While this is not a post about technology in the classroom, it is a post about technology at home! Many people ask me what we do when I tell them that we cut our phone and cable bills. This is not an advertisement – it is simply a post for what our family did. There are many other great tools out there…these are just the ones that we use!
A few years back we decided to cut some of our bills. First, we got rid of our daily paper. I loved reading the paper each morning – but decided to use the time for my devotional reading instead and I don’t miss it. Every morning I use my YouVersion app to read the Bible. I like the extended reading plans they offer. Right now I am reading through the “Historical” version of the Bible through a year. “Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to read the Old Testament in ancient Israel? Or, the New Testament as the books were written? In this plan, the order of the Old Testament readings is very similar to Israel’s Hebrew Bible, progressing from Law to Prophets to Writings. The New Testament ordering is based upon research regarding the order in which the books were authored. Although this research is not conclusive, it may offer helpful insights to your Bible reading.” (YouVersion)
Second, we got rid of our landline phone. This was a hard one for us. I wanted to use cell phones only, and my husband wanted a landline. Yet we both agreed that we didn’t like paying for a service we simply were not using. So, we purchased an Ooma.
Simply plug one end into your high speed Internet, and one end into your phone. Click HERE to learn more. The unit does cost $149.99 for the initial unit, but this has definitely paid for itself. We have used it now for a few years. The voice quality is great. You do have to continue to pay for your Internet service and you will be billed for state and local taxes and surcharges (ours is about $6.50 a month). That is certainly cheaper than what we use to pay for our phone service.
Finally, we saved by discontinuing our TV cable service. We wondered what life would be like without a regular TV but I am so happy we did! I don’t miss it at all. Not only do we have more time in the day (because we aren’t sitting in front of the TV!), we can still watch all the shows we would want to watch on our own time schedule by using a Roku. Now, I must let you know that if you are a sports fan or enjoy watching the news, this may not be a good choice for you. We can only watch shows once they have aired. However, if I feel that I really need a news update, I can stream online to a local news station.
Roku streams content through your high speed Internet to your TV or monitor. We do pay a $7.99 monthly fee for Hulu Plus but that is certainly cheaper than our cable bill.
Today is the 27th of February.
There are 27 million slaves in the world today.
Every minute, two children are sold into slavery. Slavery still exists. It is estimated that human trafficking alone generates annual profits of around $32 billion. (ILO) In 1850, the cost of a save was around $40,000 in our current currency. Today, the price of a slave is $90. (Free the SaveS) “The victims most vulnerable are children and women who are sold, bonded, trafficked, subjected to commercial sexual exploitation, recruited into armed conflicts and forced to work as domestic workers.” (Anti-Savery.net, End It)
What can you do? The first step is to take action and be a voice – END IT. Draw a red x on your hand, take a selfie, and post it on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with the hashtag #enditmovement . Help spread the word through social media. Read more about it here.
Here are a few links so that YOU can be more informed!
Strive to Free (Sacramento based)
Origin Coffee & Tea (Rocklin based)
Agape International Missions
Next, once you are informed, find out how to can help END IT. Volunteer your time? Give of your money or resources? What can YOU do?
Congratulations goes to… Sandra Schmatjen, adjunct faculty in Mathematics! She attended several of our on-campus tech trainings and I know she was super excited to win! “I am definitely looking forward to finding all the fun and educational things I can do with the MINI…I have my work cut out for me!”
What should she do next with her new iPad? Head on over to The Instructor’s Toolkit and 24 of My Favorite Apps for some great ideas. 21st Century Skills will also have a mixture of web 2.0 and app ideas. In fact, if you didn’t win, these tools are for you, too, as many are web based! Go ahead…check them out!
Do you have a hard time finding pictures, music, or videos that you can use? Try the Creative Commons Search Tool.
Just type in a word that describes what you would like to find, and then whether you intend to use it for commercial purposes or to modify or adapt it. Click the name of the search engine you would like Creative Commons to use. As an example, I typed in the word “bicycle” and chose the Pixabay image engine. It came up with 400 results. I narrowed the results down by choosing “photo” for image type rather than clipart or vector and that narrowed it down to 266 images. I chose this one because I thought it was unique!
Please note that Creative Commons does not control the content returned. It is still up to you to verify that the work is under the CC license. But it is a great tool and helps find Creative Commons resources easier than without it!
I am giving you a little peek into what is coming at WJU – Digital Storytelling. What is digital storytelling? It is telling a story through digital means. Everyone has a story to tell. It may be a life-story. But digital storytelling can mean so much more: scholarly storytelling (sharing research in a given field), documentaries, narratives, and essays. Digital storytelling combines the story with multimedia – graphics, audio, and video. It helps the story come to life. I know our faculty has stories to share – whether it is course content, or memoirs. Imagine sharing your content from a particular point of view – how impacting that would be!
ACU has been very successful at training their faculty in the art of digital storytelling. Watch the above video as a faculty member from the Theology department discusses how he has used the training in his course.
You know you’re a teacher when…you love paper products. It may sound silly – but I love paper products…sticky notes, pens, pencils, journals, paper clips, fasteners! You may not agree, but I’ve been told that most teachers enjoy paper products! That’s one reason I love this technology tool ~ Adonit Jot Script. I am a big Penultimate fan because I enjoy handwriting notes using my iPad. I like the feature of being able to write by hand, as well as sync to my computer or send off quickly in an email. But one thing that bothered me in the past was illegible writing with my finger or clumsy stylus.
No more! Adonit Jot Script (watch video here) is a fine point stylus for iOS. It boasts a 1.9mm tip.
It does require Bluetooth, but works on all iOS devices. I enjoy it because writing is so much more precise.
Thinking about a cool Valentine’s Day gift? This is a great choice!