Last Wednesday, I checked the voice mail on my phone and I’d received a message from the new class organizer for the computer class I have been teaching the last few weeks. I had to leave the Pronet meeting early on Monday and the person who had been appointed the new class organizer could not get a hold of me. I don’t know why she didn’t get contact information from Pronet or from the previous class organizer, but it didn’t happen. I found out I had been replaced as teacher.
Somehow, I managed to get fired from a job that I wasn’t even being paid to do. I think that’s quite an accomplishment. They were upset at the performance of my students last week because only two people were successful at setting up their email address. It seems that when setting up a Hotmail account, if you guess wrong on the “Mystery Characters” at the end of the setup process three times, you are locked out of completing the sign up process for one day. Somehow, everybody in class but one did exactly that. You must understand that almost every one of these people have never sat down in front of a computer. Most can’t touch type so they don’t know where the keys are, and they’ve never used a mouse. The second person to get an email account that day was locked out of the Hotmail system, but I stayed after and helped them set up a Yahoo account.
The reason we left Google Mail as a provider and went to yahoo was because we were prevented from finishing the sign up process on that program because of some kind of server problem at the Reno Job Connect office. I understand that they have fixed that problem. The reason I left Yahoo and went to Hotmail was because there was a second set of Mystery characters at the first use of the Yahoo account that I was afraid would push my students right 0ver the edge.
Although I didn’t teach last Wednesday, I did help people in the class. There were 11 students and I helped the 6 people in the two rows in the back of the room. I absolutely did NOT allow them to fail to get their email accounts up. I’m not sure this is a good thing, as I did some of the work myself in getting the students set up. Since the class organizers are basing their idea of success on how many students get their email address set up, I guess this class will be seen as a ringing success. I’m not sure how many of the students I was “helping” will be able to get on a computer and actually USE their email account, but we will probably never hear about that.
I looked at about five different free email setup accounts yesterday and they were all about the same. There is really no way of making them any easier that I can think of. You have to select a user name and password, and they all have the “secret question” and the “Mystery Characters” in the sign up process.
If I teach the class this Wednesday again, I know what I will do differently. Before we do any computer instruction, I will have my students write down a user name and password. I will make SURE they write down a user-name and password. I will go to everybody’s desk and VERIFY THAT THEY HAVE WRITTEN DOWN A USER-NAME AND PASSWORD! This will end a lot of the confusion we have been having setting up an email account.
As usual, I’ll keep you posted….