My kids are techies.
It’s a reality I am coming to slowly embrace and accept that I must not only join but embrace the train as it has left the station (years ago).
They now sit in classrooms using Chromebooks to take tests, creates Blogs or do research. This is no longer something we prepare them for when they get to high school or even college. This is elementary school level stuff.
No longer do they consult with Encyclopedias for facts or search stacks of newspapers for articles related to homework, they simply ‘Google.’
‘Ask Jeeves,’ yes, I’m dating myself, is no longer a ‘thing.’ Google holds the answers to all questions, as does Siri. Everything is instant.
Earlier this year, both children returned from school to share with me all they had learned in class on Internet Safety. I must admit, as a parent, who acknowledges (and somewhat fears) their endless opportunities on-line, this brought me some peace. Again, they are at the elementary level and still impressionable. Not yet at the point of feeling invincible or ‘that can’t happen to me.’ They are trusting yet cautious and extremely literal.
My son was first to share his learnings on a Digital Footprint. As he did, he informed me of how careful we must be with putting our ‘image’ out there.
“Did you know that what you put on Facebook, Instagram or even a Blog … colleges and people will look at when you try to get a job?” he said.
Truthfully, this question pleased me. I first assured him that I was aware. Noting the importance of taking pride in your ‘image’ and what that entails. I also shared the amount of times I have watched colleagues “Google” a name or check a Facebook page to help verify facts.
This mystified him. It also opened a door for conversation on how others use these mediums to gain information on people. In our newsrooms we find ourselves in these places as we Google a name while working on a story.
Our Newsrooms are keeping busy and yes, we too are learning to embrace our inner ‘techie.’ In the day and age of everything instant we continue to look for opportunity to reach our readers. Some print readers may still have yet to discover we have websites. We have for quite some time, yet we each evolve in our own time.
As of recently we have begun placing all of our content on our respective websites. Yes, we, the Newsroom staff and our fearless leader are learning the tricks of the trade so readers can access our work from anywhere and everywhere.
Truthfully, the notion of it all still seems a bit crazy (and somewhat dated). I’ve been following publications on-line for over a decade. E-news is not a new concept and our publications have hosted sites for a number of years.
Yet as the business has changed so, too, do responsibilities and with that learning curves. Studies are done, new approaches made and growth in a positive direction.
Many companies spend big money on hosting team-building retreats. For our team, this has served as one and the same (minus an extravagant budget). Our tech level ranges from, once in the business to just learned how to turn the computer on, so to say we are not having fun, would be incorrect.
As frustrations arise, words are exulted, laughter ensues and someone pops up with the answer and or solution.
So why share this with readers? Simple. Come find us. We work for you. We write with anticipation that it will be read. We don’t expect you to agree or love everything we do, but we do hope you read it. It’s your community paper after all and now we hope you find us on the ‘world wide web’ where we continue to work on our ‘Digital Footprint.’
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.