Monitor, Keyboard, and Mouse

Making an App for the Computer Illiterate

Junganew Blog

When computers began becoming a way of the world, I was home busy watching Barney and changing diapers.  Technology just seemed to pass me by as I was learning every nursery song to sing to my baby girls. Once my daughters were old enough to attend school, I ventured back out into the workforce, only to find complicated photocopy machines, fax machines, and yes…the dreaded computer!

Throughout the years, and throughout my struggles with technology, I have been reminded on more than one occasion that raising my children was no excuse.  I should certainly know computers by now.  But frankly, my brain does not process the workings of a computer as easily as it does for others. On the contrary, my brain processes more creatively and clinically. My creative process led me down the path of creating books to help children learn their sounds in a unique way…a fun approach whereby I infuse language into each sound, and have children associate themselves with a character that represents their target sound. On this journey, I had the opportunity to meet Timothy Michael Harrington, the founder and CEO of Happy Medium Interactive Productions.  You can imagine my fears when he suggested I turn my books into interactive apps.  I know what that meant…COMPUTERS!!

My desire for the success of my project outweighed my fears of computers, and so I willingly accepted the challenge. Or should I say Mr. Harrington accepted the arduous task of teaching me how to navigate through a computer! As part of a team effort, I can now proudly say I know how to Skype, create a Google Doc, download material, download an IPA onto my iPad, utilize Dropbox, create online schedules, download music, record my lyrics, and send them off to the sound designer, scan, create business cards, and blog.  Not bad for someone who could barely email!!

So let me tell you what I really learned.  I really learned that when you want something badly enough and you allow love to overrule fear, the Universe has a funny way of putting the right people and opportunities in front of you.  My skill set as a speech language pathologist and a creative storyteller with a beneficial concept was all I really needed to have.  Mr. Harrington showed up on my path with countless skill sets of his own, one of them being the ability to use computers and the patience to work with someone who didn’t have a clue. Each and every individual is born with a gift.  We need to know that the gift we have is truly enough.  Sharing that gift with others is when opportunities arise to mesh our gifts with theirs to create magic.

My daughter has recently been going through a difficult time within herself, as teenagers often do.  She has a high achieving, perfectionist personality.  Although it acquires her good grades, it pains her emotionally if she perceives that she doesn’t know it all, and compares herself to others.  She feels angst if she can’t quite live up to everyone else’s expertise.  So, this is the lesson I teach her. We can’t spend our lives comparing ourselves to others.  There will always be someone who knows more, does more, achieves more.  We can only spend our time here comparing ourselves to who we were yesterday.  If we are better than we were yesterday, we are on the right path.  As Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.” Trust that life has given you all you need to succeed.  Do your best and be passionate about what you do, and the walls will open up to introduce you to the people who acquire the very thing you were lacking so as to facilitate your dreams coming to fruition.  It’s a hard concept for anyone to grasp, let alone a teenager. But, if we could teach our future generations this simple concept, we could probably be happier, more successful, more accepting of ourselves, and more willing to share of ourselves with others. We are all a work in progress.  It is one of our common threads as people.  Although I have much more to learn, I can proudly say I am no longer computer illiterate.  I trusted life.  It put me on a path toward some very amazing people, creating a team I had always envisioned. I can proudly say I am fairly literate in computers! And more importantly, I can enjoy the simple fact that I don’t need to know it all to be a success and live my dreams!