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Upgrading my learning.

There was a great technological divide between my first tour of undergrad and my second one that bled into Grad School. An old blackberry was the highest grade of technology you could get 10 years ago, and having a professor who used a laptop and PowerPoint rather than transparencies on an overhead projector was a rarity–and mostly reserved for very young, nontenured professors.

Most of my courses since returning to school have had an online component (the only one that didn’t was my Geology class). This has led me to a weird dissonance about how to handle my school materials.

I know that I can’t read them on my laptop. My eyes will hurt and I am too easily distracted. I also don’t type fast enough to make taking notes in class, or on articles a viable option.

So, I end up with this:

My shelf of sex binders--Which is quickly running out of space.

My shelf of sex binders–Which is quickly running out of space.

I feel the need to print out every syllabus, every hand out, every article. There is a fair amount of literature on the different aspects of Human Sexuality and its intersection with intellectual disability. I thought it was a boon when i found out that Costco carried (high quality) binders. I bought eight of them. And immediately filled them categorically.

The paper thing, combined with my Swiss cheese memory, is not the best organizational system. I remember little factoids, but not where they came from. and now I have 8 binders of articles to go through to find one quote, which I may be misremembering anyway. Most of the time, it makes me sound like a charming absent minded professor–except I am too young for it to read as anything but unprofessional and disorganized: an image I am really trying to come away from. Because no one wants to hire an impulsive, loud, disorganized and unprofessional person. Impulsive and loud, but useful is more marketable.

So, enter the tablet.

The Samsung Note 10.1 (image from CNN.com)

I put the Note 10.1 on my Xmas list with the goal of breaking my paper addiction. I plan to use it primarily to replace the binders. If i can also replace my planner and notebooks with it…bonus. I am testing out different apps for those purposes: iAnnotate and QPDF for reading the articles, Lecture Notes and AntiPaper for notebooks, and the preloaded Samsung Planner app. I am planning to pay for apps at the end of this trial process…something I have been spoiled into not doing by only owning Android devices.

If I completely fail at all of these, I have a $500 Pinterest, Tumblr, and Neflix machine to use in bed.