I am of a generation that saw a technological boom grow up just behind my youth (GenX). I remember when I was in grade 8 my class got one of those old school IBM PCs with the green screen. Nobody really knew what to do with it, so it mostly sat there collecting dust. In high school we took typing, not keyboarding skills. In my late teens my family got dial-up internet but I didn’t have much to do with it, it was mostly used by my younger brother. I may be a little behind the rise of tech, and although I don’t perceive myself to be particularly technologically savvy, I have certainly embraced it. I realize that a good deal of my time is spent using technology in one aspect or another. The advent of smart phones has made this true to some degree for just about everyone.
I find that my technology use can be categorized into three groups; personal use, professional use, and graduate studies, or student use.
In my personal life I use various platforms to provide entertainment like Apple Music, Audible, Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. I typically access these platforms from my phone, but also from my MacBook or my Apple TV. I also use technology to communicate with people via text, Zoom, Messenger, and Facetime. I would say that the way I most frequently connect with others outside of my family is through Facebook or Messenger. This is because I am old, just ask my students who wouldn’t be caught dead on Facebook.
Technology definitely permeates my professional life. For example I take attendance, keep track of assignments, enter marks, and do student report cards on Edsby. I put assignments, handouts, and communications into our online Google Classroom. I use Planboard to create my timetables and day plans, and Outlook to communicate with colleagues and parents. Conferences have been held by Zoom the last few years as have many staff meetings. It is daily that I use a laptop and projector, and sometimes a document camera to project work, videos, and demonstrations on the white board. I use technology as a teaching tool as well. Students use laptops to research, and create assignments. They use platforms like Prodigy, Scratch Jr, and YouTube often. Along with this we explore digital citizenship and learn skills like how to use Google effectively for research, or how to create different types of documents for example. In it would indeed seem that I rely quite heavily on technology in my teaching practice.
I use technology in my graduate studies in the expected ways: attending class through Zoom, meeting with group partners on Zoom, accessing library materials through the John Archer Library, using URCourses to access class materials and submit assignments, researching using Google, and for creating assignments in various applications. My MacBook is my trusted partner in this endeavour.
The moral of this story is that whether you consider yourself to be a “techie” or not, you likely rely heavily on technology every day. Oh, and also that Facebook is for “old people”.