A Day in the Life Related to Technology
Welcome Back Y’All!
Welcome back Y’All! I am glad to be here and to be finishing up my last course for the Master’s Certificate of Educational Technology and Media. For some reason, I feel like I have written a post similar to this one over the course of the last year, however, I seem to be unable to recollect which class it was for and what the heck I would have titled it. Anyways, I guess how I have been using technology in my everyday life has probably changed from a year ago until now. I’m not quite sure if it’s the end of the school year approaching, or the rain and overcast weather outside, but my brain seems to be in a bit of a fog, so this may be a jumbled post. Readers, please be patient with me today.
Technology & The Home
From the very second I wake up in the morning until I close my eyes before bed, I am interacting with technology at some level. For instance, when my alarm goes off to get ready for work I look for my phone to cancel it, and then quickly check the weather on the Weather Network to better prepare my kiddo for his day at daycare and all the outfit changes he may need. From there, I’ll usually run a load of laundry in my pretty basic, yet new washing machine with basic technology. After folding some clothes from the dryer, I’ll head back upstairs to unload the dishwasher and then load it up again if need be. Preparing for breakfast, and lunches isn’t my favourite thing to do, but having a fridge with compartments, and different temperature options within, really helps keep meal prepping a lot easier.
When you think of technology, would you consider these major appliances to fit that category? I probably wouldn’t have before taking one of these courses, but now, I know that even the basics of things like water taps with autosensing temperatures, the Ecobee controlling my furnace, and all the other things in my home that make life that much easier or more enjoyable, all have a theme of new (or older, even old at times) technology interwoven.
Another technology that I use at home quite regularly is our TV, equipped with cable, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus. Seems outrageous, doesn’t it? But when you’re also a teacher, some of those streaming services make life that much easier in the classroom. Anyways, a bit off-topic here, so let’s get back on track. Lastly, I love driving my car, with all the bells and whistles it has to offer. I mean, it’s nothing super spectacular, but after driving a two-seater 2000 coupe for the longest time, anything newer with options feels like I’m spoiling myself (even though it seems more like a mom-mobile than my fancy little car). And on top of everything, I use my phone quite a bit to communicate, stay organized, make lists, and do some research (you know… shopping, deals, finding out what’s new at Costco today, etc.). Yes, if you’ve taken a course with me before, you’ll know that Tech and the City isn’t so techy after all, rocking an iPhone 8. Yes. You read that correctly. It’s probably at least 3 years overdue, but it’s held on since 2017 or something wild like that.
Technology, Teaching & Learning
In my teaching practice, I rely on technology every single day to carry out my teaching duties. Although I don’t plan to elaborate on each point specifically, I thought that I would outline a few of the ways that I use technology daily and speak on a few specifically. Off the top of my head, a few technologies that I use daily are:
- Google Workspace (formerly Suite)
- Microsoft Outlook—email
- Computer—Lenovo ThinkPad
- Chrome Books
- Front Row microphone
- Electric pencil sharpeners
- Projector & speakers
- School intercom
There is probably a boatload of other technologies that I have forgotten, and probably use every single day, but again, I am going to attribute it to the brain fog. For the purpose of keeping this post a bit more condensed (short posts are not something that I am usually known for), I plan to go into a bit more depth into using the Google Workspace, my Lenovo ThinkPad, and my Front Row microphone.
I utilize Google Workspace daily for Google Classroom, Google Docs, and more, however, probably use those two the most. My kiddos in my classroom are all set up on Google Classroom and know how to use it quite well (for the most part). There is always more that can be improved upon in my teaching practice, but this is one that I like to use and find that it helps kiddos stay organized and find what they are looking for more easily. I also use it as a way for kiddos to stay in the loop if they miss school and are able to work from home if they have homework or want to enrich their learning. I think that I could do a better job of teaching Google Docs to the kiddos and get them better prepared for word processing.
I wasn’t sold on my Lenovo ThinkPad in the beginning, but after some practice, it is quite a little gem. It’s lightweight, has a stylus pen housed right inside, and can be used as a touch screen or even as a tablet. Pretty neat. Because it is a work computer, I don’t have a lot of freedom of what I can download, etc. so it can be limiting that way but at no fault to the computer itself. I use it all of the time and rely on it quite heavily. I have a few friends that have since moved provinces and they aren’t given a school computer to use, so I am extra thankful for one, and a good one at that.
Lastly, probably a piece of technology I really couldn’t live without now is my Front Row microphone. It is such a treat for my weak voice. I rarely lose my voice now, and I find that kiddos listen a heck of a lot better to what I have to say and process it more efficiently. I wear the microphone around my neck and have a tower in the classroom. The radius in which the tower picks up the microphone isn’t super great, but I am so thankful for it. Mine also came with a separate microphone that can be held so that students or guest teachers can use it. It can be intimidating at first, but it has been quite a lifesaver. Not sure how I did it without all those years.
Interacting with Others
I feel as if I have changed quite a bit in this department over time. I can’t say that I was ever really into social media and utilized it more as a browser with limited interaction. However, growing up I did like using MSN to chat with my peers and would text and iMessage up a storm. However, the older I am getting, and not to mention getting through my maternity leave in a lockdown, I am gravitating toward speaking on the phone for a few different reasons. For example, I took a quick peek at my phone right now to write this sentence, and I have 86 messages and 48 personal emails waiting (this doesn’t even scratch the surface of work emails). I find that I don’t answer messages unless I have the time to dive into a conversation, which is almost never. I want to be present, and it can be tricky to do that when I am trying to multi-task and text at the same time. Group chats also seem to suck the life out of me, as when I am teaching I don’t have time to look at my phone and by the time I do, I have a lot of catch-up to play and almost miss the conversation entirely. My phone doesn’t help either, as it struggles to work properly at the best of times, and often messages get ‘read’ that aren’t really read. I do appreciate being able to FaceTime with people too, especially friends that I haven’t seen in a long time.
At work, I would prefer to email people instead of meet with them if it is something that can be easily answered. This is a timing piece for me. I don’t like superficial meetings where we gather to discuss things that could have been covered in a 2-minute email. However, when socializing at work or with bigger issues, I like face-to-face interactions to be able to connect with people, see their reactions, or get a better gut feeling about a particular situation. I will be the first to admit that I am not the best at keeping up with communications and will put it off to get other things done. Maybe it was all the time spent with limited interactions during the many lockdowns that made me appreciate my “me” time that much more.
Let’s Hear It!
Constructive feedback only makes our writing and reflection stronger. I welcome you to answer one (or however many you like) of the prompting questions below, write your own general comment, or even like the post. Heck, I won’t even judge you if you skimmed this long post and went straight to the questions. Any feedback is very much appreciated.
- Do you consider major appliances in your home or workplace as technology tools?
- If you had to choose one technology that you couldn’t live without, what would it be and why?
- What technology has significantly enhanced your teaching practice, your learning, or your everyday life?
- What technology do you use the most to interact with friends, family, coworkers, etc.?
- In your everyday life, what part of technology frustrates you the most and why?