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This Day In Your Life Has Been Brought to You By…

…the many advances in technology that didn’t even exist five or ten years ago.

We’ve gotten to where we’ve got it too easy.  Today was the big day in which my son and I drove up to San Francisco International Airport to pick up my mother.  She was flying in from New Jersey (where I’m from originally) to come spend about six weeks with us.  The school year is over for me and my boy, and we’re looking forward to sharing our exciting summer with Mom/Nanny.  Okay, well, they get to hang out a lot while I work from home and do other stuff, and sometimes get to do things and go places with them… but I digress.

We’ve gotten to where we’ve got it too easy.  For a while this morning, we tracked Mom’s plane’s last known whereabouts on the airline’s website.  Cameron, who loves maps, enjoyed seeing the exact location of the plane over the United States.  We needed to get lunch on the run on the way to the airport, which is about an hour away from where we live, so I used my iPhone to help me determine where a McDonald’s was close to the freeway along our route.  Upon Mom’s arrival in California, I was able to text my sister to let her know Mom was on the ground and with me . . . and the pictures of her and my son I immediately posted to Facebook from my iPhone let about 1100 other friends and family members know as well.my son and I made signs to greet my mother at the airport

When we got home from the airport, I was able to download an Internet radio program in which the author I helped with her family history was being interviewed.  The program was on live while I was driving to the airport, and my husband listened to it then, hearing them mention me by name!  So of course Mom and I listened to it when we got back home.

Fast forward a few hours to after dinner.  Mom had told me about an author she’s been reading, so we used the library website to see which books they had at the local branch she’s going to visit in a few days with my son.  We then spent a little time poring over Irish Census records sent to me by a total stranger who just might be our relative.  Mom’s mother, grandparents, and aunts and uncles appeared before our eyes in 1901 and 1911 Belfast.  We used Google Earth to find the place in County Down where her grandmother was born.

My iPad, Pedro, hooks me up to past seasons of Bones on Netflix.  Today, Pedro helped me locate a hotel/inn near my nephew in Oregon so we could find a place to stay for our visit next month.  Pedro also has the complete works of Shakespeare nestled in his adorable little iPad brain, among other great works.

When I found out yesterday that I had been accepted to attend Google’s Geo Teacher Institute next month, I was able to use Twitter to locate at least five other educators who will also be attending.  Within about an hour.  We’ve begun using a “hashtag” to keep track of each other on Twitter between now and the event.

I’m in my last semester of graduate school – which has been completely online – and my partner and I use Skype and Google Docs to plan out all our projects.  She’s about 450 miles south of me.

My entire summer job takes place online.  Sure, I have one weekly face-to-face meeting.  But almost all of my time spent working is online through blogs, e-mail, and live conferencing on the Internet.  What you’re reading right now is made possible strictly through the Internet as well.  Almost everything I am doing this summer, and most of what I did today, were made possible – or at least a lot more convenient – because of technology.

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