… Or technology I use daily.
I’ve been asked what technology I use and/or couldn’t live without. So here goes. I doubt anything here is surprising.
Yep. I’m still the “email queen” and it is my preferred method of communication. Don’t call or txt me – shoot me an email. Yes, I have an iPhone, but I rarely use it as an actual phone! I use it as an alarm clock, to tweet and to check email! I check email first thing in the morning and last thing before I go to bed! Yep, addicted. I have a work email account, a mac account, and a gmail account that all have email coming in that have to be monitored!
The device I use daily. Even more than I need my iPhone (or any cell phone). See above. Okay, I’m going to say something most librarians are going to want to hurt me. I’d rather read on my iPad than pick up a book! There I said it. Holding the iPad is so much easier than holding a book! Lighter too in a lot of cases (Diana Gabaldon’s WIMOHB is going to be 864 pages and 3.1lbs!) Plus I can have a whole series on the device and in my purse than packing the hardcopies in my suitcase for spring break this week! Since getting the iPad it has almost replaced my Macbook. Almost.
I haven’t had a personal desktop computer in over 5 years and haven’t missed it once. I also haven’t missed switching from PC to Mac. As I alluded to early, since getting an iPad, I’ve not been using this as the workhorse as much as I have in the past. It is still my go to device for creation, but not so much for consuming. I still need a keyboard to type! My Mac is getting some age (keys are fading and one popped off – good old superglue to the rescue) and it needs memory & processor upgrades. I’m saving up to get a new one instead as a Christmas present to myself. I figure I’ll upgrade to better memory, processor, and other internal stuff , but downgrade in size. I don’t need the large 15 inch model I currently have that weighs a ton. I still use the Mac for: documents; spreadsheets; presentations; photo editing; senior video creation; etc.
RSS: Darn you Google for killing Google Reader, but hallelujah for Feedly (on iPad)
RSS has been a godsend in my life. I follow hundreds of blogs, news feeds, and websites and having to check each originating site was a pain. RSS allows all of the new content to come to me instead! As I said, I follow 100s of RSS feeds and I typically read only about half of what is there. I treat it like a newspaper – scan headlines and pics to see what strikes my fancy. The rest I “mark all read” as I just don’t have the time to spend reading it all. I figure I follow enough teacher, librarian, & education folks that I’ll catch the important stuff sooner or later from one of them. That’s the perk and downside to following these folks – something “new” or “it” will be blasted by all of them sooner or later! I love how Feedly arranges the posts in a “magazine” like layout for some and lists for others to make it easy for me to scan and for a more natural and appealing experience. I also love that it allowed me to transfer all of my Google Reader feeds directly so no setup hassle for me when Google let me down.
Dropbox & Evernote
I’m often asked why I have/use both? Don’t they do the same thing? Answer: NO! Dropbox is my place to store files I need to access from more than one place (home, work, iDevice, etc.) Things like forms, spreadsheets, PPTs, documents, etc. that I refer to and update frequently. Dropbox is my cloud file/storage cabinet. I have to say I’m a fan of the referral process to get more free storage so haven’t felt the need to upgrade.
I use Evernote to store my ideas, lists, important emails, notes to myself, pdfs and articles I want to read later, links or what others call favorites or bookmarks, reminders, etc. It is also my “archival” system. With Evernote I can search for a keyword or tag to quickly find something. Full disclosure, I am a “pro” member of Evernote – most folks can get by with the free version, but I wanted access to all the bells and whistles!
As a side note, I could NOT have planned the SCASL Annual Conference in 2012 without the combination of email, Dropbox and Evernote to keep me sane and organized.
Thankfully the two main calendars we use at school have an iCal feed. Those plus my own created calendars help ensure I don’t forget any important dates, meetings, or events. I also love the ability to add an alarm to shoot me an email reminder! However, I’m still having to use a PAPER scheduler to keep track of library scheduling. Sigh. I haven’t found an electronic version that can accurately keep up with the library schedule – at least one my FACULTY will actually use. We’ve recently moved to Office365 and I’m hoping to move our labs and library schedules to the shared calendar features there as I’m hoping it will be a more accessible and easy to collaborate/use calendar for my faculty.
I use a variety of ebook readers (Kindle, Nook, Overdrive, iBooks, Bluefire Reader, Reader, Kobo, Stanza, ComiXology, Follett Enlight, & Mackinvia) as I’ve been buying ebooks since they first starting appearing commercially. I purchased one of the first Sony eReader on the market (and I’m not too pleased with them “going out of business” in the US and switching to Kobo – no offense to Kobo). The bulk of my books; however, are through the Kindle (Amazon). I also check out quite a bit through my local library using the Overdrive service. Yay! This is especially handy now that I’ve rejoined the SC Young Adult Book Award committee and have 100 books to read that I don’t want to have to go buy. Quite a few are available as ebooks!
I also purchase and listen to quite a few audiobooks. The ones I don’t borrow from the public library I purchase through Audible or iTunes depending upon who has the better price at the moment. And every summer for the past few Audiobooksync has been running a promotion giving away two free audiobooks each Thursday. A classic paired with a contemporary. They start up in May! Be sure to get on their notification list!
We subscribe to a few magazines at school that allows me to access them on my iPad (School Library Journal; The Week; & Entertainment Weekly) and I’ve subscribed to others in the past. I’m not completely sold on the reading magazines on the iPad; however, I do find it convenient sometimes.