A Day with Technology

Technology plays a significant role in every aspect of my daily life. I rely on technology from the moment I wake up until I go to bed.

smartphone, alarm clock, superhero

My day begins with my phone. For most of us, our phones are what wakes us up in the morning. Ironic really. From that moment on, I am almost always using technology for something.

As I get ready in the morning, I listen to a podcast on Spotify, check the Weather Network, and answer any message I received while I was sleeping. Admittedly, there are a few TikTok breaks in there as well. My commute to work is only a few blocks, but during this time I am usually still listening to the podcast I started when I woke up.

My reliance on technology at work is no better. I am willing to admit that there is no way I could do my job without access to technology – my laptop is my teaching lifeline. Not only are my files (i.e., assignments, projects, PowerPoints, etc.) on my laptop, but my entire day book is digital. Since 2019, I have been using Planbook for my daily lesson plans. I have continually returned to Planbook every school year despite the small cost associated with the platform and always recommend it to my colleagues.

Students in a classroom utilizing technology to learn

Beyond my daily lesson plans, I utilize many other forms of technology throughout my day it is almost dizzying. From the photocopiers to my classroom projector to Outlook for emails, I almost always use some form of technology to teach my students.

Most important, however, is my classroom laptop cart. The division I work for offers teachers the opportunity to become Connected Educator. I became a Connected Educator in 2023 and it has been a game changer for my classroom. Having access to one-on-one devices for my students has, in my observations, helped my students excel in my classroom as students are more willing to participate and engage in course content and it has created more equitable learning opportunities. The increased success in my classroom connected to access to one-on-one devices relies heavily on the fact that I can access several educational tools more easily than the average teacher.

Below are several online resources that I have found increase student success:

Kahoot!: An old faithful. Kids love Kahoot!. Before I became a Connected Educator, I found myself using Kahoot! less and less for two reasons: it was hard for kids to use their phones (i.e., spotty Wifi, etc.) and I thought kids were over it. Once I became a Connected Educator and had access to one-on-one technology I decided to try it out again and I am happy that I did. Despite it being used all the time, kids love it.

Quizlet: I love using Quizlet to help students study for exams. Studying can be a challenging skill for adolescents (mostly I think we don’t teach them how to study) and Quizlet allows students a digital way to keep flashcards. Students have the option to make their own study sets or, if you are feeling extra nice, you can make a study set for students that can be shared out to the class. Quizlet also allows teachers to create printable quizzes using the study decks which can be helpful when in a pinch!

Flipgrid: I just recently started using Flipgrid in my classroom. I was hesitant at first to use it out of selfishness because as a learned I would have HATED filming myself for an assignment. However, in a passing conversation, a student mentioned using it in another class and that they loved it. This moment made me realize that just because I would have hated something doesn’t mean I will. I have only used Flipgrid a few times so far, but I plan to use in in the coming school year in my classroom in several different ways!

After work, my reliance on technology only heightens. At any given point in the evening, it is almost guaranteed that I am listening to a podcast – there’s a trend here – or chatting with friends over text message. However, the real issue comes later in the evening when I begin scrolling TikTok. I am certainly aware of the addiction I have to TikTok and sometimes I am embarrassed to admit it as an almost 30-year-old has better things to be doing, but it is a hurtful truth.

After hours of scrolling, I am off to bed to repeat the cycle over again. Sometimes I wonder what I would do if my access to technology were to be cut off.

A scary thought, am I right?

Describe your current “day in the life” related to technology, teaching, and learning. What tools do you use? How do you connect with others? Describe your interactions with others, including your students, if applicable.

8 thoughts on “A Day with Technology”

  1. Hey, Mariah! Thanks for the link to Planbook. It looks like something I used to use in the past. I snooped around and it looks like something I would use as long as I don’t need a VPN. I have bookmarked the resource to try out once I am back home.

    1. Totally recommend if you don’t need a VPN! Some people don’t love that there is a cost associated with it (I mean who does?), but it is so worth it in my opinion.

  2. Hi Mariah!
    Thank you for your in-depth and honest description of how technology is ingrained in your daily life! Technology has become a fact of our lives, and I often wonder about the guilt that so many of us seem to carry over how much time we spend on social media apps. Certainly, there seems to be an argument for unplugging in our daily lives, but I also think there is a lot of value in how technology can help us find connections and communities online. When I started out as a vice principal, I was incredibly thankful to find Facebook groups of like-minded, new administrators who were going through the same things I was learning in a new position. Living in a rural community, I don’t often have the opportunity to connect with new people who do the same work that I do, so connecting online has been incredibly valuable for me. I often hear friends and colleagues talk about finding the right balance between work and home, and I think that balance also extends to our social media use. Having the self-awareness to identify when the content we are consuming is harming us rather than helping or entertaining us is incredibly important to maintaining our mental health.

    1. Thanks for your comment Amy! I agree with the idea of unplugging and the guilt associated with not unplugging “enough” (whatever enough is). Lately, I have been giving myself some grace with the amount of time I spend online. Is it more than I care to admit? Absolutely. But is my life in any way negatively impacted by it? No it isn’t. By taking away the daily “unplugging”, I have found that I actually unplug more. Weird right?

  3. Hi Mariah,

    While writing my blog I tried to think about how I could go without technology. And while I feel like I could definitely live without my phone (although it would be extremely hard and maybe a little disconnected) I don’t think I could go without any technology. I think about all of the things we take for granted living in the 21st Century – I have a toddler so the first thing that comes to mind is my washing machine! I think as educators, and people in general, when we talk about technology we always think phones and computers first, and not medical or everyday items. If everyone suddenly had to go with no technology, then I think we would all adapt together, but to be without it alone is very isolating and almost places you in a deficit when it comes to navigating the world. The important thing, I think, is to manage the technology so that it does not manage you in the end.

    1. Totally agree Savannah. My big thing would be podcasts. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself throughout the day if I didn’t have a podcast to listen to. I guess that is a bit sad now that I think about it, isn’t it? I think I am content with this current reality!

  4. Thank you for sharing this insightful post, Mariah! Your detailed description of how technology integrates into every aspect of your daily routine, from podcasts and digital lesson plans to using educational tools like Kahoot and Quizlet, is both relatable and informative. Your commitment to enhancing learning through technology while recognizing its addictive potential is commendable. How do you find balance between utilizing technology for productivity and avoiding its potential for distraction in your personal life?

    1. Thanks for the comment Allysia! I don’t know if I have found a balance between productivity and distraction when it comes to technology. I’ll figure that out when I become a real adult!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *