Madeline Stoney, Fort Severn's Computer Technician, shares a story about the introduction of the Internet in her community. (December 2000)

NOTE: Madeline Stoney is working with K-Net Services as the Fort Severn Computer Technician. On Wednesday (Dec 6 2000), David Olinger asked Madeline to share "some personal reflections on what the introduction of some of the technologies have meant from your viewpoint and how local residents are reacting." This is what Madeline wrote to David today (December 7, 2000) …

Good Morning David ... Let me take you back a few years ...

It was another typical spring day in a remote village near the shores of Hudson Bay. I was taking a distance education course, which brought me to the learning centre quite often.

I walked over to the learning centre to pick up my assignments. As I walked through the door I saw a few people huddled around a computer, with ear to ear smiles. The INTERNET! yes, the internet was here; although many people in the community did not understand what the term internet meant (including myself).

I quickly walked over to see what all the excitement was about. Haha I remember kind of pushing someone off to the side to take a look. I remember once my presence was known, someone said .."hey we have internet".

Internet???..standing there with a smile, pretending to know exactly what it meant. It has now been 4 years since I was introduced to this communication tool called the internet.

Not too long after that I found myself working for K-Net Services. Everything was very new to me.

Wow! It's amazing how technology has changed the way people think! I have been involved in bringing these communication tools into the community. I see the changes it brings in our everyday lives.

Just last week I found myself on the phone with my boyfriend. We were shopping online together. I was browsing through the Internet looking for a jacket for our daughter. I was jumping from site to site. He would follow me around the internet, till I found the one I liked. I know he REALLY loved this online shopping (he complains when I make him carry my shopping bags around, especially when I ask him for his opinion on clothes.)

Internet plays a big role in our lives. The Internet is how I keep in touch with the people I work with at K-Net. I also use it to keep in touch with my family. It's changed the way people do business, education etc.

As I sit here now, I am looking at students communicating with their teacher who is located in Southern Ontario (Kingston). Last year alone, the organizations that were part of the network bought 47 new computers (not including the personal computers that were bought). I had people calling me to order them a personal computer. Now I have people calling me wanting internet access from home. I will be having a meeting later on this week regarding that issue.

The older people in the community have shown an interest as well. I have been training a few. Especially in the last two years, the demand for computer and internet use have increased dramatically. The demand got so intense, there was no way one person could keep up.

Thanks to K-Net, a second person is now working with me .. whew! Now I don't have to worry about getting grey hair at such an early age (smiles).


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