Tech: can’t live with it, can’t live without it

Firstly, I must admit that I am the worst kind of technology addict. I most often use it intentionally to kill time and that unintentionally kills a whole day. If we are considering video games, then it kills days upon days. I am currently playing Far Cry 6 (have been for months as I am a total map and sidequest clearer) now that it is streaming on PS Plus (premium, I think).

Image: Ubisoft. PlayStation.

I refuse to download games now and wait for them all to stream. This is due to a small hard drive, a “feature” of the PS5 that I got the Xmas before last. It is a departure from the old PS4 Pro, but somehow I still survive…barely…

Image: PlayStation. Amazon.

How crazy is it that I have adjusted to the quickest, easiest, most useful technology and feel annoyed by anything that is remotely inconvenient? While being an OG dial-up kid! Talk about building tech tolerance/entitlement!

The significant upgrade in tech generally, and its consumer-friendly integration into daily life, has made me an addict. I don’t walk the dogs without checking that my steps are accounted for. The work on my Macbook is no longer restricted to my home office and can be seamlessly completed on my iPhone (or iPad, but let’s be real, that is for YouTube while on the treadmill). I watch a movie on the TV while scrolling TikTok. My Beats Pro headphones connect to whatever device I pick up, alternating between 3 sometimes. I wear them all day long like a crazy person.

I often wonder how I functioned before.

Well, I guess I went to the library and hauled books and printed articles around; I paid bills at the bank with my paper copies in hand; I tried to play games that were on scratched discs; I PAID FOR AND RAN OUT OF CELLPHONE MINUTES; I spent hours modifying myspace via html instead of drag and drop websites like the wix I use now; and I toted around a bloody discman with garbage headphones that was never ever truly anti-skip…(see r/nostalgia if you need a little blast from the painful past!)

Recently, instead of using the internet for entertainment, I have started moving all my business stuff onto google drive. This way, I can share invoices, receipts, and spreadsheets with the bookkeeper and accountant without bringing boxes of crap to their office. I can take a premade template and quickly fill out an estimate or invoice while on the job site and send it to a customer via my phone. This may not seem revolutionary, but prior to my BEAD last year, I had never used Google Docs or slides, let alone Google Drive. Look how organized I am now!

In addition to trading time-sucks for productivity, I am looking at TikTok for inspiration in teaching/lessons, exercise, nutrition, business, old house renovations, and dog training. It has inadvertently tricked me into creating a rather interesting/informative FYP. It is probably still a time-suck because I am not “doing” during that time, but I figure it is an improved waste of time.

I am still using a notebook and pen to plan my life, but my calendar across devices serves as my backup. I use it more to remind myself of the things I already recorded and it helps me commit to memory the important stuff by recording it again in the app. I check it every morning and every evening as I plan (in my notebook) my assignments, personal goals, appointments, and deadlines.

I am definitely behind the times, but I am becoming more open to learning tech as a tool for productivity. This year has brought pretty big adjustments and I am finding it beneficial despite a learning curve. In fact, this is the most productive I have been on the internet since those long, early days grinding on Winmx for complete downloads.



Learning Project: Baseline

I am stoked about this project! I love a crossover learning opportunity. Nailing down an idea, however, has been more challenging. I bought a drumkit a couple of years ago and learned that easy White Stripes song and then didn’t touch it again. I was sold on the idea…

Until I entered my upstairs bathroom. My spouse, Brian, started tiling the bathroom after successfully refreshing the main floor half bath: before (after demo), during, and after.

We are trying to restore/maintain the character of our 120-year-old house. This has been tedious and time-consuming. As such, our upstairs bathroom reno has slowed to a halt. I realized that this was the perfect and most productive learning project for me!

The baseline for learning is as follows:

  • I watched Brian do all the work so I have a little know-how by way of osmosis
  • the shower portion/system and plumbing (the actual hard part) is done
  • I already have all materials to complete task so the endless trips to Rona eliminated (I estimated tile myself so I very likely may run out and have to source it–get there when we get there haha..)
  • I have endless access to advice/guidance if I need it (I will)

The project consists of:

  • caulk shower (a simple and short job I have been putting off. It will be my warm up)
  • finishing tiling the remainder 3 walls
  • remove old and install new privacy thinger for window
  • install sink fixture
  • install vanity lighting and overhead lighting
  • seal grout (at least floor and shower)
  • install overhead exhaust fan (no idea how to do this)
  • put up wallpaper to cover crazy messed-up ceiling instead of drywalling over it
  • hang door and hardware
  • hang mirror

Besides the fan, the most daunting part of this renovation to me is the tiling. I get the steps, as outlined by every YouTube video I started watching, but doing it and making it look nice seems more challenging. I am going to start by referring to the above-linked video and this tutorial.

It seems straightforward, but I am told there is a certain finesse required. This is what we started with and this.

This is where we are at. Notice the walls on each side are unfinished and the wall with the door is totally empty (update with pic link later; working remotely).

Following what not to do according to r/DiWHY is my first step; watch this video. it is my worst nightmare and is still hilarious. The pros on r/Tile are not quite my speed, but I did find out how to install the waterproofing system on there. I will probably refer back in case I get stuck.

Greatest takeaway from my preliminary reading (and input from Brian) is to plan out walls to avoid splices of tile; use level/lazer to keep tiles straight; back butter tiles (spread mortar on them) in addition to spreading mortar on walls to help even out uneven walls; use lots of spacers; and don’t EVER mess with black grout, especially if tile is light because it highlights imperfections, is difficult to wipe down, and easily gets soap scummy. REPEAT: DO NOT USE BLACK OR CONTRASTING GROUT. Here is a whole contractor forum on the horrors of black grout, in case you’re curious or have been flirting with the idea yourself. Of course, I chose this demonic grout and never considered the far-reaching implications until it was on the wall, floor, and everywhere. I do have a head start in that I watched Brian struggle with it so at least I know what I am in for? I guess?

Wish me luck!

Intro Post: Hello!

My name is Kate. This is my last course before internship and it was strategically picked to improve my understanding of educational technology. I was surprised to see the emphasis on online professional identity from the first set of readings and it got me thinking!

I am not a blogger or tweeter, but sometimes, if I am fired up enough, I will post comments on YouTube or TikTok and delete them later once I calm down. I do like video games (PS mostly) and yet still avoid online communities formed around my favourite games. I have no Facebook, instagram, twitter, and just lurker accounts for reddit and TikTok. I think I may still be suffering from elder millennial online overload that I endured growing up.

Photo: Buzzfeed, (2021). »-(¯`v´¯)-Fr!ɛnds R 4ɛvɛr, Guyz R whatɛvɛR-(¯`v´¯)-» has just signed in. 

Photo: Peterson, Mike (2017). Aim-90s.

I realize there may be some professional benefit to developing an online identity, but I am hesitant to begin that journey as an adult. My experience with online communities/presence is primarily restricted to myspace and bmezine–both of which are no longer. I have viewed the absence of an online identity as a benefit to myself when I consider the cringey way I had used it in those early years. It may be time for me to update my thinking!

All of this is to say I am a reluctant blogger, with some experience with educational technology, but that is restricted to learning via this degree and my limited teaching opportunities. However, during my last pre-internship in March I did learn how to use and utilize online spaces in a new (to me) way. My co-op teacher is my age and seemed to integrate technology seamlessly into her classroom. Beyond Google Classroom, she had an instagram and TikTok she was comfortable sharing on and with students; participated in TikTok trends with her students (they were grade twelves and permission was acquired); and students had a myriad of platforms that they could use as a tool to complete responses/video essays/creative writing. I loved that.

Although writing is more my speed, I think using 1-3 minute video format for students to film their responses or journalling (essentially vlogging), is a great way to collect the kind of formative assessments we might want and often can’t adequately gather in traditional response writing. Apparently, there are other useful ways to utilize TikTok in the classroom! I am interested in that! Perhaps, on my journey of reacquainting myself with the internet, I might find short videos a part of blogging and online professional identity making.