Thursday, August 30, 2012

Are You a Technology Native, Or A Foreigner?

Just as soon as I think I am all tech savvy, my savviness is obsolete and I am back at square one.  I confess, I am not a native.  I think by virtue of my birth date, I am excluded as a technology native.  However, my children are fluent in the language of tech, so I keep pluggin' away and learning new things.  I try to keep up.  I am not ready to throw in the towel and be left behind quite yet.

Like it or not, our kids are growing up in a technological world.  It is a wise parent who navigates the world of technology and doses it out to her children in an age appropriate fashion, mindful of the bad that comes with the good.  None of us want to have children with mush for brains (think hours on end of fast paced video games etc.)  but on the other hand, I don't want my children to be ill prepared for the world they will live and work in as adults.  So, I am on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.  I blog, use a Kindle and have an iPad for work.   I have been through the Google App Training and have my whole life synced to the Google calendar.  (Lucky for you, you can only see the work part of the schedule.  No need for your blood pressure to rise with mine.)

I say all of that so that I can tell you this; there are a lot of cool resources out there in cyber space.  Really.

When I was in college, the best way to do research was to haul yourself to the Way Big University Library and make a home for yourself near the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature and the micro-fiche film.  (some of you probably are young enough that you have no idea what I am talking about)  A type writer and a bottle of white out were your best friend, unless you had a friend that could type better than you for a small fee.  Finding information was tedious.  It took time, and you took lots of notes.  Fast forward 30 some years and my son has an ipad he takes to class which records the lecture while he takes notes on the same device.  If he needs a file on his computer, the ipad connects to it remotely and he doesn't even need to walk back to his dorm room.  Everything he needs to know is in his hands as fast as he can "google" it.

So, back to the really cool resources.  I have found that following certain educational tweeters on Twitter is a great way to learn new things.  Melissa Edwards is one home school mom I follow.  I also find encouragement as well as some great ideas from blogs.  There are some excellent home school web sites to visit.  Facebook can also be used as more than just a way to connect with family and friends.  There are pages to follow that will plop little messages of encouragement, great ideas and new blog posts right into your newsfeed.

So, I think this might be a great place for you all to share with each other some of the great cyber resources you use on a regular (or not so regular) basis.  If you are a technology native, share your expertise with those of us who are a little more seasoned in life.  We need a push once in a while to feel more comfortable with all of this.  We also need some mentoring to learn how.

Your turn!  Make a comment and share your thoughts.  And if you would like to have a little workshop to learn more, let me know and maybe we can get together and help each other out!


SayLaV said...

Good post, Linda.

My main problem with technology is that it makes self-distraction sooo easy. For myself as well as for the kids--so I put them on to a math-drill online program (free! yay!) and leave the room to go check my email on another device (or, to be fair, to do dishes) and when I come back they are playing games, or checking email, or looking at sports highlights or youtube videos. And I can be the same way: the same thing which makes us more productive in so many ways also sucks our time from our lives in so many ways.

So, you like the Google calendar? Is it working for everyone in your family to post info to it, or do you just use it personally? We kind of need a family calendar, and Hannah uses google for school--I just don't really like it. (I know that's not the point of your post!)

Linda said...

I hear what you are saying! Technology can be a HUGE time sucking machine. I have that problem with it as well. As far as google calendar goes, it's really the only one I have used, so I am used to it and have figured out the quirks for the most part. I do like being able to share my work calendar yet hide the personal stuff from the world. Then EVERYTHING is in the same place when I go to look at it. That does help me some.