Technology and My Teaching Career

I got married with technology a little bit earlier than I met my girlfriend.

The first time I came across something that can be considered as technology was apple, the white machines with green display. Actually I was there for display only. This was the only computer lab the university owned back in the year of 1991, which was donated by the World Bank. The World Bank came to check how we were using the loan and the equipment donated to our school, the school authority found some students of English Major to pretend to be learning in that lab. That was why I was there.

I was there the whole morning playing word learning programs. The Apple PC was so primitive that it was not even a multimedia one. It could only produce very poor beeps from a shabby built-in speaker. Every time you made a right or wrong choice, it will beep and display something like “Good job”, “What a pity” and the things like. Simple as it was, I had fun all the morning, I never felt a bit tired of that word game.

In 1993, I got myself enrolled in a computer class, which cost me RMB 200 ($ 30) — nearly four months of my living expense at that time.  The computer I used was IBM 386, much advanced than Apple ones, which can be easily told from a color display. The OS running was mainly MS DOS, as well as some other DOSes in Chinese language. In leaning to use computer, I did go through thick and thin. I remembered once we were blocked by a sudden summer storm on the way back to school dorm after the computer class. I arrived at my dorm at almost mid night. Fortunately, I was the only who succeeded in finishing the course and fulfilled the goal we had set up. That was a good enlightenment of computer literacy.

Computer was first used as a word processing tool in my teaching career. I was the only one who could skillfully use a computer to edit and print very beautiful test papers. Later, as the computer technology developed very fast, I was using computer to teach since the year of 1995. I could fully use the multimedia function of the computer and created multimedia courseware with different authoring tools. In the year of 1998, I won the first prize of “Multimedia Courseware Competition” of Shenyang Normal University,  which was a mile stone of my road of using technology to facilitate English teaching.


20 thoughts on “Technology and My Teaching Career

  1. Hi Zhigang,
    I like your expression that you got married with technology.
    However, dont you think that there is always a man behind the machine?


  2. When I entered college, there was already a computer lab. Wow, I cannot imagine there was an age when college did not have many computer labs. jk

    • Your story is truly inspiring! Being able to study and use computers in the 1990s is amazing. Your dedication to learning technology, from the early Apple PCs to the IBM 386, is impressive. Winning the first prize in the “Multimedia Courseware Competition” shows your skill and passion. Your journey with technology is very admirable!
      Thank you for sharing.
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  3. Your entry reminds me of the access to technology we need to have. Today, we can carry our tech. with us everywhere, on our phone, ipad, or laptop. But there was a time we needed access to all those labs.

    I also remember the excitement of working on computers. They looked “different” with those green screens. They looked very technological. Using them thus required you to enter a new world.

    Today it feels more like technology moves through our world and less like we have to enter a world of technology difference. This is probably partly because technology has become so integrated into our world, thanks in great part to its portability.

  4. It’s fascinating to read about your journey of embracing technology, especially considering the time period you mentioned. Back in the early 90s, when computers were still in their early stages, you were already exploring the possibilities they offered.

    The story of the Apple PC with its green display and simple word learning programs brings back nostalgic memories. It’s incredible how much joy and fascination technology can bring, even in its primitive form. And your determination to learn computer skills, despite the challenges and storms you encountered along the way, is truly commendable.

    It’s inspiring to hear how you integrated technology into your teaching career, starting with word processing and gradually embracing multimedia capabilities. Your dedication and willingness to adapt to new advancements in computer technology have undoubtedly enriched your teaching methods and benefited your students.

    Congratulations on winning the first prize in the “Multimedia Courseware Competition” of Shenyang Normal University. It’s a testament to your hard work and innovative use of technology in the field of English teaching.

    Thank you for sharing your story of marrying technology early on and demonstrating the transformative power it can have in education.

    Thank you,

  5. An important share, which I gladly shared with a colleague who was conducting a thoughtful evaluation. It led to a delightful surprise as they kindly treated me to breakfast as a gesture of appreciation for bringing it to their attention. So, let me rephrase: Thank you for the kind gesture! However, I truly value the time you dedicated to discussing this topic. I have a strong conviction about it and thoroughly enjoy immersing myself in further reading on this subject. If feasible, would you consider enriching your blog with more detailed information as you continue to expand your expertise? It would be immensely beneficial for me. I wholeheartedly commend this blog post! Mavi Marmara Gazetesi

  6. Thank you for sharing your experiences with technology and its impact on your teaching career. It’s fascinating to hear about your early encounters with computers, starting with the primitive Apple PC and later progressing to more advanced machines like the IBM 386. It’s clear that you embraced technology and invested time and effort in learning how to use computers effectively.

    It’s interesting to note that computers initially served as word processing tools for you, allowing you to create and print test papers more efficiently. As computer technology advanced, you began incorporating multimedia elements into your teaching, creating multimedia courseware using different authoring tools. This transition showcases your adaptability and willingness to embrace new technologies in the classroom.

    It’s impressive that your efforts and expertise in using technology for teaching were recognized, with your winning the first prize in the “Multimedia Courseware Competition” at Shenyang Normal University in 1998. This achievement marked a milestone in your journey of using technology to enhance English teaching.

    Your story highlights the transformative power of technology in education. From word processing to multimedia courseware, technology has undoubtedly revolutionized the way we teach and learn. It’s inspiring to see educators like you leveraging technology to create engaging and interactive learning experiences for students.

    Thank you for sharing your journey with technology in your teaching career. It’s a testament to the positive impact that technology can have on education when embraced and utilized effectively.

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  7. Oh, the nostalgia! 🍏🖥️ Your journey with tech brings back so many memories of my early encounters with computers. It’s wild to think how those beep sounds and simple word games from an ancient Apple PC could kindle a passion. Hats off to your dedication, trekking through storms just to attend a computer class! Your story encapsulates that beautiful dance between technology and passion – how it not only reshaped your teaching career but also became an integral part of your personal growth. Winning that Multimedia Courseware Competition must’ve felt like a sweet nod from the universe, affirming your commitment. Thanks for sharing this tech-tinted trip down memory lane! Makes me wanna fire up an old 386 just for the feels!

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