When I think about what a “day in the life” looks like for me regarding technology, the first thought to pop into my head was the 9 to 5 theme song (praise Dolly Parton). I use technology from the moment I wake up, until I go to sleep. The 9 to 5 workday has blurred the lines between our professional and personal lives thanks to having direct access to all of our files, contacts, conversations and information all in one place. The pandemic heightened the need to be able to connect digitally, however it became almost an expectation to have instant responses regardless of the time of day or day of the week.
I’d like to compare my use of technology to my husband’s because it is clear that opposites attract. When it comes to digital applications, I am someone who cannot have unread notifications on my phone for very long. My husband has over 2000 unread emails on his email app and it kills me slowly every time I see it. My hundreds of OneDrive files are neatly organized into subjects, units, assignments and so on, and my husband has 50 random documents on his desktop from 2011 to 2022. I believe that people who use technology in both their personal and professional lives have an advantage compared to those who don’t. This is simply because of exposure to multiple different applications and the time spend using the programs and devices.
Technology has completely embedded itself in my daily life. As a younger millennial born in 1995 I grew up with technology as it was evolving from the chunky, slow, desktop computer, to the state-of-the-art smartphones in our pockets. I also identify with a lot of “Zillennial” pop culture content a.k.a my love for Tiktok, but I still remember a time when technology did not rule our lives. I have learned and grown alongside technology. I have a decent understanding of utilizing technology both in my personal and professional life and I continually learn new tools and platforms as they become available.
A normal morning for me looks like this Monday-Friday.
6:30 AM – The alarm goes off on my iPhone sitting on my wireless charger stand with my iWatch and Airpods (Sorry to the androids users if you’re reading this)
7:00 AM – Listen to music through my iHome speaker while I get ready for the day and make breakfast (Big Swifty over here waiting for a double album drop on Friday the 13th…fingers crossed) During this time I have also checked numerous apps such as the weather, news, and apps with notifications and probably sent a message or two.
7:30 AM – Listen to a podcast through my apple car play on my 30-minute commute to the city from my home at Last Mountain Lake (Today explained, Papaya Podcast, Social Studies Podcast, Dear Hank & John, DST, Unlady Like just to name a few).
8:00 AM – Arrive at school, enter my classroom, turn on my projector, log in to my school device and open the numerous websites that I use on a daily basis as a teacher who has gone mostly paperless planning-wise.
- Planboard (Online day planning website)
- MSS for attendance
- Seesaw (Student portfolio & digital assignments)
- Outlook – Emails from staff and parents
- Microsoft Teams for morning announcements
- Powerpoint for Morning Meeting
- Wordle & Canuckle for our daily word game
Before my students have even walked in the door I have set up my day utilizing technology and it doesn’t stop there. However, I still like to have a balance of both hands-on learning, physical copies, and digital learning within the classroom. Throughout the school year, my students have gained so many new digital skills, and my hope is that they transfer those abilities to their future classes.
I am consistently connecting with people in a digital way. My students and I connect digitally through Seesaw, and during the height of the pandemic, we connected in a way that we never thought possible. The skills I acquired during online teaching have been transferable to my online master’s classes such as this one. I connect with coworkers and parents digitally mostly through email. And, I connect with friends and family through various social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Messenger, and Tiktok.
I know that for my own mental health, having some time away from my devices serves me very well. I often feel that I have so much screen time during the week at work and at home, that I really try to take advantage of the weekend and stay off of the computer, limit my scrolling time and enjoy a tv show or a movie distraction-free with my phone sitting in another room. I am starting to think that a scheduled digital detox would be something to consider when I am feeling at my lowest. I would love to hear if anyone has similar or different daily experiences than I do regarding technology use. Maybe it’s less, maybe it’s more. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts!