Technological Amateur or Geek? 

by Emma Amendola

D2L Brightspace logoHave you ever used the D2L app? I know I never have, but at Lake Superior College, that’s what we use. I wouldn’t say I’m the smartest when it comes to technology, but who is when something is new? I was a nervous wreck when starting my journey at LSC, like most others. I thought I had prepared myself. What I didn’t know was that Lake Superior College is Microsoft based. Turns out I needed a new computer and had to figure out how to navigate this new technology on my own. This was the beginning of what I had thought to be my horror story.

No one expects to have a bad college experience until it happens. I went into this “new life” with the intention of doing well. When I started to look over the D2L website, my hope to do well quickly started to die. I didn’t know how to start assignments, let alone turn them in. The first week of college turned into nothing as I was unable to do the assignments. When I noticed I was receiving zeros, something had to be done. I was embarrassed to reach out to someone, especially my professors.

When I grew the courage to ask for help, I missed the first weeks of work. I sat down with my best friend and explained what was happening. She was extremely understanding and offered help immediately. We sat down for hours as she told me how to do everything. I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have a friend to help me. Realizing how understanding she was, as she had been in the same situation last year, I reached out to my professors. Nervous to see their responses, I opened the emails. My professors were tremendously understanding and allowed me to have extra time with the missed assignments. They even offered help and recommended resources for me. I was relieved until I opened my last email. “The work is past due, and those points are no longer available to you”. My heart dropped. My intentions of doing well were slowly going down the drain.

I realized our high school teachers were right when they’d say, “college professors will not let that slide”. Although this doesn’t apply to all my professors, it applied to one. Not only is he not understanding, but he is also awful at responding to emails. This is a fully online course, which makes it more difficult to communicate. After emailing back and forth for over a week, which no one wants to do, I suggested a meeting. In my head, I thought talking out a solution and showing him why the work was missed would possibly allow me a chance to get credit for the work. That was definitely not the case here. He denied a meeting. What college professor denies a meeting am I right? This turned into more emailing. I asked how I could get credit for the work, and he said depending on how I do in the course, I could “possibly” have the assignments opened back up for me. My first thought was, “Would I still be able to get an A in the course?” So, I asked him and no response for weeks. He ghosted me. Do people still do that? Especially college professors? From there, I put my foot down. Every time he posted work, that was my first priority. At this point in the semester, I have worked myself up to an A with the missing points. Not knowing how to do something will not be the reason I fail. Obstacles to face or not, this professor will not bring my hopes of doing well down.

If there’s one thing I wish I knew before my first day at LSC, it would be to prepare for things you don’t expect to change. From this experience, I learned that familiarizing yourself is important. The D2L Brightspace app for is new to a lot of people. Being in college, you hear many horror stories. None of us want to be considered as the “many” who had a horror story. Reaching out when something is hard leads you to success. I was embarrassed to reach out and I had to suffer through the consequences. I was lucky to have a best friend who knew how D2L worked. Had I not, I would’ve taken advice from my other professors and gone to the tutoring center. Lake Superior College has a wide variety of resources. There are handfuls of online resources to learn the app, but I am a hands-on learner when it comes to technology. Without the support from my professors and school, I don’t know where I’d be. Lake Superior College strives for you to succeed, and I am happy to call myself an Ice Hawk.


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