A pause of AWE

Totally geeking out with my best friend, Lori, last night
over dinner and our iPhones from Christmas. It was the type
of dinner that I’ve always laughed at across the restaurant–two
people, phones in hand, claiming to be conversing and
dining. Definitely not how we normally spend our time together.

So there we were discussing apps and Did-you-knows.  Goofy.

We are both educational tech geeks, so for us, it’s the amazing, at-your-fingertips, wow of the whole thing.  Wow.  I can see the Nile River.  Wow I can bump a photo from my phone to your phone.  Wow.  I can figure out how many miles it is to Madison, Wisconsin AND buy a plane ticket there.

I always feel on the brink of my understanding and it takes only a small nudge to get me confused and stammering, Wait a minute, could you back up? And I’m not an iEverything person.  My iPod Shuffle is as fancy as it got until Christmas.  On my walk with This American Life, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me or Radio Lab.  Why do I need a screen when only ten items live on the Shuffle until my next walk?  It all enters the realm of frivolity.  How much time do I have to waste on Zombie Farming and Scrabble?

So now I’ve got a mini computer in my back pocket.  Where are my thoughts on iEverything now?  Mixed.  I’m not excited about being connected everywhere I go, but it comes down to choice.  Do I check Twitter while waiting for a prescription?  Do I continue my Scrabble game while sitting in the dentist’s waiting room?  Is my email that important?  No. No. And No.

But I have the choice.  To be nose to nose with my iPhone at every moment of pause or to enjoy the capability when I need it or have exhausted my interest in people watching or old magazine perusing.  The device serves me or the device consumes me.  Sounds dramatic, but I see those as the options.

Then the ed tech part of me starts thinking… what if…

If every kid in my class had a smart phone in his/her backpack…

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