9 Tech Gifts That I Don’t Want

And what does my current tech crankiness mean for my edtech career?

December 7, 2015

What tech gifts do you hope not to get this holiday season?

And what does my current tech crankiness mean for my edtech career?

My own “no thank you” tech list seems to grow every year:

1 - An Apple (Or Any) Television: For the first time in my life, my home is 100% TV free. For years we had a big TV in the family room hooked only to a Roku and a Wii. (No cable, satellite or rabbit ears). Now that big TV is gone. We don’t miss it. TVs take up too much space. TVs are too tempting to watch. There is now no price point or technological advance that will ever convince me to buy a TV again.

#2 - A Kindle Fire Tablet: My prediction is that within 3 years Amazon will include a new Kindle Fire tablet with every Amazon Prime subscription. The hardware is not only commoditized, it is becoming disposable. I guess I wouldn’t be so anti Kindle Fire if I didn’t have an iPhone. But as it stands, my iPhone does everything that I need for video consumption, apps, and handheld computing. A Kindle Fire would just be another gadget that never got used.

#3 - A Gaming Console: I guess that if you don’t have a TV that you also can’t have a game console. If I did have a TV, however, I still would not want a Playstation or an XBox or whatever Nintendo is selling now. The time to play games is an commitment that I don’t want to make. Are you a console (or computer) gamer? Can you explain the appeal?

#4 - An Apple Watch: If I had an Apple Watch I’d always be checking my Apple Watch. I’d check it for tweets and for calendar updates and for e-mail notifications. The constant flow of information on my wrist would be just too tempting. Am I the poorer now for having to reach all the way to my phone? 

#5 - An iPad Pro or a Microsoft Surface Pro: I have 3 screens that I use. A MacBook Air, an iPhone 6S+, and a Kindle Paperwhite. These 3 screens seem to fit all my creation, communication, and consumption needs. What is the advantage of a big tablet with a keyboard case? Does the ability to touch and write on the screen outweigh the loss of not being able to type on your lap?

#6 - An Amazon Echo: Is the Echo just a gimmick, or is anybody actually using this technology to get anything done? Is the Echo replacing any gadget in your house? Or the Echo really good for party tricks and for thinking about a future when the way will interact with all of our technologies will be through talking?

#7 - A Desktop Computer: I’ve detected an interesting trend amongst my network of the purchase of new desktop computers. Folks seem to be buying Mac Pros or iMacs, and carrying around an iPad. Why? Unless you are doing high end video editing, isn’t a laptop enough? I can see getting a good keyboard and monitor to connect your laptop - but why the need for the desktop? Please explain.

#8 - A Drone (Quadcopter):  Is your very own drone on your holiday wish list? Do you plan to fly your quadcopter around and shoot video? I think that I would a) lose interest quickly, b) crash the thing, and c) get arrested.

#9 - A Hoverboard:  I think that I would seriously injure myself within the first 3 minutes of trying to ride the thing.

Could it be that consumer tech is losing its appeal?

What does my current anti-technology mood mean for my career as someone working at the intersection of learning and technology?

Does everyone who spends years working in technology eventually begin to question the viability of technology to solve our organizational and cultural problems?

How is the discussion of gadgets different within our IHE community, as compared to this discussion in other places?

What technologies are you hoping not to get this year?



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