Tablets

In response to

 

This is the one you have been waiting for.  The last blog entry.  This one is a free for all.  Write about anything that you want, as long as it has something to do with communication technology.  If you can’t think of something to write then just tell us about your experience in this course as far as learning is concerned.  Is there any one thing that stands out in your mind as being especially important to know about?  Is there something that you thought we would cover that we didn’t cover?  You set the agenda and tell us something about tech. (Electronic books)

 

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Electronic books, or better known as e-books, are one of the newest way technology is updating our lives. With the main accessibility being tablets and e-readers, these paperless books are taking control of how we read novels and textbooks. We have discussed this topic in class many times, and it is something I have taken an interest in. I am a student who decided to make the switch from traditional books to an electronic book.

I have an iPad, that I used originally to write notes on in class. Being an athlete that travels a lot, carrying both books and notebooks was a hassle.  We have argued both sides of this in class. There are many pros and cons about both types of reading. Reading on a traditional book is an experience that you cannot replicate. The feel of each page turning, and watching the pages dwindle and you get closer to the end of a novel. Many people even think the smell of the book has merit. With textbooks, you can highlights and write in the book (unless you are renting it) to help you study. Many students believe that this is a huge help.  But, traditional books also have their downsides. They take up more space. When traveling, you have to physically take each book with you, which drastically limits the amount of books you can bring on a trip. Electronic books make that easy. You can carry hundreds of possibilities on your tablet or e-readers.  They are light and can carry a lot of data. You can have your notes and textbooks on a small device. The downside to this, is that you don’t get the “experience” of a traditional book. 

For me, after weighing the pros and cons, traditional books didn’t outweigh the pros of electronic books. Many people do not agree with me, but when it comes to convenience when traveling, I am all about it. It will be interesting to see how technology will develop beyond tablets and e-readers when it comes to reading. Electronic books are becoming more and more popular.

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Social Media

 

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All right, we all have been inundated with social media stuff.  How long is this going to go on?  Is social media here to stay or will it be just a flash in the pan — like diskettes and laser disks?  Or is it here for the long haul?  How do you think it will be used in the future, or do you think it won’t be and something else will take its place?  In other words, give us your take on social media.  What do you think?

 

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First it was AOL Instant Messaging, then it was Myspace, Facebook, and now Twitter and Instagram. These are only some of the social media sites that have developed over the past decade.  Social media allows us to share pictures, texts, interests and more throughout the world. Marketing teams have tapped into this technology to expand their audience, and even uses other technology to further personal advertisements.

Social media websites come and go in a flash. But, social media continuously booms. For better or worse, we are constantly connected to friends, family, and strangers twenty-four seven. Specific websites only seem to last some years before something better replaces it. Instant Messaging seemed to be the first step in this. When I was in middle school, personalizing your A.I.M. account was all the rave. This personalization continued and become more specific as social media expanded and became more popular. One can argue that games are a form of social media as well. Marketing uses the personal information from the sites to attract you to their products, targeting a specific audience. You can find the latest gossip with you friends, celebrities, and the world just off of these sites alone. Social media is not going anywhere anytime soon. I don’t see this as being just a flash in the pan. I have no doubt that it will evolve though. As the past decade has shown us, social media is constantly competitive. Sites try to trump other sites to become the most popular. I think this is going to continue. I don’t think Twitter will last forever, but some updated form of social media will develop from it. 

Social media is a great way to connect with the world. It allows us to see what happened to the kids we went to high school with, as well as, follow companies. It is a multipurpose tool that society not only has excepted, but has become attached too. Social media, like the internet in general, is something that the world couldn’t live without. People use social media numerous times a day. It is a popular advancement in technology, and it is here to stay. 

 

Internet

 

In response to

The last assignment was about the mobile phone and its impact.  This one is about the Internet and its impact.  Unless you are really old, like me, the Internet has been around your entire life, so I won’t ask you if you recall life before the Internet.  I will ask you how you think the Internet changes your life.  That is, imagine life without the Internet.  What would that be like?  Think about how often you use the Internet and what you use it for.  A lot of stuff, huh?  Well, think about if you didn’t have it.  And think about people who DON’T have it.  How do you think their lives are in a world where everyone else has it?

 

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The Internet is technology that has been the most influential in my life. It keeps the world connected, and it has shaped society to what it is today. I use it for everything. Whether it is for academics, social, or for useless knowledge, I get on it multiple times a day. I cannot imagine life without the Internet. It would effect the world is a way that is unimaginable. Businesses would be in an uproar, as well as personal lives. 

Could you imagine not having email or Blackboard while at UofL? No way to check grades, no way to contact professors outside of campus, no way to get assignments off the computer.  It not only would make things more difficult, but more stressful. As someone who has a job, this would make things extremely difficult. I work in Public Relations, where our main marketing is on the Internet. Not only would my job be borderline non-existent, but my bosses use email as a main source of communication to contact me and send me documents. In a fast-pace world like the one we live in, everything would slow down. The Internet is what allows us to move as fast as we do. Academically, I use the Internet for research and writing constantly. Whether its researching scholarly articles, or reading newspapers, I use the Internet for my information. Books are fine when it comes to researching past information, but for up-to-date information, nothing beats the internet. It also would complicate things on a social standpoint. Many of my friends who do not live in the United States, without the Internet, communication would be difficult. Regular Postal Mail, not only cost money, but takes a lot of time. Not to be dramatic, but if the Internet randomly stopped working today, the world would be at a standstill.

After going through how often I use the internet, it is slightly terrifying. How did we get so dependent on the Internet? I made the comparison that the world would be at a standstill, yes its dramatic, but it is sadly true. Business, universities, and people in general rely on the Internet to function in the way society demands it to. As a society we demand everything at an instant, slowing down seems like a foreign concept.

Cell Phones

 

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For this entry you need not look up any web pages.  This one is about mobile phones.  The primary question is how do you think mobile telephones have changed the lives of users over the last several years?  Do you remember when you didn’t have a mobile phone?  OK, so when did you get your first mobile phone?  How old do you think kids should be before they get a phone?  You get the idea.  What I am looking for is a statement on the social impact of mobile phones.

 

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Cell phones seem like such a staple in our lives nowadays. It is hard to believe that a short time ago, no one had cell phones. There is only a small percent of the population that does not have a cell phone. Businesses require the use of them, and social interaction seems to be nonexistent if you don’t use one. Whether if its connecting us to the Internet, or to each other, we are always using them.

I was fourteen when I got my first cell phone. I thought I was so old. About to go to high school, just got a cell phone, I was on top of the world. Of course, back then smart phones were non-existent. I had a Nokia that was the size of a brick. Some of my friends got cell phones around the same time as I did, which made the experience all the better. No longer calling people’s home phones, and having that dreading feeling when you knew your friend’s parents were going to pick up the phone. Back then, you either called your friends, or texted them. I did not have unlimited texting, so calling was my main source of communication at first. It is amazing how times have changed. Now, I see 5 year old with iPhones and tablets. I thought my dad’s car phone was big deal when I was that age, let alone getting an advanced piece of technology for myself. In my opinion, kids are getting cell phones way to early. The fact that I had to call my friend’s parent’s in order to talk to my friend, was terrifying, yet made me comfortable talking to adults. It required me to learn manners and memorize phones numbers. What on earth is a 5 year old kid texting their friends about? The age I got a cell phone I thought was an appropriate time to get a phone. Going to high school brings it own set of new responsibilities, and a cell phone is another right of passage.  

Instant contact 24/7 is the new trend that has taken over the world. My parents had pagers. There was no texting at the dinner table, or checking social media on our phones. Now, parents use cell phones to keep their children calm when they are waiting in a restaurant or in mass. There are a lot of bonuses to cell phones, if you are in an emergency, it is easy to call help. And it is nice to be able to contact friends throughout the day. But, the amount that we use them now is slightly outrageous. I just hope that mobile phones don’t control us more than they already do. 

Interactive Learning

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The Latest Tools for Teaching STEM: Video Game

One of the most talked about issues in education these days is the crisis we have in America involving the STEM disciplines. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.  Many researchers are coming to believe that video games may be a solid answer to the dilemma of how to get through to kids on STEM issues.  Do you have any experience with this?  Were you taught via video games?  And what do you think of this technique as a way of teaching?  Read the articles above to see what some teachers/researchers are doing and discuss how you think this may or may not work.

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Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, are extremely essentially in improving outdated systems that have been put into place for years. Updating techniques of teaching, at all ages, is one of the most important innovations to work on. Gaming, as popular as it is, I believe can work to expand children’s knowledge of STEM subjects.

Myself, personally, have very little experience when it comes to learning through gaming. I learned most courses in a very traditional way. Technology in general was not used with the curriculum I grew up with. Cell phones were band, and laptops were not allowed in the school either. Technology was only used to write papers at home, or creating powerpoints. When I was in middle school, that the was the most exposure I had with gaming as a form of teaching. We would play “Where in the world is Carmen Santiago” and the “Oregon Trail” while in Computer class. It would be a break from learning how to properly type on a QWERTY keyboard. These games would help us understand different areas of the country and the world, as well as, being a history lesson. I did enjoy these games in class because of how competitive I would get, and overall they were fairly helpful. I am a very visual learner, as most people are, and this is a great way to interact with what we are learning.  Even though I had very little gaming experience in school, it was a mainly positive experience. Technology is booming, and using it to improve education is necessary.

I think that educators need to tap into this even more than the experience I had. Using the competitive nature that most kids have some form of, gives a “fun” way to learn, and increases motivation. There are obviously side-effects to this form of learning as well. Gaming is addictive, for better and for worse. Being on a computer for hours on end can raise physical issues. I think that a good combination of interactive learning and traditional methods is fantastic for education.

Copyright Issues with Lyrics

In response to:

Rap Genius Named the Most ‘Blatantly Illegal’ Lyric Site by Music Publishers…

David Lowery from the University of Georgia has recently published a list of the “Top 50 Undesirable Lyric Websites.”  These sites, according to Lowery, post music lyrics but do not have a license to do so.  Thus, they are violating copyright laws.  The music industry has taken note of this and the National Music Publishers’ Association has declared legal warfare against these illegal lyric sites.  Do you believe this is illegal?  Should people be allowed to post lyrics on web sites?  How does posting these lyrics actually harm the artists?  Discuss you opinion on this issue and decide whether you think this is a good idea or not.

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Violating Copyright Laws are a serious allegation to be accused of. Many companies can be destroyed for copyright infringement, and it can cost millions of dollars. I do believe that the National Music Publishers Association should take action on issues with copyright infringement, I do not, however, believe that posting lyrics should be considered as such.

How does posting these lyrics actually harm the artists? This is a great question. There is no harm to the artist. What is that big of a difference between hearing the lyrics and seeing the lyrics on a computer screen. Posting lyrics is not the same as illegal downloading songs, if anything it should not be in the same category. Lyrics are not be plagiarized by being posted on a website, it still gives the artist credit for their work. When reading the comments below the article, it even appears that David Lowery “jumped the gun” on some of the companies listed. People should be allowed to post lyrics on their websites, there is no unethical violation, and they are not stealing any work that public can’t memorize on their own just by being in a car for too long.

I believe that the issue behind this is a monetary issue, and not at all for the protection of artist’s work. Companies get greedy, and copyright lawsuits can be lethal. I am hoping that the lawsuits that the National Music Publishers’ Association have started do not turn ugly over this.

Personal Impact of PCs

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For this one you do not have to read any articles. I want you to search your own memory banks and recount when you first discovered personal computers. How old were you? What were the circumstances? Who taught you to use one? And so on….. The idea is for you to think about PCs and how they have affected you and your life. 

 

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Today’s world is completely run by electronics. It is hard to believe that not too long ago, this type of technology was just starting to exist and be used in everyday life. Kids these days are learning on iPads, and having a cell phone is basically second nature. If you don’t use this type of technology, you don’t survive. 

The first time I used a computer I was about 5 years old. It was one of the first Apple Computers. It was a small, chunky piece of technology, and I wasn’t even allowed to touch it. My dad rarely used it, it almost just sat in the corner and collected dust. IoIt wasn’t until I was about 7 when I started to use computers. My parents started to let my twin brother and use the computer (a “newer” computer) and we used it for games. We would put our games in the CDROM and play for only an hour or two. It became very addicting at a young age, and my parents always said that we were going to damage our heads if we stared at the screen for too long. My dad taught my brother and I how to turn on the computer and how to be able to use it in a basic way. He didn’t want us on the Internet, and we had dial up. You couldn’t use the Internet and the telephone at the same time. Everyone remembers that screeching noise the computer would make when you were trying to connect. By the age of 10, PCs because a daily use in my life. The older I got the longer I was allowed on the computer (we had this old chunky Dell for the longest time) and social media was on the rise. In middle school, AIM was the new trend, and social media began to bloom.  

It was tremendously affected my life. I started to only hear about things going on in the world and my friend group via the Internet. It almost became a ritual, when I got home from practice after school, I would get on the computer and Instant Message, it was the gateway to cell phones (which I didn’t get until I was 14). It amazes me how small social media was back then, yet how big of an impact it had on my life. PCs started to become a social lifeline. I laugh about it now, but still not much has changed, it only has gotten worse.