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Can You Keep Up?

May 18, 2011

On Monday I made a trip to a meeting of the British Columbia Committee for Undergrad Programme in Mathematics and Statistics (BCCUPMS). This committee examines mathematics articulation agreements between post secondary institutions within British Columbia and Yukon under the BC Council for Admissions and Transfers (BCCAT)

After reflecting on the meetings events, I was amazed by the number of people with laptops. It was not because so many people had laptops but the increase in the number of laptops at the meeting. I am sure that when I went to my first BCCUPMS meeting in 2003 there were less than 3 of them in the room. At this meeting I think there were around 20 laptops being used by the 30 or so people in the room. These numbers are estimates as I did not really count at either meeting and it did not really strike me as “different” until I thought about it.

The concentration of laptops made me reflect on the way technology has been integrated into our lives. It is becoming as much a part of our day as the meals we eat and the water we drink. On the plane ride home I had some time to reflect on how much I had relied/used my laptop and iPhone over the course of the day. In all honesty my reflective time is likely due to the requirement to place my iPhone in airplane mode and a short flight which did not give time to play Angry Birds.

Let me outline some of the activities throughout the day …

  • Alarm clock (iPhone)
  • Checked email (iPhone and laptop)
  • Made correction to my blog (laptop)
  • Sent a retweet about my blog (iPhone)
  • Checked text messages from Scout leaders (iPhone)
  • Email sent to Cub Scout Parents (laptop)
  • Text received from leaders (iPhone)
  • Tweeted about #BCCUPMS meeting (laptop)
  • Searched iTunes to check out the Wolfram Alpha app (iPhone)
  • Checked email for work (laptop) and home (iPhone)
  • Examined statistics on current math programs (laptop)
  • Used Google Maps to time to get from Vernon to Kelowna Airport (iPhone)
  • Found alternate  route to airport due to accident (iPhone)
  • Checked in to my flight using Air Canada app (iPhone)
  • Used Shazam app to find the name and lyrics for a song I thought my son would like (iPhone)
  • Grabbed a geocache on the way to airport (iPhone)
  • Used electronic boarding pass (iPhone)
  • Tuned into a Detroit station using TuneIn Radio in Kelowna (TuneIn Radio)
  • Tried to use Skype to say good night to my son but settled on audio (iPhone)
  • Searched for a the one song I was dying to hear using TuneIn Radio while in Kelowna (iPhone)
  • Listened to an Australian radio station while in Vancouver using TuneIn Radio (iPhone)
  • Used electronic pass to board the plane (iPhone)
  • Called my family to let them know I was leaving the airport (iPhone)
  • Checked to see if I needed to moderate any posts on this blog (iPhone)
  • Last check of Twitter for the night (iPhone)
  • Time to recharge (iPhone)
Of course after reading this list you may say … “so what” and I do not blame you. My points are  …
  1. When I first attended the BCCUPMS meeting in 2003 I could not do any of the items above except check my email. Indeed 1 year ago I could not do any of the items listed above except by using a laptop as I did not have a cell phone let alone a smart phone. Access is key and the mobility helps.
  2. Access to information was vital for my day. This one day was full of the exchange of music, thoughts of others, boarding passes, phone calls, maps, emails and texts. All provided quickly and easily.
  3. If this was my day … what was the day of a connected student like? While I am comfortable with the technology I am sure I am not in the same place as a high school student. I would love to see their list.
  4. Times are changing quickly. If anyone thinks they will wait to catch the technology bus they had better run as it has left the station.I am trying to keep up. How about you?
Time to listen to that station from down under again. I was really enjoying the accents 🙂

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Brian Bailey permalink
    May 25, 2011 10:34 am

    Just loved this article! Have shared with a bunch of teachers who I’ve been having similar discussions with over the past few weeks. Exciting times and it’s for real this time…tipping point has been reached. Who knows what’s next?! Exciting possibilities for those willing and able to seize the moment.

  2. May 25, 2011 12:00 pm

    Thanks for the comments. It was interesting this weekend as we bought a TV. I thought how hard can this be. I don’t really watch as I can only take so much passive interaction but my son loves Discovery Channel and how can you not support that.

    Anyway, when we went to the store I was amazed that there are TVs which can access Twitter, Facebook, Google Talk, Skype and a host of other applications via wifi. This had me more interested and in the end we made a purchase.

    As a side note … I “Skyped” my mother in New Brunswick and was pretty neat talking on the big screen. I sort of felt like Captain Kirk talking to the Romulan commander.

    There is no doubt things are changing.

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