Enjoying the Simple Pleasures of Life, While Living in a Complicated World

Back in College:Technophile or Technogeek?

When you drive by any institution of higher learning, the face of the buildings change very little. However, technology has drastically altered what happens inside and outside of the classroom. In fact, technology has permeated every aspect of college life. Computers, laptops, netbooks, blackberries, I Phones, I Pods, cell phones are all designed to keep us informed and keep us connected. All of these technologies have changed the face of post secondary education, and it’s trickling down into K-12 education.

If you’re going back to college consider the following:

Class information, tests, syllabuses, quizzes and assignments are  online, and tests and assignments are uploaded to your professors mailbox. You’ll enroll in college online and register for classes online. It is very possible you may have a class that will be entirely online, and  you won’t even set foot into a traditional lecture hall or classroom. In fact, you may not even interact face to face with anyone connected to a class you’re enrolled in. (I wonder…Is this a good thing?)

Email is your vital link to school, classes, students and faculty. You can link your school email with your email at home and NEVER miss an email. (Take this even further, link your college and home email accounts to your blackberry or cell phone!) Most colleges have Wi-FI and access to the internet is fast and easy.

The tragedy of the massacre at Virginia Tech has changed the face of student notification during campus emergencies. Today, you’re notified by a cellphone message of emergency school closings (blizzards, power outages etc) or more serious emergencies such as: evacuations, fire and campus-wide lock downs.

The Benefits of Texting:

Keeping in touch with other students is easy…. with quick back-and-forth texts. One interesting benefit….no one will be able to eavesdrop on a text conversation! (Is this why teenagers prefer to text? So Mom and Dad won’t have a clue what is being said in conversations?)

I had always heard in the media stories about teenagers who can amass thousands of texts a month and wondered, “How can one person have so much to say by texting?” I’ve learned texting involves short phrases or abridged sentences and to arrange a meeting for the library or a coffee shop can take more than 10 texts before your finished. Whew!

The Drawback of Technology:

One caution if you’re considering getting a laptop for college: beware….the larger the laptop, the more cumbersome and heavier your book bag. Some of my classes have text books that weight several pounds.

After 2 semesters of carrying a bag full of books, notebooks, supplies and a computer,  my back and shoulders began to experience aches and pains I was unprepared for.  Since I don’t want to end up with arthritis or major back problems…I left the laptop at home and purchased a netbook. I now have a ‘book bag’ on wheels with a retractable handle.

Am I technophile or technogeek? I’d like to think of myself as the best of both. Using technology to set yourself up for success in college, means learning to adapt and learn new technology which can translate into making your ‘technology life’ at home easier!

Just think: you’ll become the master of several technologies through school and can apply their use at home. Next time when the power goes out, you won’t have to ask your kids to re-program appliances! You’ll be able to re-program  your VCR, DVD and microwave, you’ll be able to set up email software and accounts, send multiple attachments and install computer applications or programs with ease!

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