Saturday, November 5, 2011

Keeping up with the Jones' Technology

If you know us in real life, you'd know that we are not a keeping up with the Jones' type of family.
We are simple people, happy to live a simple and uncomplicated life. We put certain things in life ahead of keeping up with the latest gadgets, tv, phones etc.
We drove an old car until it died a couple of years ago and we were forced to replace it!
We live in a small villa and drive a smallish car.
Recently we had our small group (Bible study) from church over at our place and we had to watch a dvd as part of it. In typical Aussie humour, someone made a comment about our latest flat screen tv :) (NOT) :)
I hope that gives you some indication of the type of people we are.
We are also laggards apparently (a word I recently learned) over at this blog I've just started following: Fountainside. So, there you have it, we are a couple of laggards who live a simple life:)

We live in a city that is obsessed with keeping up with the Joneses!
We feel we swim against the flow with our lifestyle and hope others can be encouraged to live the same way. In fact, we live mostly on one (average) income in an expensive city where mostly everyone thinks it's impossible to do!
We make many sacrifices to live this way but that is another topic for another time.

So, in recent times, I got an android phone, not because I wanted to because I had no other choice. A couple of months ago my old phone started dying and when we started looking into a new phone for me, the only one I found comfortable to handle on the plan I wanted to get was an android phone. (I am not on a big mobile plan in fact it's the second cheapest) It has millions of apps I can download for free (so I am told) but I don't think I'd bother. I use my phone mainly to text and call and to take photos and videos. It even comes with some internet data which I was not interested in:) In fact I would go so far as to say this android phone is truly wasting all it's capabilities on me!

Fast forward a couple of weeks and guess what we get.....voila:

- an Ipad2! Yes indeed! Yes even our friends' jaws dropped when they found out:)

Now, even this was driven out of necessity. You see we have one desktop and often when Ron's at home at night I am working (on it ) and there have been times when Rebekah wants to watch something on iview (remember her allotted daily 60 minutes I blogged about here) is often when I need the computer! We really needed another pc. We ummed and ahhed for several months on whether to get a laptop (we've never owned a laptop ever, now even that is saying something) or to get an ipad.
Ron researched it a lot and we decided we'd get an ipad.

This has purely been out of necessity and after owning it for a month I can tell you it's been a huge blessing for us.

It has changed how we homeschool and how we do our family read alouds.
Ambleside Online is a free curriculum with most of the books available for free online, so guess what Rebekah and I do each morning for school - yes, we pull out the ipad to do most of our readings!
We've already downloaded quite a few ebooks.
We use it's notes function as a daily checklist that Rebekah can tick off as we do our school work. (Great for transitioning to more independent study as she gets older wink wink )

We use it for our family read alouds each Saturday night as we are currently reading Peter Pan which is available for free.
I'd read that it's just not the same as reading from a book but honestly once you get engrossed in the story you forget you're reading it from a screen.

We use it at our dining table book work area to listen to our composer on youtube, quickly look up something we need to find out about online, etc etc.

It even gets used in the kitchen to look up recipes to cook.

We're only scratching the surface as we've only had it for a month or so. But already it's been put to heavy use.
Yes there are some great games on it but not wanting Rebekah to become addicted she is allowed to use some of her daily allotment of one hour of screen time on the ipad if she so desires.
I'm told there are many educational applications, we're yet to look into that. We are laggards after all:)

I just love it because of it's slim design, weight and portability.
We are loving it so much so I just had to tell you of our latest addition:)
It has been a huge blessing for our homeschool and our family. We are finally having to keep up with technology! How about you, do you have an ipad, are you thinking of getting one, tempted to get one? If you do have one, I'd love to hear of some of your favourite educational or other apps.


joyfulmum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joyfulmum said...

p.s the correct spelling in my title and first line should be Joneses not Jones' (because blogger will not let me edit my post once it's published, argh!)

Joluise said...

I have an iPad and LOVE it. It is so useful for so many reasons. Sadly I can't tell you about educational apps as I have no young children but I do know there are many free books (classics) that are worth locating if you haven't already found them. I would have loved to have one when my sons were little.

I also watch iView on it in the evening whilst lying on the couch (not something you can do with a desktop computer)!

I also use it for cooking and if you download the app "Evernote" you can capture webpages (eg those with your favourite recipes) and store them - no more trying to remember where you saw that recipe.

There are 1000's of apps, look out for the free ones, there are many and even the ones with a charge are quite cheap (not all though!).

Have fun and sing out if you need any help - but like most Apple products, they are easy to use.

Sarah said...

Awesome, this is a great review Rosemary! My husband and I have been talking about getting ipads also but just waiting for the right time as we don't just jump and buy these gadgets either. I am so pleased to hear all your positive remarks about using the ipad as a homeschooling resource. Thanks heaps! xxx

tea said...

I loved reading this! It was so encouraging, because you guys are just like us!! Everyone thinks we're wierd, but this simple life is, I think, the best way to go. -And doesn't it feel a little weird then, when you actually get one of these fancy new things?! We recently got two mini laptops (our first laptops ever), and it's like, Whoa! We have laptops! ;) We've felt really blessed by them too. Our big old desk top is seeing its final days. Enjoy your new gadgets! :)

Ganeida said...

For the first time ever we all have our own lap top. Made a huge difference to schooling. Can't tell you about ipads 'cause we're bigger laggards than you! ☺

Amy said...

Well, you know how we are. ;) Iphones and iPad over here! LOL But you know, for us it's not so much about keeping up with anybody, as it is about making us better at the stuff we already want to do. Like you with homeschooling.

Also, with family overseas, I can't tell you what a HUGE difference it makes to be able to hit a button and let the kids SEE their grandparents on the other side of the world.

Great post! :) And Ron even PREACHED with the iPad today--who'd have ever thought?!?

joyfulmum said...

Tea you're right it feels weird having this new technology:) ganeida I thought we were the only ones without a laptop lol. Amy you are right it's the reason behinds it all isn't it - I know you guys absolutely need those gadgets with your jobs and yes they are indeed great for keeping in contact with people overseas. For us also it came down to "need" not "want":) btw shhh but Ron ended up using his paper notes in the end :)

joyfulmum said...

Jo thanks for the tips. I will yell out if I need help:)

Amy said...

Haha, that's hilarious! Actually, I prefer paper notes too, as the iPad will go to "sleep" after awhile and then you have to unlock to get back to where you left off!

Susan (HomeGrownKids) said...

Surely you will use the voice recorder, yes? Especially after I wrote about it, lol.

We love our technology here but we are also willing (or driven by necessity) to wait for awhile until the price is reasonable.

But can I say that I am IMPATIENTLY waiting for some kind of e-reader - either in iPad or Kindle. Then, I can start to offload some of these books!

joyfulmum said...

Susan, I did say we were laggards didn't I! :) I remember now after reading your comment that it does have a voice recorder lol! many moons ago a friend showed it to me and I forgot until just now:)

Julie said...

Yes, we are laggards too. We don't have the i-anything. We are in the market for another laptop though, so maybe an ipad would be sufficient.. great to read about your experiences.

Penney Douglas said...

My husband just got me a laptop for our anniversary. I haven't gotten to use it much yet. My daughter has used it more. But it will enable me to be down where the kids are and still use the internet instead of stuck up in my room where the computers are. It will help with my homeschooling, too. I just got it Wednesday, so I haven't done too much yet and still need to figure out some things about it, but I feel very blessed to have it. It was a very nice anniversary present!

I think I would like an iPad's portability even more, but for now I'm thankful for this advancement.

Eve said...

Welcome to the Future, right?? I like to tell my kids the coolest tech I had when I was a pre-teen was my portable Walkman (with, no, that was BEFORE earbuds, LOL) It played cassette tapes (before I upgraded to one that played CDs). I still listen to tapes on a stereo near the dining room! But I am learning to embrace new tech, too, esp. since it's my hubby's career. And the iPad is definitely put to use over here, mostly by the 4 yo son.

Ganeida said...

Rosemary: can you let Amy know her blog won't accept my comments. There's probably nothing she can do but there may be others. I don't have a contact for her. Ta.

joyfulmum said...

will do Ganeida:)

Lina said...

I have always been fascinated by technology but I mostly enjoy taking a peek and savouring the moment than taking it home.

We don't have a TV (!) but we do have a pyrolytic (self cleaning) oven with automatic cooking functions for 50 dishes. People often find that strange. I'm not into TV watching and neither are the kids.. but we love to cook and hate cleaning the oven.. Plus my free time will be cut even shorter when the baby comes along (here is where the automatic functions help). So there! Perfect for our family.

I recently acquired my very own laptop (from my generous sister) and I have to say that I am loving it.. It's asthetically appealing, portable, not bulky, we can watch movies, listen to music, keep important documents, photos and notes and can be hooked up to the internet whenever and wherever I need to go. What more could a girl ask for? :) To me it's like a much bigger ipad.. I'm sure ipad users will dispute that though. LOL :)

Good to hear you're loving your ipad! Technology is wonderful but it's even better when it puts a smile to our face and makes life easier.