I was inspired by this article in the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/mar/28/martin-freeman-celebrity-squares to ask two of my fellow learning technologists what their favourite pieces of technology were. One answer was the 13″ MacBook Pro, the other was a label making machine. These two different answers seem to be at different ends of the spectrum of technology although both have their uses.
But without a clear purpose for technology new inventions can fall by the wayside. Just a quick Google (one technology that hasn’t failed) and I can pull up a list by Computer World which interestingly includes e-Readers as a failed technology: http://tinyurl.com/yftpb3j.
E-Readers are one of the technologies used within DUCKLING and it’s safe to say that we have explored, researched and developed the content and approaches to using these e-readers with our students with success. Beyond Distance have had a clear aim and purpose with e-readers, including increasing flexibility and mobility for students, and have been able to convert the uninitiated. While it might not become everyone’s favourite piece of technology we’ve been able to successfully highlight the benefits of e-Readers to students, lecturers and colleagues (particularly in Education and Psychology)
Your favourite piece of technology might be one that satisfies a certain purpose for you whether that’s reading an e-book or even labelling something. You might find that if you explore other technologies and their uses more, like we did with e-Readers, that you will find another piece of technology that becomes one of your favourites.
What’s my favourite piece of technology? Running through some of the different technologies that I own and use: Blackberry, Laptop, iPod Nano, DVD Recorder, Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop, Twitter, Digital Camera; I think that my favourite piece of technology would have to be my trustworthy Canon a1. Slightly old school (it’s older than I am) but it’s stood the test of time (hopefully I will too!) and I still aspire to create my own darkroom so I can process the film myself.
Do you have a favourite piece of technology?