Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A Robot to Clean My House.

I just read an article in CNN Tech News about a robot being developed by MIT that can distinguish between different items. They propose that robots could pick up items around the house, match shoes, and put them away in closets. This is the dream of anyone who has to deal with the daily clutter in their home. I’m all for it!

I’ve been intrigued by Roombas for a long time. I would love to have one. Unfortunately, I live in a split level home with carpet so it wouldn’t work well for me. However, this is one use of technology that I wholeheartedly support. I hate cleaning and would love to have a robot to do it for me.

When I was a kid, The Jetsons was a very popular TV show. I watched it every week. I was enthralled by the technology invisioned on the show.  They had a robot named Rosie who took care of all the chores in their house. I thought that would be wonderful. I also am a fan of J. D. Robb who writes about Eve Dallas, a homicide detective in the near future. House droids are common in their lives. Now it sounds like technology is advancing in a way that a house robot might be a part of the future. Sign me up!

Friday, August 31, 2018

We Did It!

It’s the last day of August which means it’s also the last day of BlaugustReborn.  My goal was to write every single day this month, and I did it! It felt good to get back to writing. I had missed it. It was also fun to think about the technology around me and how it brings joy into our lives. I enjoyed seeing posts of others who participated in this event. My sincere gratitude to everyone involved who made this such a wonderful experience.

So what now? Writing every single day will be impossible to maintain. However, I love writing so I want to keep this blog going. I’m hoping to post once a week moving forward. I know that I will continue to see the differences in the ways generations embrace and/or reject technology. I’m sure I’ll have an opinion about that. To my fellow bloggers, thanks for sharing your talents on this journey! As always, continue your joy of technology. I know I will!

Have you found your tech joy today?

#BlaugustReborn

Thursday, August 30, 2018

#EduZero


I wrote in an earlier post about school and technology so you may have already read my thoughts on the subject.  It was probably clear that, as a former educator, I feel strongly that students need technology integrated into their learning. I recently read a blog post that went even further. This post was encouraging all of us to educate the heart of the student.

I believe this! We have to care for our students and help them find their passion. All of us have a responsibility to make sure they are encouraged and supported as they explore their world in an effort to discover what they’re good at and what they enjoy.  This is especially true when working with teens. It’s such a difficult time for them. We have to pay attention to their mental health as well as their physical health.

Travis Jordan, the author of the blog, puts it this way:

  • “So I kindly ask you to join me in launching a new challenge for the entire nation...#EduZero.  This doesn’t require you to pour ice cold water over your head or jump out of a moving car to dance. This simply asks you to make it your mission to reach as many children as you can. You don’t have to be an educator. You just have to have a beating heart. The objective is simple. This year in our nations schools we vow to make sure that ZERO passions go undiscovered. ZERO  stories of our students go unheard. ZERO  gifts go unwrapped. ZERO  students sitting alone. ZERO SUICIDES. I truly believe the more that we lift up, the less that will get knocked down by themselves or the violent acts of others.”
If you’d like to read more of the #EduZero post, you can find it here:

https://tjordan.org/2018/08/15/eduzero/

Technology will certainly be a part of the answer-from using it as a tool to ensuring healthy use of social media. It can be a lot of fun when used wisely. Please join us in this effort.

Have you found your tech joy today?

#BlaugustReborn
#EduZero

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Games on iPad

Even though I’m older, I like playing games. I used to play Viva PiƱata, Dance Dance Revolution, and Rock Band on XBox.  I loved playing Virtual Reality on my son’s Vive. Unfortunately, I have found that I don’t enjoy the frantic feeling I get when playing a lot of games.  (However, I can watch others play and really enjoy it.) I also don’t have a lot of time to devote to playing games. That’s why games on my iPad are more my speed.

It’s interesting that I prefer my iPad over my iPhone for some games.  I think if it’s a game that’s visually appealing that takes some dexterity to tap to play, I like my iPad more.  I’ve played quite a few farm games or city building games. Right now I play Township by Playrix. It’s held my interest for awhile. I like that I’m part of a league where we compete as a group. I’ll play until I get bored and move on to something else.  My favorite game right now is Diggy’s Adventures by Pixel Federation. I have been playing it every day for months. What I love about it is that, even though it’s a tap-to-play game, there are challenges that you have to figure out as you go. It breaks it up and makes it more interesting. There are also special events that are a fun and give you lots of rewards. It’s probably my favorite game!

I’d be interested to hear if you have any games you recommend for iPad. What gives you lots of joy as you play?

Have you found your tech joy today?

#BlaugustReborn

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Find a Young Person to Help You

We all bring our biases into situations. After all, we are a product of our experiences. Most of us realize that there are obviously stereotypes about older adults and their lack of technology skills. For younger generations, I can understand if they don’t question that stereotype if they have had limited experience with technologically-savvy older adults. Technology is such an integral part of young people’s identity that it usually comes naturally to them. So much of this obviously depends on their exposure to technology, but most of our schools have done a lot to ensure that students are skilled in technology.  Whenever I hear a young person assuming that older adults do not use or understand technology in their everyday lives, I try to understand where their viewpoint comes from even though I find it insulting.  As a result, I’m usually willing to overlook their bias; instead I will probably take the opportunity to educate them.

However, it irritates me when older people automatically assume that all of us need help with everyday technology. Last night I was at the Minnesota State Fair and attended a Beach Boys Concert with the Righteous Brothers as the opening act. Granted, there were a lot of gray-haired people in the audience, but I bumped up against a comment by Bill Medley from the Righteous Brothers. He asked the audience to find the flashlight on their phones, but then he made the comment that we should ask a young person to help us. I know he was being funny, but REALLY?? Please don’t reinforce the stereotype that we can’t handle technology. It’s great for anyone, no matter their age, to ask for help when they need it, but let’s not define assistance by age.  We should start presenting the expectation that ALL of us are technologically skilled. This will go a long way to change viewpoints of all age levels and to help people, who are hesitant to try new things, venture out into this new realm of growth. 

It was really beautiful to see all the phones lit up during the concert so it was a fantastic idea. This was a great example of the way technology can bring you joy, but let’s leave age out of it. I hope we can all promote the use of technology for everyone. We all need more joy in our lives.

Have you found your tech joy today?

#BlaugustReborn


Monday, August 27, 2018

iPhone Apps: Keeping Your Mind Sharp

As an older user of technology, I often see ads for iPhone apps that are marketed as brain games. One of the games that I often see is Lumosity.  I’ve tried it, and it was okay. Unfortunately, there were 2 drawbacks for me: it was boring after awhile and you had to pay if you wanted the full game to give you more variety. I have found that I need something different to keep my brain sharp.

I take a different approach. I need vocabulary to make my mind stretch.  So I start every day with 4 word games.  All of these are free to play.

  1. 7 Little Words: I play the daily game and the bonus game. These are both free. In this game, you’re given clues for 7 words. You then have to put pieces together to make these words. It is very challenging at times. I often think I don’t know the answers at all but I keep working at it...and it suddenly falls into place. This really challenges my brain.
  2. Monkey Wrench: This also has a daily and bonus game each day. It’s probably my favorite word game. It’s similar to the previous game, but there are a lot more words to find. It’s hard to explain this game so check it out for yourself.
  3. Red Herring: This is a game of categories. I play this game on the easiest level which gives you the categories. The harder ones do not! I’ve found that I need those headers in order to do this, but it’s still fun.
  4. Word Search Pro: The last game I do on my iPhone every day is this word search game. I’ve tried several, but this is my favorite.
I like challenging my brain to keep it sharp. This is such a great way to use technology to start my day!

Have you found your tech joy today?

#BlaugustReborn

Sunday, August 26, 2018

What Will It Take?

Today gamers came together in Florida to share their love for a video game at a tournament. It was a time to compete, have fun, and marvel at the talents of those participating whether you were in house or watching on Twitch. Unfortunately, it became the site of a tragic mass shooting. What will it take for us to do what is needed to stop this from happening in our country?

The time for “thoughts and prayers” has come and gone. Much more needs to be done. I believe very strongly that we have to do something to change the gun laws. I also believe that we need to do more to help those with mental health issues. For me, these efforts must go hand-in-hand as we work to resolve the issues. Whatever you believe to be the issue, there is something you can do.

I believe we can bring about change with our vote. I ask everyone to research their candidates on these issues and vote for those who are committed to make the changes needed to end these tragedies. You can also help by reaching out to friends and family to encourage them to vote this year. 

I normally ask that everyone look for some joy every day in technology. Today there is no joy-only sadness. This post is dedicated to those who were killed and injured at the tournament today. 

#BlaugustReborn