IKEA announced earlier in the year that HomeKit integration was on the way for its smart bulb range by the ‘fall’. Slightly earlier than expected, the company pushed a software update to its WIRELESS hub today that enables HomeKit for its Tradfri lighting range. more…
Over the past few weeks, I know that I have repeatedly, wrote about shutting off your devices and spending good old fashioned quality time with your spouse and loved ones. This week I want to step past just talking about things to do with your spouse and hit on things to do as a family.
As we get further into the holiday season, take time to focus on what truly matters most. Many of us just finished up Thanksgiving, and still have days worth of left overs. Many of us went out for Black Friday sales on Thursday and through the weekend, and many more of us will be spending time going through all of the Cyber Monday/Cyber Week deals. These aren’t the things that matter. What truly matters is looking at what you can do as a family to touch those around you. Maybe, as a family, you can start a tradition of doing Operation Christmas Child(a little late for this one now,) Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, or working with one of the many other charities out there. As a family we have made it a point to do something every year. For less than you would spend on junk that you don’t need, you can use that on someone else. We tend to fill our lives with stuff, and we retreat to our STUFF to make us Happy, but then we just need the newest thing, or the thing that is better than someone else’s. And we get stuck in a cycle of want. Let’s put it in perspective, the phone that many of you are reading this on, will cost you over $600 ($10-30/month at a time.) If you feel that you can use that same phone for a year longer, what could you do for someone else, for another family, for someone in another county. As a family take a moment to do something for someone else. We are now a global community, from your house in the US, you can with a simple click, buy chickens for a family in another country.
This week’s title I took from the book my daughter is reading right now Diary of A Wimpy Kid : Old School. It has taken her a little while to understand what it is really about. From what I have seen of it so far is one of the things that I have been touching on over the past few weeks. Stepping away from technology, actually communicating with words from your mouth, and enjoying what is around you. Enjoying the outdoors, enjoying company, enjoying each other.
For our marriages and for our families, shutting down the electronics, and spending time playing, using your imagination, talking, and being present changes everything. The past couple weeks, my wife and I have had the chance to just chill at the house after the munchkin has gone to bed. It has been awesome to unplug, not watch a show or anything, but spend time together with the Christmas tree on. We have been able to take this little bit of time to catch up with each other, and put into practice what I’ve been writing these past few weeks.
Also as we get further into the holiday season, I encourage you to make sure that you are taking time out as a couple and as a family, to refocus and rebalance your needs and wants. Focus on the things that you can do together as a couple and/or as a family, that don’t involve the TV, computer, or game system. Pull out an old board game, do something that requires imagination, and give them your full attention. The worries of tomorrow can wait until tomorrow. Don’t make you family, your spouse, your loved ones, compete for your attention. Go Old School, shut down and have family time.
The amazing use of technology in the classroom.
I’m going to try and be better this year about my Tech Thursday posts. So I thought I would start with what continues to be a hot topic in the tech world, Bring Your Own Device.
Today you see and hear commercials from many different companies about working anywhere, and video calls. You can be there without being there, is what many companies are using in their messages. They are showing the ability to be on the road all the time, and talk to your family over video. My question is, why are companies sending the message of putting the family second, why not show customer meetings over video while playing with your kids. To me this is the benefit of a company having a BYOD program and remote access into the workplace. There are multiple case studies and surveys out there showing higher levels of job satisfaction and higher levels of productivity.
BYOD, It’s why we have a 128GB iPads, Ultrabooks, 4G Hotspots, Virtual Desktops, and more laptops than full desktops. But where does support start and stop on these devices? Who owns the data on this device? These are the biggest challenges and struggles that IT Admins are dealing with today. It becomes a situation of security issues, if Employee X has been downloading torrents at home, and then keeps running them at work, not only could hinder the network speed, but it could also release a wealth of worms into the corporate network, infecting hundreds of systems. But what employee really wants the IT staff to load a 2GB security profile onto their personal device that will let the IT team track, lock, and wipe that personal device. Its a matter of managed freedom for lack of a better term.
Businesses are in the tough position of keeping employees happy and productive, while keeping company owned data – within the company. Also the company has to figure out how these devices are going to access the local network, and local files. There are some companies out there planning wireless upgrades and planning for 6-8 devices per person. And if an access point can handle efficiently 40 devices, you can see where this number would just keep increasing, just to get the devices connected to the internet/network. And even if a company says they are not implementing BYOD, I have just one question, How many of us have our work email coming into a personal device? If you are at home, can you access your email from a webpage, then you can have it on your phone/tablet/whatever.
My suggestion to Businesses and IT staff, Don’t just say no, your employees will find their way to the googles and figure out how to do it themselves.
To employees and end users, Don’t be stupid. If you are putting work information on your personal device, to me, you should be on the hook if that information goes missing or gets into the wrong hands.