Up in the Clouds . . .

“It is better to have your head in the clouds, and know where you are… than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think that you are in paradise.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Summer free time has caused me to develop a new addiction. This techie teacher is now completely attached to her new iPad. My school provided the iPads to the teachers so that we had the summer to learn all about them. I am swept up in the “it can do everything” mentality and I already feel lost without it.

The first day proved that what they say is true, there is an app for everything. Plus, it is easy to surf the net, listen to music, watch videos, read books, keep a detailed contact list, and organize your life with calendars, notes and to do lists.

Learning is fun on the iPad with interactive online learning sites, games and numerous teaching/learning apps. Plus, the wonderful iTunesU provides a constantly growing number of educational courses and you can even take university classes for free. My iPad is also a major research center .. it is a dictionary, an encyclopedia, a weather station, atlas and direction provider as well as a “how to” finder.

Many iPad lovers are addicting to the games. However, it is also productive providing tools for video conferencing, taking digital photos and video, word processing, spreadsheets, diagramming, note taking, video and photo editing, and creating presentations.

Communication with others is simple via email, messaging, skype phone, etc… Convenience is the key element. Everything is on one device that is easy to use. In addition, you file are stored in the “clouds” and are accessible any where and on your other devices which makes sharing with others easy. I am composing this post on my iPad.

(Have I sold you an iPad, yet? I probably should have disclosed at the beginning that have been a fan of Apple my entire life, I grew up with them. My dream job would be working for Apple.)

“There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds. ~ G.K. Chesterton”

As wonderful and amazing as I may find this new tech device, I am also having small twinges of concern about our digital world. (or, maybe it comes with age?)
Do you realize how much of our modern world is completely digital?

We are quickly heading to a world where we no longer need physical copies of anything .. books, movies or music. Just this week on the radio I heard a conversation about the possibility of doing away with currency (switch to digital money only), claims that in the very near future dictionaries will no longer be printed. Less and less music is purchased in the form of CDs …in fact, with the cloud and music sites that allow you to stream and design your own radio channels, there is less of a need to purchase it even digitally. Book stores around the country are closing as digital books and online purchasing grows.
Movies too are digital and with Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and the many other video websites, who needs to own a physical copy?

No more video cassettes and CDs littering our homes and landfills is a great thing. Despite that, with everything stored in a digital cloud … does anyone else have concerns or worries about what would happen if something catastrophic would happen to our digital world? How much of our culture, music, photos, videos, and written words would be lost to the world for ever? How difficult would it be to access the surviving treasures?

Personally, I would feel much better if there was some place that was storing everything in a physical copy, just in case. I don’t believe it is because I am older (well, maybe a little bit) … I love tech and find all the new innovations exciting. I grew up in an ever-changing techie world. However, in my techie world I was taught caution. I remember the days when technology crashed regularly. SOS (save often stupid) was a poster on the college computer lab wall. We also saved more than one copy in different places and even printed out our work to have a hard copy .. just in case.

These days, it feels like we have gotten a bit complacent about how safely stored everything is in the clouds (not with regards to security and privacy – that is another topic for another post). I really think some of the old school technology philosophy should return .. especially that of duplicate, physical copies .. just to be safe.

“The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn’t it be? – it is the same the angels breathe.” ~Mark Twain

~ by bearyweather on July 28, 2012.

11 Responses to “Up in the Clouds . . .”

  1. Love those quotes, especially the first one!
    I have never used an ipad…glad you love yours!

    • Suzi, you will have to try one … go visit an Apple store and play with one for a little bit … there are so many fun things for young kids … and us older kids, too.

  2. I find the iPad and iPhone fascinating, but I live right at the very edge of wireless service and therefore taking full advantage of either isn’t possible. I do love my iMac though, even with pretty slow internet DSL.

    • Yes, they are fascinating and fun. I spent about $50 and installed a wireless router in my house to use my iPad (it is easy to do yourself). My home computer is still hard wired (because the speed is faster) and the wireless in my house is working great. I always bring the iPad with me when I go to a town … there is free wireless access at many businesses and especially restaurants.

  3. Soon they will also not be hard copy books and papers too. For everything we use soft copies with digital signatures as well. Yes, caution is important coz we never can trust the servers. Systems can go down. Network can crash. Backups are important. By the way, congrates for getting the iPad. Its a wonder piece! 🙂

  4. SOS…. lol! I haven’t seen/heard that in ages. I often wonder the same thing about everything going digital. I’m still reading “dead tree” books, but I imagine one of these days someone will buy an e-reader or an iPad for me, and that will be that.

    I wouldn’t mind having an iPad, but it’s the cost that keeps me from it.

    • I put off buying an iPad because of cost and because I knew a “better” one would probably come out right after I indulged. I have a really great apple desktop … did not think I needed anything else. However, I am really enjoying it. I have read some free books on it .. .I love the options for font size, lighting, bookmarking, highlighting …. , but prices of digital books are higher than I am used to paying … I like used books for $1.00 so I don’t think I will give up my dead tree books for awhile

  5. When I met Michaela (my blogging friend) at the local coffee shop she had an Ipad. I lusted. The kids at our small school will be experiencing Ipads this year. I still lust. Having read your blog, I am lusting even more.

    • Rumors have it a new version will be out by Christmas … tuck your pennies away. I bet you will be able to fulfill your lust and get yourself an older model for a steal come then. Or, maybe the school will get you one, too?
      Mine belongs to the school, so I am not putting personal things on it and if I do I toss it …. I really think I might buy a personal one of my own come
      Christmas time …

  6. The world is changing quite rapidly these days- I remember watching the original Star Trek series as a kid and marveling at the communicators they used. Cell phones are now even more advanced than those!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: