Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

Technology in Review part 1 September 4, 2010

Filed under: 21st Century Technologies,technology — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:40 am
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One of the things I did this past week was to help interview candidates for our district’s opening for a Technology Director. Listening to the responses of the candidates also caused me to reflect on just how far technology has come since I started in the education field over eighteen years ago.
When started teaching in 1992, there were no computers in the classroom. I didn’t have a computer at home. There was a computer “lab” that had fifteen Apple IIe’s in a trailer known not very fondly as the “portable”. It was well out to the side of the high school football field where it met up with the elementary playground.

I had several disastrous attempts to take my class to the lab to use software on a floppy disc. You know. The big 5 1/4 quarter inch soft floppy that was first out. There were some copies of Oregon Trail and some math game. In teacher education, we had learned to write a program that could make a turtle icon up and back.

I got my own computer later that year when I started my master’s degree at The Ohio State university. It was a heavy Mac-I don’t remember the exact model but from looking through images, I’m 95% sure it was the MacintoshII. I think it was around $2000 when it was all said and done. I was darn proud to have one as it was expected that we have access to one for our master’s degree work. I remember going to Micro Center to buy a dial up modem so I could do some online research. It was a beast of a machine that I carried from the student union at OSU to my car some far distance away. The modem came with AOL and used a search engigne that I think was called Gopher.

My third year of teaching we each got one big dinosaur of a computer for our classroom. I don’t remember any software that came with it, but I was able to type my newsletters and create study guides or tests in an “word” like program. It used the 3 inch hard “floppies” to save, as did my home computer. Some files I worked with in grad school might span five discs. There was still no Internet at school.

Sometime  around 1997, SchoolNet money from the state brought upgraded electrical wiring and internet wiring to the classroom. Large conduits on the inside of the classroom walls were run and it was a big deal to decide where to have your outlet put, as it would decide your classroom configuration for years to come. Before that electrical upgrade, there was one outlet in the back of the room and one outlet in the front of the room.


First Kindle thoughts January 5, 2010

Filed under: 21st Century Technologies,Kindle — bestbookihavenotread @ 6:55 am
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My parents gave my husband and I a Kindle as a joint birthday present on Thanksgiving. I hadn’t really come to a conclusion ahead of time about whether I thought the Kindle was a great idea or kind of unnecessary for a book addict like myself. I had seen a couple friends use theirs, but the jury was still out. Earlier this fall I decided to read a book on my iPhone to see what it was like and I actually liked it. It took me forever to get through the book, but I loved that I always had something with me to read anytime I had an extra five minutes here or there. I started a second one, but there are some style/typos that are annoying so I haven’t made as much progress.

I have only read a little on the Kindle so far, but one thing that has me absolutely sold on it is the motivation it has created in my children to read even more. My daughter (ten) was quite bent out of shape that the library was closed early on New Year’s Eve and she couldn’t get the next book in Lauren Myracle’s series. I had gotten her Eleven, Twelve, and the ARC of Thirteen Plus One at NCTE and she has raced through them this holiday break. Problem solved last night-downloaded onto the Kindle and now she sits wrapped up in her Snuggie, Kindle in hand, reading away.

My son (seven) has enjoyed reading one of the new Flat Stanley Adventure books (complete with the illustrations) and thinks he is hot stuff while sitting waiting at one of my many school meetings, reading on the Kindle. They both put one on their Santa list, but Santa had other thoughts.

I’ve added Time Magazine as a subscription. It’s reasonably priced and I enjoy having the magazine with me wherever I go so I can actually attempt to stay up-to-date with what is going on in the world. I also like that you can find books for free everything now and then. One of the new YA books I got at ALAN was free this week, so why not just add it to my Kindle and pass the book onto one of the teachers for their classroom library?


My husband says I’m addicted to the Internet January 29, 2009

Filed under: bloggers,blogs,Twitter — bestbookihavenotread @ 8:00 am
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I don’t think I agree with him. Completely. Part of my “addiction” might also be described as an over-reliance on the Internet. I still do plenty of non-internet activities. 

E-mail, Google Calendar-they are a necessary part of my working life. I love that Google Calendar e-mails me my calendar for the day at 4:34 a.m. and that I can have it send reminders about items as often as I like. 

Blogs, Twitter-I am pretty fascinated by the instantaneous access to information.  No longer do I have to wait until the next day to read about Gov. Strickland’s State of the State address. Multiple sources of info are tweeted, posted, and blogged-almost instantly as the speech takes place. 

I don’t think it’s an addiction or an over-reliance. I’ve decided to embrace those 21st Century Technologies as they appear-try to figure out the good and the bad of them to decide if they’ll be helpful to me in any part of my life and then move on.  

Being me, I will feel the need to add some more about the good and the bad over the next several days, so be prepared. Or just skip the blog entries or notes on this topic.