Tag Archive | technology

Overlooked Blessings

More technology today.  Our printer died and we were having a difficult time living without one.  Yesterday we broke down and got the cheapest thing we could find.  (okay, the second cheapest)   I will say that printers have come a long way since our last printer purchase.  A little bragging, but its extra cool the things it can do.  It can print documents, photos, all of the basics.  It can scan, copy, fax, and feed multiple documents.  It can store numbers, reduce, enlarge, print on different media, and double side print.  As if that were not enough, it will talk to almost every wireless device in our home, and once I get the right software on my phone, I can print from my phone, even if I am out of state.  This particular model doesn’t send things via e-mail for me, but for bottom of the line I can deal with that.

Anyhow, it is easy to focus on the fact that the printer and the DVD went out the same day and say how frustrating that is.  Reality is that not only do we live like kings and queens every day of our lives, but today even the less wealthy among us live like the wealthy did a few years back.  I can remember when I never thought I would be able to afford anything in my home that would adequately print my own photos, I’d never own an expensive fax machine or copier, and I definitely wouldn’t care if it could talk to my phone.  I was just happy if I could get the dial up and fax options to not mess up my answering machine.  Today I’m blessed beyond my expectations, and my first thought was that I still need a DVD player.  I will work on that.

Easter Visits

Image representing Skype as depicted in CrunchBase

 

We spent some of our Easter time on Skype (yes, I like Skype) with extended and immediate family.  I’ve already blogged about how incredibly miraculous the technology is.  Yesterday I noticed a few of the people we “visited” remotely had little else going to celebrate the day, and/or few other people to visit with.

 

Thought for me.  Even when we get busy with our own lives, how much time does it take to pick up the phone, or click “call” on the computer?  We have no excuses to not stay in touch with those who may need us.

 

Pong

pong

Success at home school.  No actual miracle here, just bragging.

My 13 year old started “officially” learning computer programming last week.  I have a little programming background, but very outdated, and nothing to teach a class with.  He has been doing a lot of learning on his own, but I wanted something more structured, more thorough, and more official.  We found a very basic, learning language called SCRATCH that had a free, online learning course, and he got started.  He anticipates finishing the beginner course this week, and is excited to move on to a “real language.”  This week he also got his sister interested in programming, and today he showed me a cool “Pong” game that he wrote in his spare time.  It was so cool to see him playing a game he programmed himself with his very excited 5 year old brother.

For me this is a success because one of my primary goals of homeschooling is to teach my children to love learning.  He not only loves what he is learning, but he has managed to get others excited with him!  That is what I expect from an education.

For anyone else interested, here are the links we used:

SCRATCH  –  Thank you MIT

ONLINE COURSE  –  Thank you Alison

 

Smooth Transition

It’s been such a busy week, and it is only Wednesday!

Anyhow, yesterday I had to take one of my children out of school due to a long term illness, and begin homeschooling.  I am amazed at how smoothly the transition is going.  In reality I like homeschooling anyway, but that was not the choice we had made for this year, so it was sort of difficult.  If he had gotten ill like this before this day of technology he would have grown up to be basically uneducated, or at least undereducated.  Now, we file paperwork, pay his library fines, then we signed him up for my favorite online curriculum, pick a few novels we want to read together, and we’re good.  He’s struggling getting back into a routine after spending so much time just laying in bed unable to do anything, but now he can work at his own pace.  Two days ago the school was harassing us about incomplete coursework and excessive absences, today we learned about electrical currents, java applets, and started reading about the Holocaust.  Amazing the information we have access to so easily.  Technology miracle anyone?

It is inspiring me to keep focused on the online music courses I am still working on.  I think I just found my test subject!  Shameless plugs:  I love www.time4learning.com through Odessy Learning,  and I hope to finish the coursework for www.learnmusicathome.com – that now is at least online, and somewhat mobile compatible.  A lot of work still to do.

Pre-school

Went to “online” pre-school registration  today.  Picked up the technology that will allow the computer to teach my kid.  I am so excited.  Their “average” student learns to read in pre-school.  All this with a “free” public education!

If you think about it, not only is it super cool that your average parent and a computer can teach a 4 year old to read, but not that many years ago one of the main arguments against teaching black people and women to read is that they were too “stupid” and therefore “incapable” of learning.

In my book club we just read “The Witch of Blackbird Pond” where it illustrated the mindset of the day.  The parents were actually shocked and downright skeptical that their daughter was capable of learning to read and write her name.  Today many 2 and 3 year olds do that with confidence.  I am very happy to live in this day and age where we have confidence in everyone’s ability to learn.  What would they say if they saw today where computers teach us so much?  We’d all be witches.

I’m going to restrain myself from going into educational options and what works and doesn’t work and why.  So I’m limiting this particular post to the cool option for one of his pre-school experiences to be online at home, and the effectiveness of the scores they are averaging.