Doing Things the Long Way

In many ways, technology can be time saving. Especially if you know the best way to use it!

Yesterday I attended and presented at the 2011 VITTA (Victorian Information Technology Teachers Association) Conference.

One of the sessions I attended was run by Andrew and Beverly from Mitcham Primary School. They gave a terrific presentation about using iPads in the junior primary classroom.

I learnt so much, but one of the simplest tips I took away was that you can sync more than one iPod/iPad at a time. The number of iDevices you can sync is simply limited to the number of USB ports you have.

This is the fourth year I have been using iPod Touches in the classroom and I can’t begin to imagine how many hours I have wasted by syncing the iPods one by one. At one stage I was in charge of updating eight iPod Touches which I did one at a time. I never thought to try to plug more than one in!


Today I was thinking about how people can go on for a very long time doing things the long way with technology. It’s not until you either try to find an easier way or someone tells you that you realise how easy something could be!

I recently informed another teacher that they didn’t have to type in a URL every time they wanted to visit a site, they could simply save it to favourites/bookmarks. This simple tip which is obvious to most of us made this teacher’s day!

I think it is important that we create a culture of sharing not only with our staff but with our students. I like to explicitly teach my students ICT skills, but I also encourage them to share their tips and discoveries with their peers.

If we have a culture of sharing, perhaps we’ll save too many people from “doing things the long way”!

What is something that you used to do the long way until you realised there was a simpler way?

Image attribution: ‘Who Else Has A Bright Idea?’

14 Replies to “Doing Things the Long Way”

  1. Nice post, Kath!

    I used to write letters by hand and mail them. Now I text, email, g-chat or skype.
    I used to search for tools and resources. Now I ask my twitter PLN.
    I used to transfer files via a USB drive, now I store them in the cloud via dropbox.
    I could go on and on…

    1. Mrs Kathleen Morris says: Reply

      @ Ed, so true! That sounds like the start of another blog post 🙂

  2. My students used to email and write to ‘experts’ in certain fields, now they Tweet them! During Science Week we tweeted @doctorkarl and got immediate feedback, last week it was @bondivet. Students love the immediate feedback and feel like they are talking to the expert! Follow us @7kate1

    1. Mrs Kathleen Morris says: Reply

      @ Kate, isn’t that terrific! I’ve only used Twitter with students a few times but I’d love to use it more (I’m a big Twitter user myself!) I will follow your class 🙂

  3. I used to save to Favorites now I always save links to Diigo and tag them so they are searchable and available from every computer or device that I use

    1. Mrs Kathleen Morris says: Reply

      Haha was wondering if someone was going to say that. I also use Diigo…a lot. Couldn’t live without it. I guess Favorites is a good starting point for beginners 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!

  4. senoritamurphy says: Reply

    Great post! I am so excited that I can sync more than one ipad! This is fantastic news. So just plug them both in and go for it?

    Time saving tips… Love Diigo and Delicious as well. Couldn’t live without them in my toolbar. Love using the back screen for searching on iPads and iphones now. With over 150 apps in folders and all over the place sometimes hard to find what you are looking for, find this way quicker to search that way. Also learned a new MAC trick during the week… The lights under the little icons in your dock tell you whether that application is open or not. Knowing what is open and closed is great for making what I am working on work faster (especially in iMovie!)

    Thanks for posting this Kathleen!

    1. Mrs Kathleen Morris says: Reply

      @ Aine,

      Yes, life before Diigo/Delicious was confusing and inefficient for heavy internet users like us! The iPad/iPod search is great too. Not sure about your Mac tricks but I’m sure they’ll be helpful to some!

  5. Oh Kath, I am sitting here feeling bad – I should have sent you a photo of my hub (that Jenny Ashby bought for us) that charges 6 at once! It would have been the one time I could’ve shared something back to you!

    1. Mrs Kathleen Morris says: Reply

      @ Gill, oh please don’t worry! I am just glad I know now! 🙂

      1. Do you have a class twitter account? My class got into a little bit of strife recently & I am curious to see how you would have handled it?

        1. Mrs Kathleen Morris says: Reply

          @ Gill, no sorry I don’t have a class Twitter account. I have been meaning to set up one but haven’t got around to it. I’m curious what sort of strife you got in to. I hope it wasn’t too bad!

  6. So true I recently overhead a colleague in a furious state after losing a bunch of work because he had pressed the wrong button. He started writing wehatever he had written again. I stopped him and showed him the ctrl-z undo function. He now thinks it is the most useful things he knows about computers. A classic.

    1. Mrs Kathleen Morris says: Reply

      @ Gary, that is a classic example of doing things the long way! Along those lines I just showed a colleague Control Y the other day (redo). Also a good time saving tool!

      Thanks for your comment,

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