What is in YOUR bag of Tech Tricks?

Recently I read  some great posts on Tony Vincent’s webpage “Learning in Hand“. As I continued to click to different links it lead me to other pages and blogs he has created over the years. The post that struck me was his writing about what tech he uses and which devices he finds the most useful for his blogging, posting, writing, speaking, learning and more.

MagSafe power plug and USB and headphone and m...

MagSafe power plug and USB and headphone and microphone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tony has inspired many ideas in educational technology and it led me to think about what technology I use daily. So here is my humble description of what is in my bag and on my desk!

In the course of a day I use many different types of apps, devices and applications to do different work. At home I have a 24” iMac, Bose Speakers, an HP Photosmart Printer, LiveScribe Pen, AppleTV, and an iPhone 5. At school I am lucky to be the technology teacher so I have access to a 21” iMac desktop, 13” MacBook Air, iPad2, and some fun tech toys and trinkets that I will detail later in another blog post.

HARDWARE
For traveling to conferences, I purchased a small rolling overnight bag from Marshalls for $39 that I can carry-on and fill with cables and devices. I happened to be walking by Wilson’s Leather in the mall when they were having a huge sale on purses. I purchased a coral color leather shoulder bag($35) that is sturdy and has many pockets for cables, flash drives and more. The MacBook Air fits great and is so light to carry around, but the drawback is the 120GB drive. If using this, you need to get into the mindset that it is a portable device and not meant to hold hundreds of photos or songs. I had to delete several hundred to make room to install iWork to use Keynote.

My photos are really important to me so I purchased a promembership to Flickr.com for $29 per year. This gives me unlimited uploads and serves as a backup to all of my pictures. They can be tagged, captioned and organized into sets. This makes it very easy to go back and locate individual pictures I need. Another great quality of flickr.com is that I can share my photos with my mom who has an AppleTV and she can view current uploads on her big screen TV. I stopped using Google’s Picasa because the TOS(Terms of Service) mentioned that they have the ability to use any of your photos for their purpose. I want to control who has access and use.

Additionally I upgraded my camera to a Nikon 5000 a few years ago with a telephoto lens of 85-300 and a wide angle for landscape photos.

Image representing Eye-Fi as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

First I purchased a 16GB SD card and that seemed enough, but a year later I saw and loved the Eye-Fi cards(8GB $99). When setup properly the Eye-Fi cards will send your photos to an online site like flickr.com or your computer when it connects to a wireless network. That is pure joy and a huge timesaver for me.

Even though my Nikon can take short videos, I still carry a Flip camera because they are easy to use and move clips to the computer for editing. Unfortunately Flip is no longer producing the cameras because of the built in cameras on new SmartPhones. I generally will not let students or others use my phone as a camera, so I keep this in my travel bag. It is so easy to transfer video to the desktop for editing.

Another good purchase is the camera connector kit from Apple to move photos from SD to the iPad easily ($35). If you do not have an iPhone this will be the easy way to transfer photos to your iPad. If you do have an iPhone and take photos, you can turn on sharing to iCloud on the iPad, iTouch, or iMac to share/stream you photos to each one, just like the commercial shows! The MacBook Air also has an SD slot for easily moving photos to the computer from a non Eye-Fi card.

There is so much more to share in Part II. What are your most cherished items, apps, tech toys, or personal devices? Share a few in the comments.

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