Random Thoughts

One of those moments

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So Yesterday I get done writing about how society and our use of networks and technology is why school need to change and headed out to do some shopping and get some pictures printed off for family and friends.

We’ve been living overseas now for 5 (going on 6) years. Every summer when we return on holiday we find that America has moved even farther into the digital age. I’ll never forget 2 years ago when we came home ran into Wal-Mart to grab something real quick went to check out and walked up to an automatic check out machine. We both looked at each other trying to figure out what to do. We put our groceries down in the wrong spot and it told us to remove them. My wife then scanned a bottle of wine and alarms went off (Note to self don’t use an auto checkout machine when buying alcohol) we then had to wait for a person to come check our ID. In the end we felt we had been thrown 5 years into the future (which coming from Saudi Arabia wasn’t real difficult).

Yesterday offered up yet another experience. I had the ScanDisk card from our digital camera and went to Target to run off some photos we had taken of friends and family. I wondered around Target for 5 minutes trying to find the photo shop with no luck. So I asked a helpful person in the electronic center.

“Is there a place I can print some digital pictures?”

Answer: “Not in the store. You have to go to target.com upload the pictures there and then you can pick them up here tomorrow.”

Part of me is saying “How cool is that” and the other part of me is saying “That sucks!”

So we head to Wal-Mart, where you can print off digital pictures but if you went to walmart.com uploaded your picture and picked them up the next day they were half the price.

As I sit here now writing this and thinking back…I can’t believe how fast things change and how this connected network is being used in so many different ways. I enjoy coming back to the States every summer just to see how things have changed, how the advancements in technology are changing our lives and how we as a society are being asked to adjust to these new tools and this new network.


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I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. Jeff – I have lived overseas much of my early years, so I can relate. Yet, I am surprised about China. I thought China would be ahead of the U.S.

    I love to upload my pictures to Walmart.com. When we go on vacation, I will take digital pictures, upload them, and they will be waiting for me in the store to pick up when I get home (if I want hard copies). And, rather than me having to worry about backing them up on CD, they can do that for me too – less work on my part.

    What’s amazing to me is that children can’t imagine it any other way. This is how they live and breath – always talking and interconnecting. Yet, when they go to school – they are “disconnected.”

    Have you read any of Marc Prensky’s writings? I was able to hear him speak at NECC05 in Philadelpha. He’s awesome. http://www.marcprensky.com/

    I feel like I am always trying to catch up, don’t you?

  2. This reminds me of that Douglas Adams essay from the Sunday Times

    “I suppose earlier generations had to sit through all this huffing and puffing with the invention of television, the phone, cinema, radio, the car, the bicycle, printing, the wheel and so on, but you would think we would learn the way these things work, which is this:
    1) Everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal.

    2) Anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it.

    3) Anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it until it’s been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.

    Apply this list to movies, rock music, word processors and mobile phones to work out how old you are.”

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