“Do avid readers and writers even understand the value of the school subject?”

A striking question from Reddit emerged the other day regarding the subject English Language Arts, or ELA for short.

As an ELA teacher, I’m consistently meeting new students who loathe the course. Frankly, they don’t see the point. By the time they get to high school, they can read and write at a quite competent level. I’ll tell them that English majors are amongst the most desirable employees, however, trying to convince teenagers of anything is a challenge. Perhaps — and it took me awhile to figure this out — convincing teenagers of anything isn’t really the job of the…


The genuine moments caused reflection on what conversation should be.

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

I found myself intrigued by a recent short film posted to aeon.co called Soft Awareness featuring a young woman conversing with a virtual bot.

The conversation appeared genuine, however, one should know better than to trust everything they read and see on the internet — so I investigated.

The film used the application Replika as a character in the film. Developed as a mental health tool, users of Replika start by creating a simple persona for a bot by selecting an avatar and assigning a gender. After that, the persona…


Here’s a review of the most affordable and best-performing paper to digital systems: Rocketbook vs. Hamelin vs. Thinker’s Notebook

Notebooks are extensions of our minds, a place to explore thoughts and to preserve them. Like minds, notebooks are not created equally.

Notebooks aren’t just pen-to-paper systems anymore. Terms like smart notebooks, digital notebooks, cloud-based notebooks, and other variants are making their way into notebook marketing.

We’re going to look at three affordable notebooks and the digital systems designed around to inform you of how they work and to give you an idea of what might be an ideal option for you.

Why Digitally Store Notebooks?

The kind of people who value taking notes are convinced that they have a gem of an idea…


What Stories Are True in Your Universe? Examining the words of the enigmatic Philip K. Dick.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Author Philip K. Dick’s existentialist philosophy found its way into his literary works in a fantastical sense. It most notably took — I dare say its “literal” reasoning — when he was given the opportunity to speak publicly. From theories on simulated universes to lives being lived simultaneously in different historical timelines, Dick did his best to bring a sense of logic to far-out ideas.

However, perhaps his most overlooked and likely most notable words of wisdom came during his famous “How To Build…


Add digital mind mapping to your note taking toolbox.

Steve Jobs once declared the ability to connect the dots — to understand multiple disciplines and subjects — to be the marker of intelligence. Breadth, not depth, was what he coveted. This is where mind mapping comes to play, especially for those that are avid note takers.

What is Mind Mapping?


Your Most Precious Resource is Being Exploited

Photo by Roman Synkevych on Unsplash

You may have heard about the recent internet privacy feud between Apple and Facebook. Essentially, Apple updated iOS to limit an app’s ability to track user behaviour without consent. In response, Facebook pleaded with users to keep their services, “Free of charge,” by allowing them to continue to track users without limitations.

I couldn’t think of a more absurd statement from the biggest social media company on the planet. It’s insulting, and frankly, it’s a dangerous notion to plant in the user’s mind.

While it’s well known that Facebook tracks user behaviour in…


Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

The diagnosis was a relief. In pain for over a year, doctors offered little answers or guidance. Tests and referrals to specialists mounted, along with anxiety, insomnia, abdominal pains, lack of energy, neurosis, depression, and blindness. Personal relationships suffered permanent damage.

Finally, the illness had a name, and a plan to attack it. And, fortunately, the treatment was somewhat successful. However, the road to recovery was more mental and spiritual rather than physical.

Talk to anyone who experiences a major sickness when they’re relatively young and you’ll find that a life re-examination happens. Priorities, values, and one’s motivations all get…


Resources for College, University, or High School Students and Teachers

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

Remote learning is the buzzword defining education this fall and it’s going to challenge education. In conjunction, education’s shift to incorporating digital technology and multi-media is going to accelerate.

As a high school teacher working in a Google powered school and a current university student (I’m upgrading credentials) I’ve tried out countless apps that make life much easier once you get the hang of them. My background in filmmaking and digital publishing makes the process a little more comfortable for myself, however, I realize there’s often unease for those looking at trying new apps or accessing new digital resources.

I…


I get it, you want to the best gear. So do I, but…

Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash

Since DSLRs started capturing video most photographers became hybrid artists, adding video to their game and vice-versa.

Now there’s a major shift happening in the camera world. Canon and others are committing to mirrorless cameras. Canon’s top full-frame mirrorless camera now shoots as high as 8k video. It doesn’t appear they’re going to push their DSLR line further which means they’re pushing new lenses that pair with their new camera units in order to achieve maximum optical performance. To be fair, they’ve made adapting their older lenses…


Finder Tags — Use Them

Don’t Let Clutter Get in the Way of Productivity — Keep it Clean — Photo by Patrick Ward on Unsplash

We all have a “friend” that stores all their files on their desktop.

“I have a system — it works for me,” they say.

It doesn’t work for them.

These are the same people who probably have thousands of unread emails, and ask you to email Word docs back and forth to each other so you can each make changes. Yeah — they still exist.

If this is you, I’m sorry* for calling you out. You will benefit greatly from reading on if you’re a Mac user. In fact, if this is you, you can…

Andrew George

I write about tech and its impact on individuals and society, for the most part. I’m also a teacher. www.andrewjoegeorge.com

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