What did we do before…?

I know that it seems silly to rave about how technology has changed our lives, but I think that it’s important for those of us who may be “digital immigrants” to reflect on the changes. It’s very easy to forget how quickly technology changes our lives.

I am currently in Bonito, Brazil hanging out at the pool writing this blog post. Bonito is a very small town near the Paraguayan border and it’s not exactly considered high tech. Bonito is known for its natural beauty and outdoor adventure activities (I probably shouldn’t even have brought my laptop). How long has it even been possible for people to access a wireless network here in Bonito?

What did we do before…

  • Skype allowed us to interview teacher candidates? This year I have interviewed teachers who have been in China, Korea, the United States, Turkey, Malaysia, Myanmar, Taiwan and the majority of our hires have come via Skype interviews and online reference checks. Who needs the job fairs anymore?
  • digital book readers were invented? I recently entered the digital print world by reading my first book on my new iPad. I don’t see myself going back to paper books any time in the near future. What a great option for those of us who are overseas and find it hard to get current books (in English).
  • GPS navigators allow us to go anywhere without knowing how to get there? I panicked when I couldn’t find our GPS navigator because it is a necessity in Sao Paulo. Before having the navigator I used to get directions in Google Maps and download them to my smart phone. Before that I used to print out the maps and directions.
  • video rentals were available for download? My children downloaded rental movies through iTunes so that they could watch movies on our iPad during the car trip to Rio de Janeiro. No need for the in car DVD player.
  • tools like Skype and Google Docs were available for us to use with outside consultants?  At school, we believe that we can work with a consultant via Skype, Google Docs and other tools rather than have him/her visit our campus. Think of the benefits that this model provides us with. Instead of bringing someone in for a few days, we can work with the person over several week or months.
  • Facebook connected us with friends that we have not seen in years. I love the fact that I am communicating with friends from high school via Facebook. Who needs a reunion?
  • before cloud technology allowed us to save files online? I recently had a third hard drive crash on my laptop and I never once worried about losing files. All of my files are saved in Live Mesh. I finally learned my lesson after losing a hard drive the day before an important presentation.

What examples do you have in your personal/professional life?

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