My Final Prezi

Although I’m still getting used to Prezi, this is my final project for the technology module of Intro to Writing Arts. It has to deal with web2.0 and the abilty it has for networking and expanding our connections. Also, it deals with the future of writing and some apps we used in the class. Play it on autoplay at 10 seconds. Make sure it’s not anything else, or else it’ll look ridiculous. You can check it out here or the link is also posted below. I hope you enjoy.

 

http://prezi.com/plkm64xxf4dd/narration-for-intro-to-writing-arts/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

 

Yes. It’s finally done.

 

Thanks for watching it!

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Do You Read What You Tweet?

Reading is something we do every day, but how in depth do we really read? Students need healthy reading habits to help their skills as readers grow, but they’re growing up in a society that doesn’t even read the majority of things they post to Twitter. This article was Tweeted by Arielle Armenti and it talks about how we often don’t read. We just skim. Chartbeat CEO Tony Hailie said, “We’ve found effectively no correlation between social shares and people actually reading.” Chartbeat investigates our activity online so they can notice habits and behavior. Twitter can be great for sharing ideas, but in a fast paced world like this how can we expect to really take in all that information? How can kids be expected to stay focused and read in a world where attention spans are lessening and the desire for immediate simple information is growing?

UpWorthy and Buzfeed attempted similar tests and found that “the majority of shares on social media occur after someone has spent over three and a half minutes on the page.” This means that people either tweeted based simply on the title of the article and not on the content, or they read most of the text or all of it. This makes me wonder whether students act the same way. Do they simply skim over the title and text or read the whole thing thoroughly? Or is there some in between? And if our kids’s attention spans are wearing thin and they don’t focus on reading how can we turn that around? I personally have a “less is more” attitude when it comes to information. The less you subject yourself to, the more detailed you can look into it. I can’t say I have an answer to whether our kids are doomed and if Twitter will never become more in depth with its readings, but I can say that becoming aware of that fact is the first step and we are well on our way.

Can We Meet The Demand For Computer Science?

It’s no secret. Technology is the way of the future. We’ve been making the transition to computers and digital everything for years now, so why is it such a big deal? This article that Amy McKeever posted to Twitter explains that. Long story short, too few schools teach computer science. It’s been estimated that “in the next decade there will be about 1 million more U.S. jobs in the tech sector than computer science graduates to fill them.” That’s scary. What’s worse is that we’re missing out. The education technology sector is worth 8 BILLION DOLLARS and it’s still growing. It has no foreseen end to its growth.

Oh. My. God. 8 BILLION DOLLARS?!

One organization called Kodable is teaching kids ages 5 and under programming by playing games. They have kids as young as 2 years old using it. Is this the new direction for schooling? Will they implement these programs to create a new generation of super programming children? Maybe. Schools are not teaching computer science, but this curriculum could change all that. Schools new newer computers and a new curriculum to meet this demand. Otherwise, the gap of knowledge will only grow larger. It’s more than just students who need to meet this new demand. The schools teaching them have to improve as well.

Facebook Can Predict My Relationships?!

When looking through Bloggin’ With Friends’s blog, I couldn’t help but notice an article called “What Can’t Facebook Do?” and it caught my attention. What Can’t Facebook Do? Nowadays it seems like there’s nothing they can’t do. After reading this article, I’d say that’s pretty much right.

Bogdan State, Facebook’s data scientist, took a look at Facebook’s data about relationships (because of course they know everything about you and your significant other) and found that “About half of all Facebook relationships that have survived three months are likely to survive to four years or longer.” What?! He’s not kidding. Statistically, he’s completely right. It turns out if you can make it three months, you might as well hunker down and get ready for the long haul.

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He also noticed that a lot of relationships end in the Summer and a particular amount of relationships ended in 2011. Why could this be? His answer seemed to guess at the economy’s condition at that time. No money? No relationship. That’s just how it works. You have to take care of yourself before you can make time for others, especially those who are significant others.

So what does this have to do with education you might ask? I’ll admit it is a stretch, but jobs like being a data scientist are the new fields students will go into. Statistics will become more and more valuable in the future, especially when dealing with technology. Technology has given us Facebook, Twitter, and tons of other sites. Now our students who are using these sites will potentially be hired by them to increase productivity. These are where the new jobs are. Being a mathematician can now be useful for social networks. This field is only growing, so it’s good for teachers to prepare their students for jobs like this and it’s important for students to know that studying harder in math could lead them to a job at one of their favorite sites. Like I said, it is a stretch. This article was just so interesting I just couldn’t pass it up.

This article was eye opening and kind of scary to say the least. I’d advise you check it out and also Bloggin’ With Friends. They’ve got some good stuff going on.

Libraries Aren’t Extinct Yet, So What Does That Mean For Education?

It been increasingly evident that the interest in the internet has gone up and the interest in printed books has been struggling. However, Anna Clark would beg to differ in her article, Who Says Libraries are Going Extinct? She states that 2013 was one of the best years for libraries in the past decade. Libraries serve 96.4% of the population. She also stated that “Attendance at library-hosted programs for kids hit 60.5 million in 2013.” This is important for our children.

Libraries play an important part in education. Libraries give children something schools cannot: a seemingly endless supply of books and other media. Libraries are not just for knowledge, but also for pleasure. Children can pick up Harry Potter just as easily as they can pick up an encyclopedia. Here’s the great part though: no matter what they pick up, they’re still learning something. When kids are at an age where they are still expanding their skill of reading, something like Harry Potter could offer just as much as an encyclopedia. It expands their vocabulary, their imagination, their enjoyment of reading, etc. Libraries offer the service of being there whenever children want to create an interest in reading. That interest could be one of the most valuable things to an upcoming student.

In a world where kids would rather sit back and watch TV or play video games, it’s good to know that libraries are still kicking. Although the internet offers endless knowledge to kids, it can often be distracting or lacking motivation. Libraries aim to educate while also entertaining and encouraging kids to use their minds and their imagination. That is something the educational system will always need.

If you want to check out Clark’s article here then I suggest you do so.

Can Technology Fix Education?

Monica Bulger states that we are “expecting too much of technology if we believe it will single-handedly fix problems with education,” in her article, Why Technology Alone Can’t Fix the Education Problem. She points out that we’ve been thinking that technology will revolutionize the way we learn and the education systems around the world. There have been organizations that strive to donate laptops to schools and the amount of computers and other devices found in schools today has skyrocketed. Is this a worthy cause?

It depends.

While I agree that there is promise in technology, I agree that it won’t solve our problems. We solve our problems. We made our problems. We made technology. If humans are at the center of the problem and the solution then how could we expect anything or anyone else to fix it for us? We can’t. We often forget that technology is not something that should take our place. It shouldn’t be something that teaches our children. We need to teach our children, but we can use technology in the process. Technology is nothing more than a tool: a very complex, advanced, addictive, distracting, expensive, beneficial tool.

If technology could solve our educational needs, it would need to teach our children more efficiently. If technology is teaching our children, we’d have no need for teachers. The fact is technology is only as good as the person using it. Even if we put laptops in every school in the U.S.A, if we had no staff that could teach the students and teachers how to use them it would be useless.

Technology cannot single-handedly teach our children or fix our learning crisis. We made this, and we have to remain in control of it. We are more than a machine and although it is useful, we can become too dependent on it. Technology can serve as an educational tool or any tool we want, as long as we are in control of it and know how to use it. That is when technology will help our education system.

You can check out her article here.

Using Journalism To Teach Literature

Margueya Poupko, an English teacher at Bruriah High School in Elizabeth, N.J, put her literatue curriculum aside in order to better teach her students. I know this might sound absurd, but her reasons are solid. Her students weren’t very interested in the novels they were assigned, but Poupko used new articles from The New York Times to show her class how to write. They started annotating articles and bringing in their own to show the class. The articles helped them to be more critical readers and writers and to share their opinion. When she returned to teaching novels, they were much more interested. This raises a question of technology and modern practices in education. Can technology be used to create an interest in literature?

It is not expected that America’s youth would be interested in classic literature or anything made before they were born, but can creating a connection to modern writing really make literature more appealing to students? Apparently it can. Poupko’s results aren’t hard to decipher. They worked.  Her students could more easily connect to more recent articles that encouraged their own thoughts so that when they went back to novels they could analyze the readings more efficiently.

Will technology take over education? It’s hard to say, but it’s easy to say that modern technology may have a symbiotic relationship with traditional education. In this situation, the technology of modern journalism and online articles was used to understand literature, not just for technological use. They can benefit each other and create a more complete education together.

You can see the article about her here.

A Response To Bolter’s Take On Technology and Print Media

In Bolter’s article, “Introduction: Writing in the Late Age of Print,” he mentions Frollo in Notre-Dame de Paris viewing the printing press as an end to the church rather than a way to spread the Bible around to many more people and make a way for Christianity to be more accessible to everyone. Frollo said, “This will destroy that.” Many people view technology the same way today. That was the connection he made.

Today many people “think of the computer as their primary medium” and print as a secondary one.  He goes on to say that “although print remains indispensable, it no longer seems indispensable” and “the possibilities of print seem to have been played out.” The fact of the matter is print is at a standstill, while the internet has only begun to grow.  Print is valuable and many writers like to be published in print, but its uses are limited. The internet, while sometimes less personal and desirable, has seemingly unlimited uses.  Even more interestingly, it’s only creating more uses through programming new sites and through new social networking ideas.

I know personally I prefer a printed book if I choose to read something. There is something about reading a book online that is less enjoyable to me. Also, staring at a screen can be bothersome to the eyes. Printed books seem like more of a relaxation and learning experience to me, while online books or any type of online research seems to be bombarding me with massive amounts of information. It’s very fast paced and always changing. That’s why its uses are so great, but it’s also why print is still valuable. The internet is changing the way we get information and the way we write. People want information and they want it fast. The writing has to keep up with that. As for my own preferences, sometimes a quick answer or a document that is on point is a great thing. Other times the sheer amount of information can be stressful online. I’ll admit I’m not quite up on things as far as technology goes.

In his other article, “Writing as Technology,” Bolter discusses the ancient methods of writing before mechanization and how all the advances we have made have allowed for progress. The internet is like this as well. He mentions that the computer has the quality of “rapid and easy change” and that “electronic writing may therefore participate in the restructuring of our whole economy of writing.” He also talks about the remediation, or competition of technologies. Print and online text are in competition. Each has their own benefits, but in today’s fast paced world the internet has far more uses. It can be a bit scary to think of one destroying the other, but both will compete for our preference and accessibility in our future.

You can see Bolter’s “Writing In The Late Age Of Print” here and “Writing as Technology” here