Virginia DeBolt writes the twice monthly TGB Elder Geek column for Time Goes By. She covers all techy-type things, sometimes simple, sometimes more complex. In helping elders get started blogging, I’ve discovered that some are accomplished computer users, some are novices and many taught themselves to use a computer and unlike those of us who learned on the job, have not always had anyone around to show them the tips and tricks that make it easier and faster. Virginia is here to help.
Virginia DeBolt spent more than 30 years in public education before turning to a new career in technology. Her conversion to elder geekdom started with an interest in making web pages. That developed into a job as a technical writer for one of those huge computer companies where every day was a great technical learning experience. The technical knowledge took her back into the classroom, teaching college students how to make web pages.
After trying to teach web design a few semesters without a perfect book, Virginia got to write her own book. That has become two books now, both about HTML and CSS. And she’s worked on other books about Dreamweaver (web design software), CSS and HTML.
One of her current projects is to be part of a team of web developers, writers, and educators collaborating at The Web Standards Project to create a curriculum based on web standards that can be used all over the world. She writes how-to articles about the Internet at eHow. She writes about technology at BlogHer. She has two blogs of her own. Web Teacher is about teaching and learning web design.
The other blog is something completely different. It’s devoted to the idea of writing practice originated by Natalie Goldberg. The writing practice blog is First 50 Words and offers up a daily writing prompt for people who want to get a creative kick in the pants each day and do a writing exercise.
This blog reflects Virginia’s lifelong interest in writing. Back in her days as a teacher, she wrote several books to help teachers teach writing. Coming up with writing prompts to help people get started writing must be built into her DNA.
All that writing takes up the majority of her time, but Virginia also likes to do things with her friends, family and her two granddaughters. She does Tai Chi and walks, reads a gazillion books and participates in two book clubs, goes to the movies as often as possible and loves vocal jazz - especially old jazz like Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald.