From the moment you wake up until you go to bed, you interact with helpful machines. From crock pots to computers, from digital watches to dishwashers, technology has allowed humans to move away from many of our daily physical, time-consuming chores. When you start to count all of the helpful machines that are in your life, you begin to appreciate the ways that humans have outsourced unpleasant tasks freeing us to create poetry, paint, dance, sing, and learn. Photo credit: Microsoft Corporation. (Producer). MP900442472 [photo of remote control pointing at tv]. Retrieved February 6, 2014 from: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=remote+control+pointing+at+tv&ex=1#ai:MP900442472 During this first course, you will be provided with ample opportunities to explore what it means to be the tool-using animal: a human in a technological world. You will analyze the ways that you interact with and through technology, and you will also explore how the expression of our human selves has been altered, distorted, or more fully perfected in this online environment. Learning online will put you into contact with a number of new technologies. Some of the tools that you will use will be easy to understand and even fun to engage with, but you may also encounter technology that you find frustrating. Technology can and does enhance learning, and technology can cause many distractions. In this Assignment you will identify the degree to which you are a “tool using animal” and monitor and reflect upon your current levels of technology use. To prepare for the Assignment: Review the Week 1 Notes and Readings, paying particular attention to Tool-Using Animals resource. Complete the Check your Tech Technology Inventory. View the Technology Back-up Plan media located in Module 3 of the Student Readiness Orientation. Complete the Technology Back-up Plan worksheet. Assignment Directions: By Day 7, submit a short (200–300 word) paragraph that includes a summary of the results of your checklist that assessed how you are using technology. Include in your summary: What surprised you about your use of technology and the kinds of technology you use? Which, if any, of the technologies have more to do with your professional life than your private life? What does your technology and the way you use it say about you as a person?