Top Ten Technologies I Couldn't Live Without
1. iPhone- I would never want to be without my smartphone. It is like having a mini computer with me at all times. First and foremost, it allows me to stay in constant contact with my children. Of course, I could do that with any cell phone, but with my smartphone I have an awesome camera, a scanner, and zillions of really cool apps that allow me to check the weather, compare prices, and even automatically find music that matches my running pace. Siri's pretty cool, too.
2. Laptop: My laptop allows me to work on the go. With three children in my house and a rule that none of them will ever have their own computer in their rooms, having a laptop allows at least two of us at a time to be able to complete schoolwork. What I don't like about it? It's not a Mac.
3. Digital Camera: I used to be into darkroom photography. I really enjoyed it, but it is labor intensive and you never know what the results are until you the pictures are developed. The biggest advantage of using digital cameras is that you immediately see if the picture you took is acceptable. You can easily take many shots per second so you are assured to get a good one, and then you can easily delete the ones that you want. Memory cards allow you to take over a thousand pictures, and if you were using a film-type camera that would constitute a large amount of film to carry around.
4. Global Positioning System; I love how I can easily determine how long it will take to get my destination. Besides telling me what route to follow, I can see how bad the traffic is, what my arrival time will be, and being the earth science nerd that I am, what elevation I'm at. Makes life much easier, even though it's not always accurate.
5. Calculator: No-brainer. Not a big fan of math and the Texas Instrument scientific calculators are a necessity. They can even be hooked up to a computer and the screen can be projected.
6. Instant Streaming: There are so many great educational clips to access through Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Discovery. No need to have a million dvd's or vhs tapes and a place to store them. I can find Nat Geo films, Bill Nye movies, and interviews with the great Neil DeGrasse Tyson to share with my students, not to mention having them at home as well.
7. Skype: When I first learned to “Skype” I was really impressed. It is such an easy way to stay connected to loved ones and good friends who live so far away. I would like to someday connect with a class in another country and have regular Skype sessions with them and my students.
8. SmartBoard: I have always had an interactive white board in my classroom. I cannot imagine teaching without one. I can draw, connect to the internet in a second, play game, and a myriad of other things using it. It is a great tool to take advantage of if you want a great way to keep students engaged. Using it with the “clicker” system is a quick and fun way to evaluate student knowledge.
9. Social Media like Facebook and Twitter: Another great way to stay connected and abreast of what's happening with your community, your friends, and your family. You get less in depth with Twitter, but brevity is sometimes more desirable. I really love Facebook, as my husband and I have made a great many friends during our time in the military, and they are spread across the world. I get to see pictures of my niece’s daughter growing day by day.
10. My electric toothbrush- I'd hate not having it.