In the last month, I believe I've had a real technological workout, even different from having spent the better part of a year laboring over the final edit of my feature film. In that time, I have discovered a few things that will require prompt consideration. The prescription of my glasses is in need of an update. I have difficulty reading the screen after a time. I need a WACOM tablet to do drawings with my computer. I don't care for the results I achieve with an Apple pen on my iPad. I'm also noticing that my fingers are slowing up and becoming less nimble. That doesn't bode well for someone who uses a computer extensively and plays guitar.

And now for the negative stuff...

I am genuinely pleased that I have been reintroduced to the iOS platform. My new iPad Air is the first Apple product I've purchased since 2004 when I bought a refurbished  G5 tower with a 23 inch Cinema monitor. It had the last of the Motorola processors before Intel took over. That platform served as my first introduction to Adobe products. I did all my A/V production on it up until 2012 when I switched to the PC world exclusively for those purposes. When I taught at the CCIU, we were issued 13 inch MacBooks, which could be a bit slow but were easy to use  I personally have no bias or prejudice against any platform. I have older laptops loaded with Linux, so I use anything that works. I've had iPhones since 2014, but I wasn't immersed in using it for instructional or A/V purposes. I realized that I had been missing quite a bit after properly checking out ALL the apps on my new iPad Air, that I noted were also on my iPhone. I have worked with a number of course management packages over the years and I consider iTunes U. one of the more user intuitive.  Despite my fine motor issues, Sketches Studio is also very user intuitive with a pleasingly versatile toolbox. I am unhappy to report that I was not impressed with Keynote, but perhaps with another type of task, I would have a better reaction. I found its toolbox to be limited and the interface slow to respond to inputted commands by either my fingers or my Apple pen. I wonder if on a bigger screen the app would have been easier to use? I have an upcoming project that will involve photos and music in the same format as the "MyStory" project. I will be investing in the full "pro" version subscription of Animoto to produce it. I believe it features a non-destructive editing capability when the user is moving pictures around in a timeline, like iMovie does. Adobe Premiere, for all its pro level features, does not allow this, so the user has to drop photos into an adjoining time line to create the right amount of "space" to drop in the moved photo. Needless to say, that extra added nuisance step is quite time consuming. Speaking of time comsuming, generating content across platforms (Windows and iOS), makes the case for acquiring an Apple laptop. 

Learning how to do simple coding was fun. It was an effective brain exercise to think in a logical and linear manner. It's just for that reason why I sometimes think machines can be easier to relate to, except when they crash and mysteriously lose data!

As for student use of technology, I have amended some severe reservations I formed when I was last in graduate school circa 2010. I was reading a lot of literature written by ed tech gurus who were pushing technology in the classrooms. I wasn't pleased with reading a few ideas about permitting students to conduct ALL peer-to-peer interactions online while in the same classroom and eliminating the need for students to verbally share or present before those same peers. The apprehension was based on the notion that "forcing" students to follow traditional classroom norms for interactions were now "inappropriate." Another person gleefully expressed her delight at witnessing her five year old granddaughter reaching for an iFad (a term I coined years ago to derisively describe these products) and becoming "entranced" by that glowing screen. I attermpted to counter with the peer reviewed evidence about neurologically impacted  attention spans caused by chronic overuse, the danger of overexposure to EM fields, and encouraging addictive behavior. I learned in the meantime that as educator, we have to be careful WHAT we model and HOW we model technology. If we are chronic phone checkers who always have their phones in sight while in the classroom, frequently glancing at it to see if any texts have been received, then that's a problem, in my opinion. I recall a student literally trembling with anxiety after she put her phone in her backpack for fifteen minutes.  These are behavioral anomalies that need more long term study of the  potential neurological impacts on developing brains. I am far from a neo-Luddite, but I know that modern technology is powerful, but like any power, must be handled judiciously when children and young people are involved. Modern technology can do so many marvelous things for the learning process, it would be a travesty if it consumes us, if we forget to be sensible about it.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. Thank you, Dr. Penny, it was a fun ride!