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Wednesday
Mar132013

Give your tech Nazi a hug today

Back from Beijing. A little caught up at work. Jet lag receding. Book manuscript reviewed and submitted. Somewhat prepared for next round of talks on Friday. Missing my blogging. 

While Beijing's air quality and traffic left a lot to be desired, it was the great dispute between China and Google that left me frustrated. While not completely blocked by the Great (fire) Wall of China, GoogleApps, including Gmail, Docs and Reader were painfully slow - or perhaps I should say - unreliable. At the hotel, a five-star with otherwise good Internet connectivity - Gmail messages could be sent about one of every three attempts. All Google documents loaded painfully slow. It was almost worse than having the services blocked completely. At least with Facebook and YouTube you didn't even try.

The politics behind the situation - with Google blaming China and China blaming Google for the problems - don't really interest me. But what I did come to realize is just how complacent I have become about fast and reliable Internet access here both at home and at school.

It's pretty easy to beat up on the "Nazis" in the tech department whose primary concerns revolve around adequacy, reliability, and security. Who sometimes block or limit bandwidth intensive websites and applications. Who worry about denial of service attacks. Who demand strong passwords.

But live even a few days with a flakey connection and you will be very happy to accept a degree of control in exchange for stability. It makes me wonder to what extent teacher reluctance to adopt technology is not a by product of still unreliability. I'd be tempted to swear off mny things tech were I living in Beijing.

Give your tech Nazi a hug today.

Oh, the conference was wonderful and the librarians from international schools around China and Mongolia were fantastic. I'd go back tomorrow.

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Reader Comments (6)

Glad you are back and can appreciate Google as it should be. Now. Can you tell me WHY Google is taking down Google Reader? I will be bereft without it. Why are they doing this to me? I KNOW they are picking on me personally....just because I have not been keeping up on my reading lately. Can't a girl take a little time off??!! Let me know if you have any recommendations. Thanks. And welcome back!

March 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJacquie Henry

Thanks for putting a little perspective on things. I passed on the hug, and opted to send my "Tech Nazi" a friendly thank you email and a link to the blog.

To continue on the Google Reader line, I have been reading BSB directly from my Google Reader feed for years. I am more than a little disappointed that it has been discontinued.

Pageflakes or bloglines?

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDana Woods

Hi Jacquie and Dana,

I am looking at Netvibes and Feedly as replacements. I moved from Bloglines (which is still going also, I think.)

Good to change now and then - keeps your brain exercised!

Doug

March 14, 2013 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

Hi Jacquie and Dana,

I am looking at Netvibes and Feedly as replacements. I moved from Bloglines (which is still going also, I think.)

Good to change now and then - keeps your brain exercised!

Doug

March 14, 2013 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

When you wrote, "It makes me wonder to what extent teacher reluctance to adopt technology is not a by product of still unreliability" you hit the nail on the head for the school where I work. Some teachers still muddle through trying new things with technology, but others have decided that learning time is too precious to waste on waiting twenty minutes for a page to load.

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCatharine

Hi Catharine,

Not sure where or for whom you work, but in most places in the US, anyway, having reliable and adequate Internet access is a choice. Too bad for your students that your district has not decided to make it a priority.

All the best and thank you for the reminder,

Doug

April 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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