Monday, May 13, 2013

TSNT: Did You See This Coming?

Try Something New Tuesday: Did You See This Coming?

Just try keeping up with Google! I was thinking about getting Lasik surgery, now they come up with a really cool pair of glasses. I'm sure most of you have heard of Google Glass, if not, here's the quick overview:

Do you see clearly now? If you are like me, these glasses do not lead me to believe the future will be clearer. Actually, I'm thinking more fuzzy. One point which comes to mind,  what about privacy issues? Anyone with these glasses can take a pic or video and RECORD anything in their viewing.  I think we all can relate to the fact that privacy is slowly disappearing with the rapid speed of technology inventions.

What do the inventors have to say? Google is smart-they are promoting this tool as an effective way to teach kids in the classroom. Let me remind Google that there already is an enormous Digital Divide across our great nation. Most schools cannot afford to purchase a $1500 pair of glasses for each teacher, each student in the classroom including prior training and professional development. These glasses do not exactly sound realistic or effective to me.

One thing I try to avoid is complaining about and blaming technology-such an easy trap to fall into. WE are the 'live' ones here, the users of technology. We are smart enough to figure this out and how to handle the constant change and progressiveness (or aggresiveness, depending on who you talk to) this techy society brings.

What you need to know:
1. Laws and policies struggle to keep up the ever changing technology. As responsibile citizens, it's our job to seek out ways to educate those around us to be responsible with the choices we all make in the technology we all purchase and use.

2. I can already hear you-"What about those who are not responsible?"  Learn how to cope with those around us who do not use technology responsibily and how to avoid the pitfalls, mistakes, and dangers which those irresponible users cause.  Role-play how to handle situations where your loved ones feel  their privacy is being compromised. Empower them with the confidence and tools they need.

3. Professional development and training are KEY. I don't know one effective principal, manager, supervisor, or good 'ol boss who has said "we overplanned, we taught them too much, they know how to do their job too well." Same goes for technology, learn how to use it effectively FROM THE BEGINNING. Increase opportunities to use technology in a positive way and train others on how to avoid the misuse of technology.

4. Technology is here to stay. Sure, you can sign petitions to ban this type of technology: But being well informed and teaching our youth how to respectfully handle these advancements will equip them for a future we cannot even imagine.

5. Let's be honest, we love the fact that we can find anything we want in seconds on our smartphone, that our TV can record and remember our favorite shows, that with a push of a button you can choose 50 different flavors of Coke at the movie theater, that at the end of a long day, you can enjoy some Facetime or Skype with that someone special who gets you through that long day. In simplest terms, we as humans-love the positives, hate the negative consequences which technology brings.

Still looking through rose colored glasses, right on! Google Glass has a new pair waiting for you.

What do you SEE about this?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

TSNT: Is your Smartphone an Energy Eater?

Try Something New Tuesday! 
Is your Smartphone an Energy Eater?

We hear people talk about saving energy all day long. Turn off the lights. Walk to the store. Only use the dishwasher for full loads. Shut the front door. Close the refrigerator! Keep the thermostat to 68 degrees year round (my husband's favorite). But did you know your Smartphone is wasting energy?

What? How can this be? It's so small?

Take a look:

Feel a little better? As you can see Smartphones actually use less energy than their bigger competitors. Recent research shows that the average person spends at least 2 hours a day on their Smartphone. People are completing more tasks such as: checking Facebook, responding to email, checking the news, playing games, etc than on their PC.

Still...your Smartphone is using extra energy that is really doesn't need to.

Here are five quick tips to save power and energy:

1. At night, when it is charged. Yes, unplug and go to bed, I promise it will be waiting for you in the morning.

2. Close out your apps on your phone. It's the same problem as having several programs and internet tabs open on your PC. Don't know how, here you go:

Double click your 'Home" button on your iPhone, you'll see the apps which are open, jiggling at the bottom.

hold down one and you will see a red circle with a white line which means to close them out. It will not delete them.

3. Check which apps are taking up space on your phone.

Go to settings, click general, then usage. You can clearly see which apps are taking up the most space, etc. Obviously I'm behind on uploading/backing up my pictures.

4. Lock your phone (or put it on a short auto-lock). If your phone isn't set to a quick auto-lock time already, be sure to correct it. There's a good chance that your phone could waste battery power when you aren't using it if it isn't locked.

5. When you can, lower the brightness. It will be somewhat more difficult to use apps or read something on low brightness, but it will save you lots of battery power.

Moral of the story: if you have not already, please be mindful for being responsible for your Smartphone in saving energy. Your Smartphone is not human ...yet.

Note:  Some of these tips are more specific to iPhone (my apologizes, that's the device I utilize).
For more info, read this blog: