Occasional Thoughts on Educational Technology and Life by Judy Brophy

Friday, December 14, 2012

There's No App for That

I first noticed it walking down the street toward my hotel in a strange city. On the corner across from my hotel was a nice looking Italian restaurant… maybe a place for dinner? I could see that the menu was posted at the front door.  Instead of walking over to look at the menu I went back to my hotel and looked it up on the IPad.

Eating breakfast by the kitchen window, the one with the outside thermometer attached, I open the weather app on my iPad to see what the temperature is.

I started keeping track: 
How many things do I do online that I don’t NEED to do online?  Things, that if I didn’t do online would give me, at a minimum, more human contact or more exercise.

And it's not only with computers and the internet. A friend told me he wanted a Super Remote for Christmas. It replaces all your remotes; you need never go looking for the “right remote” again.  So now, you not only don't have to get up to change the TV channel, but you don't even have to get up to look for the right remote.

Mobile devices can surely make you more efficient.  But aren’t there times when being efficient is not and should not be the primary goal?

Yes, of course. Which means that we each have to think about and set boundaries on what should be done with electronics and what is better done by moving an object through space and time.

So I’ve been trying to be aware of what I am doing when I open the computer. What is the task that I went here for? what  type of task is it? Fact finding, communicating, time wasting?  I  just name it.

I ask, is this the best way to complete this task? Is there a way to do this that would connect me with people more? Give me more exercise? Make me more focused?  It’s not much but it’s a start.

Here is an ode to movement done with technology: the best of both worlds.