Who am I and what do I do?
My name is Jenny Martin, and I am a graduate teaching assistant working toward my PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at Virginia Tech. At Virginia Tech I am enrolled as a full-time student, and my GTA duties involve teaching a class entitled Teaching Adolescent Readers and supervising student teachers placed in middle and high school English classes. I also serve as an adjunct instructor at Bridgewater College where I co-direct the Shenandoah Valley Writing Academy, supervise student teachers, and provide Praxis support.
What hardware do I use?
I use a 32 GB ipad, property of Virginia Tech, mostly for reading journal articles, e-books, and note taking. The ipad was provided in a course I am enrolled in, and now I wonder how I lived without this friend that has significantly lightened my load and curtailed much wasted paper! There is nothing better than trading in stacks of heavy books for compact technology. I tote my wheely bag around campus and to children’s events a lot less, and it’s nice to have the camera and video tools on hand. My laptop is a Dell Inspiron, and when I am working on my literature review, in preparation for my dissertation, I also use my Toshiba laptop so that I can have both screens working for me. To back up files, I use a portable external hard drive. Occasionally I’ll use a jump drive, but rarely.
And what software?
With a family of five, coordinating children’s activities, and living away from home three days a week I find dropbox vital. In dropbox I keep a single spreadsheet entitled “weekly calendar” that is shared with my husband and both sets of grandparents. Each Sunday I update the weekly schedule that includes children’s names with activities and who is providing care/transportation to each event, chores that rotate among the kids, evening meals, phone numbers, and bus times. For school and work I use dropbox to organize mostly assistantship files and student teaching files for my adjunct position. Beyond dropbox, I use Microsoft Word for typing papers, Google documents, excel speadsheets, wikispaces, wordpress, and I’m trying to get comfortable with Google sites.
What would be my dream setup?
Now I see the value in an ipad, and I would love to own my own. When it’s time, I’ll buy an origami cover to go with it. I look forward to having an office at a small liberal arts school with one computer and two screens provided by the school. The idea of having one office to put my work belongings sounds very appealing to me right now. At home I’ll use my laptop, and once I’m employed full time I’ll buy the newest version of the smartphone and get the family connected through Google calendar.