Monday, July 27, 2015

7 Practical Ways I Use Internet Technology at Home

My Sidekick at the Home Computer

In the past year, I've advised my college-bound twins on administrative tasks related to university and scholarship applications. It will come as no surprise that most forms related to beginning a college education are submitted on websites. No paperwork! Several times I have exclaimed, "How did I ever graduate and obtain my first post-college position using only mail and phone?" Technology is wondrous since I remember how things were done before the internet revolution.

In Manu Vora's article, he discusses the use of Google Hangouts on Air to conduct meetings and conferences with a wider online audience. Below I'll elaborate a bit on my use of technology to share information and to further my professional development.

Sharing Information


Sharing an enjoyment of gardening and nature is easy on a blog. My blogging career started with writing about garden and nature topics. (Link to Garden Lady Blog) After my ASQ certification, I started this blog to share certification test tips. Quality: Improvements in Work and Life has expanded to include book reviews, research techniques, social media tips, and, of course, ASQ Influential Voices topics. Writing a blog is easy with free template-style programs like Blogger and WordPress. I use the Adobe Creative Suite to edit and optimize images for my blogs using Photoshop. Adobe Illustrator allows me to produce and optimize graphics to enhance blog articles.

Social Media

Advances in internet technology make sharing information on social media easy. Using a computer, tablet, or phone I can upload photos and short messages on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Facebook. I announce meeting and course information on social media for my local ASQ chapter (ASQ Raleigh). Readers of these posts can forward them to their readers by retweeting, liking, or pinning. This generates publicity for the events.

Google Drive

By setting up a folder in Google Drive, my sons and I organized scholarship information. Any of us could create a document for a scholarship. Individually we added comments as more was learned about the programs. This saved a lot of duplication of work as we filtered through qualifications of around 30 different programs. We also tracked application progress and deadline dates. This same collaboration can be used by any project team.

Handheld GPS


Years ago my family joined a hobby that uses a global positioning system (GPS) to find hidden containers. Geocaching uses satellite technology to hide and locate hidden containers. To input location information into the GPS, I use a GSAK spreadsheet database and a point of interest downloader. This gives me longitude and latitude locations for hundreds of geocaches as well as hints and descriptions. Once a cache is found, an online log is completed. These logs as well as geocaching forums bring together a worldwide community of "cachers." The technology has advanced beyond my Garmin handheld GPS to mobile phone apps. As a member of, I have a member webpage that tracks my total finds. My family is up to 1944 finds and 96 hides. Although I'm short on time to geocache these days, I still maintain caches for others to find and hope to return to the sport that encourages exploring outdoors.

Professional Development

Internet technology has made professional development more accessible. I'll describe a few programs using new technology that I've used.

ASQ Website

ASQ videos and some eBooks are offered free with membership. I find the ASQ Standards Channel series on ISO 9001:2015 invaluable. ASQ TV is great to watch also, and an episode on Cost of Quality can be seen here.

Wake Tech Campus in North Raleigh, NC

College Education

Not only has the college application process gone online, but college courses themselves are online.  I completed a web technology certificate that was completely on the internet. Textbooks, assignments, and credits were the same as seated classes, but I had the flexibility of not traveling to campus. Blackboard and Moodle are two platforms used in online education.

Continuing Education

Ed2Go offers 6-week online courses in a variety of topics. The courses are inexpensive ($70 US) and have a flexible timeline of assignments and tests. There is no college credit, but I completed classes in Photography, JavaScript, Six Sigma, and Web Content that were very useful.

Using technology to share information and further professional development allows growth as never before. Furthermore, each application links me to a community of people interested in the same goals and sharing of information. I would love to take a peak at the future (10 years from now) and see how the newest technology is applied in everyday life. It will be amazing!

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