Who’s afraid of the big bad iPad?

How often do we find ourselves afraid of something because we are ill prepared? We fear it because we don’t understand it or because it challenges us to change our comfortable way of living and thinking. There are a number of administrators, teachers, parent and students who feel this way about incorporating technology into the classrooms.

When technology meets children they are propelled into a world of wonder, challenges, immediate rewards and instant gratification. Who doesn’t want to hear encouragement and earn rewards on their quest to becoming the best of the best?
Some of the challenges with technology is how rapid it changes, how slow we are to embrace it, fears of over exposure to the world and its potential dangers. Conversely, the good things are instant answers, exposure to other experiences, the ability to reach out to people on the other side of the world which has completely changed business, training and now slowly but surely the educational model.

One school district in my area issued iPads to some of their students. Initially parents were concerned about the cost, responsibility that it placed on their children to keep up with the iPad, potential breakage along with not fully understanding how the devices would assist in the educational process. The parents were not comfortable with the teachers’ ability to incorporate technology into the learning process. They parents expressed valid concerns.

How do educators successfully integrate technology with the curriculum? This is new territory. There has been research conducted on the subject of incorporating technology into the classroom and the most effective route to increasing student’s usage, the effectiveness of technology on learning as well as other topics along this vein.

As we continue to speed towards an increasing usage of technology in the classroom, we can embrace the fears and realize the technology will not blow our house down but with the usage of the right software, we can build a house that is able to withstand strong winds.

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First Date Do’s and Don’ts

I met this guy a few months ago. We’ve talked and texted since then but due to our schedules and let’s face it, lack of any real effort we went out for the first time recently. After I write this article I really should write one that helps you determine if the person is date worthy.
I’m not new to dating. I’ve had several first dates that never led to a second date. I’m not a serial dater but I consider my time valuable and can’t see spending hours with a person I never want to see again, because they seem nice but have no substance or are self-absorbed. First dates can be awkward. But there are things you can do to lessen the awkwardness and increase the chances of there being a second date.

Shall we number these? Sure, why not?

1. Resist the urge stare at your date – seems like a no brainer right? If it wasn’t occurring I wouldn’t add it to my list. My last two dates sat across from me and stared. One with the intention of making me uncomfortable. He was trying to, “see my soul through my eyes.” It reminded me of staring contests I would get into with my honeygirl when she was a toddler. She had uncanny ability to not blink. I always lost therefore I never accepted that particular challenge from anybody else. What’s the point anyway? Heck, I like blinking. The other person was much more smooth with his staring and even gave me a line upfront, “I’m not staring, I’m observing.” Call it what you want it still results in making your date uncomfortable.

2. If you are going to insist on the other person selecting the place then don’t complain or worse wait until you get to the restaurant to let them know how much you dislike their selection. “Why didn’t you say something two hours ago when I made the suggestion?” ” I didn’t want to offend you.” I can fully appreciate not wanting to offend someone, irritating them is a much better option.

3. Allow the other person to talk. I know you and your life are fascinating but there’s something so engaging about dialogue. If you don’t ruin the first date you might get a second one and can use that date to tell the other person how smart, talented and wonderful you are.

4. Keep your assets to yourself. I’m not using that as a metaphor. Unless you are looking for a gold digger it’s not necessary to list all of your assets on the first date. I understand you want to appear successful but unless you are giving out one of your many houses or putting my name on your large bank account, I honestly don’t care.

5. Don’t talk about your ex. I had one guy insist on taking me out for my birthday as our first date. He spent an hour ranting about his ex whom he had been divorced from for three years. Another one actually called his ex and the mother of his children a bitch. If you will call her a name what’s to keep you from calling me one? We aren’t friends and I’m not your confidante. Get over your ex or at the very least don’t disrepect them in front of your date.

6. Be yourself but not all of yourself. Save the revelation of fetishes, quirks and anything else that may abruptly end the potential relationship until the third date. Those things may seem charming and eclectic instead of weird and strange by then.

7. Hold off on the selfies or usies. I don’t like the thought of my face being plastered all over someone’s social media outlets. Call me old-fashioned. Let’s add, don’t take unauthorized photos either. One of my friends mentioned something about a guy taking pictures of her toe cleavage without asking her and it was on the first date. Had he waited to reveal his foot fetish until the third date who knows what could have happened between them.

8. Be “normal”- Use your active listening skills. Make brief eye contact, smile and even laugh a little.

9. Enjoy the silence. Every moment of a date doesn’t have to be filled with conversation. It may seem awkward at first but give it a try. This is not an opportunity to manipulate or intimidate the other person. “I’m going be quiet and stare at you until you talk.” It’s givng an opportunity to chew your food, enjoy the music or think about something intriguing you just said.

If you have any others to add feel free to leave them in the comments. Thanks for stopping by.

Ode to My Honeygirl

Tomorrow she turns 12. It doesn’t seem that long ago that the teenager and I were at reading time when I went into labor. I waited until it was over, got him buckled in the van, gave him some graham crackers and a drink then I called my doctor. Thirteen hours of labor later, she was born. It was around 1am.

I was tired and hungry, how did they expect a pregnant woman to survive so many hours on ice chips? I looked over at her held her for a moment to count all of her fingers and toes (why do we do that?) and give her a quick snuggle then handed her to her dad then asked the nurse to please give me something to eat. It’s the middle of the night in the hospital and the cafeteria was closed so I had to settle for graham crackers, peanut butter and grape juice but I digress.

She had to go to the NICU because she swallowed meconium during her slow trip down the canal. A short time later, I walked down to see her and hold her. I looked in her eyes and realized the five and a half months of being sick, laying on my couch in the dark and not being able to eat anything other than mashed potatoes with gravy and a biscuit were not worth the trauma (just kidding…maybe).

She has grown into a vivacious, quick-witted, artsy, loving, don’t get in my space unless invited, long story telling (detailed oriented?) intelligent, perceptive young lady. I constantly remind her that she is, by far, my favorite daughter. She’s everything I could ask for in a daughter plus a couple of other things that I never would have asked for but apparently need in order to balance our lives. She walks slow, taking in her surroundings, picking up flower and admiring rocks. She has always had a thing for rocks. Her eyes would light up and she would get excited and almost giddy if the rock was shiny. She has an extensive collection of rocks. She will pull one out periodically to admire its shape, color and luster.

When she was a baby, I would sing these words to her, “You are so beautiful to me. You’re everything I hoped for; you’re everything I need. You are so beautiful to (mommy)…” – Ray Charles

I am glad to have been chosen to be her mom.

Happy Birthday to you my dear sweet Honeygirl. I love you!