Culture and education. Parents and their school-aged children. Immigrants. These are the topics I read, think, and write about all day, everyday. This can lead to some tunnel vision. Luckily, I have friends who are technology aficionados. When I have questions about that other world, I know exactly who to call for insight. I have also taken time to explore some of what this realm has to offer. After countless discussions, informal learning sessions, and my own experience with technology, I present a few thoughts on the aspects of this technological age that I have come into contact with or discussed the most.
Social networks: On any given day, I spend more hours than I’d like to admit telling the Twitter world about the random thoughts that pervade my mind or browsing through old Facebook pictures, or reading the endless interesting news posts that my friends on either media site. Some would call this a tremendous waste of time, but I’ve found that the exposure to all of this information has complemented my learning on any given day. Friends have shared links on how Twitter makes you a better writer to the animated debates about whether Wyclef Jean should have been eligible to run for the Haitian presidency, to even livelier discussions on if Michigan State’s football team was truly good enough to be in a Bowl game. Yes, the adage is true: too much of a good thing stops being good, and like all diversionary tools, Twitter and Facebook (and blogsites) shouldn’t interfere with productivity elsewhere. But I’ve found that since becoming a semi-regular contributor to these social media networks, I have engaged in conversations and been exposed to information that I doubt I would have otherwise.
Smart phones: Once upon a time, I swore up and down that I would only use my phone for calls and the occasional texts. No one could tell me differently…until I bought my first smart phone last year. I have been hooked ever since. I’m on my second smart phone, and I believe I discover a new way to make it cooler everyday. I just downloaded my first Kindle book on my Evo (in the Android family). Angry Birds and Words with Friends are
procrastination tools…um, study breaks that I use almost daily (if you haven’t heard of them, you should. Great stuff). Beyond entertainment, I’ve found a concept mapping tool that I used to outline my next paper and I have used a nifty app (HopStop) to navigate the labyrinthine New York Subway system.
I appreciate all that these phones have to offer. I am admittedly spoiled at the ability to look anything up no matter where I am. I sometimes wonder, however, what’s next? I can only imagine that scientists and educators will find ways to incorporate smart phones into the classroom and those in the business industry have all kinds of cool ways to use these phones to advance.
An “Apple” a day: Steve Jobs for President. That’s all I have to say about that.
…just kidding. But seriously. Macs are (arguably) the best computers on the market. iPads, though controversial in terms of its necessity as a technological accessory, are pretty cool in theory. iMacs, iPods, iPhones, iTunes, iPad2. iJust don’t see an end to Apple’s world domination. Personally, I’m yet holding on to my PC, but I question for how long.
These are just my silly musings on technology. For the most part, I’m amazed and excited about all the things we are able to with the flick of a wrist (Kinect? Awesome). Who knows? Maybe someone out there will think of me as knowledgeable of such matters…or maybe I’ll just stick to culture and leave technology to the experts.