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Best tech of 2012

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Oh what a whirlwind year.

In this day in age, technologies are not just evolving on a yearly basis, but almost weekly. And I know there will be a day when it is ever changing daily — yikes.

With technology adapting constantly this past year it is hard to choose the top transformations of 2012. Rather than specific technologies, I decided to focus on ideas that came about in technology that I thoroughly enjoyed. Here’s to wrapping up 2012 and bringing on the tech of 2013.

Bringing technology more into schools — Long gone are many of the tools that our parents grew up using to learn and educate. Google Docs, touch screens and even texting have worked their way into school curriculums with much avail.

The brunt of the matter is that it is a part of today’s society and an important role in not only our lives but an increasingly vital role for our children’s lives as well. Typing classes have replaced cursive writing in some extreme instances and projects are done mainly via the use of Internet and Google docs to allow students to work and interact together without trying to schedule a time in a classroom.

Yes, it makes many worry that the loss of traditional classroom learning will in essence negatively affect our children’s learning, but will it? Things are amazingly different than they were 20, 10, even five years ago, so shouldn’t our children be learning in the most updated and current fashion possible?

The same basic concepts of education are still there, built on the same pillars that we have been learning by for generations. But with the addition of technology to aid them, there are even more opportunities for them to learn.

Social media more acceptable form of communication — In my opinion, prior to 2012, social media remained to be viewed as simply an informal communication tool. Meant for college party photos to be posted and ways to keep up with old friends. Now it seems that social media has taken on a whole new form, acceptable use for professionals, too. Take the Dispatch for instance. I have my own personal Twitter account that is used both personally and professionally to report on. Twitter is a way that us reporters can now gather information and a way we can send information, too. The same can be said for Facebook, where businesses around the world have taken advantage of the free marketing that a Facebook page can offer. Again, social media has integrated itself into being an important part of our daily lives. Keep it coming.

Mobile payments — It’s purely the simplicity of this idea that I adore so much. In a time when it seems there are not enough hours in the day to run and get cash, being able to simply pay digitally for just about anything is extraordinarily wonderful.

Ever increasing what media is — I saw first hand the transition from being simply a newspaper to a digital media company this past year at the Brainerd Dispatch. With focus on the iPad, online and mobile apps almost as strong as the print product itself, it is amazing to me to see the direction that not only the Dispatch’s parent company Morris is taking, but newspaper companies around the world are realizing. Digital is what we are today. No longer is it enough to be just a print product, companies have to offer other solutions in order to maintain their importance and effectiveness in communities. A professor in my freshman year of college, once told me that the newspapers will never die, and I still believe that to be true. But in order to keep them alive they must be able to be flexible and have the ability to transition to different formats. And the Dispatch is a prime example of that, something I am extra proud to be a part of in 2012 technology.

JESSI PIERCE, staff writer, may be reached at 855-5859 or Follow her on Twitter at (@jessi_pierce).