Some people call me tech-savvy. Some call me digitally-connected. (No one calls me Maurice.)
But some make the mistake that I engage in technology for technology's sake. I don't. I can't. As the eminent 21st-century philosopher, Sweet Brown says, "Ain't nobody got time for that!"
I do invest time in learning about technology, true. And not all technology I research will be useful to me, also true. But the technologies I consistently engage are those which bear some usefulness to me - aside from being cool gadgetry. (Even if sometimes the purpose is entertainment.)
For example, blogs like this one. I don't blog just to be blogging. I blog to record ideas for teaching or research to which I can return later. I blog to share ideas with my colleagues. I blog to provide resources for students' projects and assignments. In fact, the main audience for my blogging is me. I don't have the illusion that millions of people are waiting to see what I might write. (And if I had such and illusion, I could just look at the blogger stats and be disabused of such notions.) But if I DO become famous for my blog, then so be it.
So, let me share a few ways I use technology for my own benefit - and to share ideas with others. These are not all the tech tools I use, but a sample to show that your tech usage can actually be a time-saver rather than a time waster.
Delicious to archive all my bookmarks. I categorize my bookmarks with "tags" so I can retrieve internet resources easily for my own research, or to share with students or colleagues. For example, if my students ask where they can find "legal use" images for their presentations, I just send them a link to the Delicious Links I tagged "Images for Multimodal Composition" and voila! they have access to thousands upon thousands of copyright-free images! Do you have an unruly set of bookmarks? Try Delicious.com.
ScoopIt! to help me handle all the articles that I have read, and need to read again - or use in class or research. Someone recently asked me how I knew about a certain digital tool, and I said, "Well, I read a lot." And I try - but reading in my field can be overwhelming - so i use ScoopIt! to help me handle all the articles from magazines, newspapers, blogs, etc. I save articles related to Digital technology in a "topic" category called "From Chalkboards to Smartphones." Then, all those articles are in one place for me when I want to return to them for research. Maybe this tool will be helpful to you as well.
Lastly, I let an "aggregation app" called Pulse organize my news for me so I can quickly skim articles so I can stay current in various topics (like news, tech, sports, travel, etc.) from selected publications (like the NY Times, Smithsonian , The Atlantic, ESPN, WIRED, CNET, Gizmodo, Boing boing, or the Food Network.) And, because I have the app on my phone, I can skim the day's news while having a cup of coffee or eating lunch. Here's what my Pulse feed - for tech sources I selected - looks like on my desktop: