anchors me. I need to be able to find text, so that I don’t get lost in the page.

  • Outlining is made easy by selecting text with the computer mouse and adding bullets or numbering style options.
  • I can leave colour post it notes for myself, so I know what to proceed with, when I return.
  • The Save As function allows me to save many drafts until I am satisfied with my final choice. I can then go back and delete the others.

What language do you speak?

Strange language screenshot
What language do you speak?

Thank goodness for the range of Fonts and Font Sizes, Line and Paragraph Spacing. I can set up a document that works best for my legibility! Verdana is terrific, with options of a larger point size and wider spacing between the lines.
For example: English(US) = color; English(Ireland) = colour.

The proofreading and editing grammar feature is helpful.
Select the appropriate options though, and use with attention and caution rather than following blindly.

The Age before Computers

Being forced to make friends with a well-used paperback dictionary has been an overwhelming and daunting task in my lifetime. Handwriting many pages caused cramp!
Some of you will recall a time when phone calls, travelling by transport at home or further afield overseas was a means of doing research, and this was the norm! Back then, gathering information was an arduous process.
Envision the essential computer differences in many students’ lives today.
Crossing the great ravine can be a daunting task for many, some more than others. When we learn to problem-solve and search for other means of arriving at a place of discovery, we find solutions, and embody that experience of learning.


Aiming to sell my skills and write the dreaded CV is no easy task, let alone applying for jobs. Our careers facilitator helps us when filling in those dreaded pre-crafted forms that time-out if you take too long.

With our new upgrade computers I feel my task is made lighter and easier. There is a terrific and noticeable upgrade in tech speed and search. Access to the clip-art feature is terrific.

I have a dream…
I have a dream and hope that those with differentiating learning processes are better catered for as we move forward in education. Now, more than ever, we have a window of opportunity to build self-esteem and confidence, while working with compassion.

PS. You guessed it. I’m intolerant to cheese foodwise, and yet, it is a strange but true fact I received an award for ‘finding new cheese with less stress’!

Cheese with less stress awarded to Dotted Ravine over the course of her career
Cheese with less stress awarded to Dotted Ravine over the course of her career

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