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Reflection

A Walk Through A Slide

With the growing capability the internet has to offer the more safety becomes and issue. That’s what this blog group is all about. In my Pecha Kucha presentation I was designated to the positive aspects of the online world. I started right off with the first idea that comes to mind: how easy it is nowadays to keep in touch with the people you want to keep in touch with. We don’t have to send a letter on a boat across the ocean and wait, pray, months or years for a response. This is the internet’s greatest advantage. Social sites such as Facebook let people keep in touch as long as they want to. In the slide I mentioned David Silver and how most of what people post does not matter anyways, but it is still nice to know that they are doing alright.

What I Learned about my Blog Topic

When we chose “safety” off of the board I thought it was going to be an easy subject to delve into. I still think that, but I realized that there is a lot more grey areas in the world of online safety. It is scary to think that anything that I have ever sent to someone, even if it was back in 5th grade, is still out in cyberspace somewhere. It makes me feel as if I should have been way more careful, even though I do not think I did that bad anyway. It makes me look to the future, where I can either get a job or lose a job by what comes up on the internet. Look at swimmer Michael Phelps for example.

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps (Photo credit: jdlasica)

Yes, he did something illegal (did he even hurt anybody), but that one picture single-handedly marked his end. This could have been a photo somebody had of him for years and just decided to show it off now that he was a hot-shot. I’m afraid of what employers will find because now I hear Facebook has ALL of your photos, that have ever been there, still saved in some filing cabinet. I try to avoid pictures if I’m out with a beer anyways, but sometimes it comes as a shock. And once it’s up, it’s not coming down.

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Intellectual Revolution

Yes, this blog is dedicated to the safety that one has on the internet, which isn’t much. I’m going to stray from that for this post and rant about how the internet is supposed to be used.

There is a problem in this world. The places, such as underdeveloped countries, that need schools the most don’t have them while here in the United States school is taken for granted, not seriously. But what if the world was full of children who wanted to learn, not just did it because it was normal?

I recently watched a TED talk by Sugata Mitra where he performed an experiment that he called the “hole in the wall”.

Hole in the Wall experiment

Hole in the Wall experiment (Photo credit: TofflerAnn)

In 1999 Mitra and his colleagues traveled to a slum in New Delhi where they literally dug a hole in the wall and set up a PC with internet access in a place where nobody had seen anything like it before. Immediately kids swarmed the PC, and in a few days figured out how to use it, gain access to the internet, and taught each other how everything worked.

This seems crazy enough, right? Now think about the good ol’ days of dreading every aspect of physics because of how complicated it all was. Now think of a 12 year old learning everything there is to know. Doesn’t seem to likely? Well it happened, in that slum in New Delhi. 12 year olds were literally TEACHING THEMSELVES high school and college level areas of study. Why would they do that? Don’t they have Facebook? No, they don’t. What they have is the hunger to learn, to know everything there is to know about what they are interested in.

I’m not saying I’m a prophet of this midset, in fact far from it. I want this hunger, but just thinking of the hole in the wall experiment and the outcomes are astonishing, and this is all because of the internet.

So let’s actually put it to use, shall we?

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Video Games – The Future of Learning

The ongoing debate of how video games are harming society sicken me. “Oh, but they endorse violence upon the youth and create monsters.” Yeah, alright. Can we please stop bickering about the negatives and take a look at all the positives video games bring to the table for once?

English: An NTSC Sega Dreamcast Console and PA...

English: An NTSC Sega Dreamcast Console and PAL Controller with VMU. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While I myself am not an avid gamer, putting aside my Halo days, I know what it takes to be good at one; precision. In an online gaming world where speed is the factor separating the legend from the common “n00b”, one cannot simply pick up a controller and be blessed with the skills to dominate. It takes hours of, dare I say, learning, yes, learning, a game to achieve success. But hand-eye coordination and reaction time are not the only attributes video games can bring forth upon society.

In an article we read in Dr. Tweedie’s module, though I do not recall which one it was exactly, it spoke of how complicated programs such as CADD (Computer-aided design) were actually TAUGHT using a video game. The programs used in classrooms were becoming way too complex and difficult for students to pick up and use while it took months or longer to master. To make the program make more sense, the professors devised a genius plan to make it more enjoyable for the students: make it into a video game. The game brought the CADD peers on a journey where they started with using simple tools in the program to defeat enemies and solve problems and by the end of the game had mastered the program.

This should be a new standard of teaching. Video games are fast-paced enough where it is hard to lose attention instead of sitting in a classroom for an hour listening to a lecture. Why do you think it is a growing philosophy to start children out on such as the Jumpstart franchise? The attention span of today’s society needs more action to stay satisfied, so why not teach the language of spanish through an xbox game where you are in the middle of a zombie invasion and the only way to not get eaten is to conjugate the right form of “bailar” with “nosotros” (we dance)? Now that’s learning.

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It’s ALRIGHT to leave some details out…

I have heard a lot in the news lately about people getting arrested. WHOA WAIT PEOPLE GETTING ARRESTED? NO WAY! Ok I do not have time for your sarcastic thoughts, reader. It is not simple about people getting arrested, but how they are. You know the usual story, a person commits a crime and is arrested on the spot because it was witnessed. This is not the scenario for a few unlucky bastards in the news recently.

1) Name: Richard Godbehere. Arrested for: Drunk driving. Richard

Richard Godbehere posted a video of him cruising along in his car speaking to the camera as if it were another passenger. A couple seconds into the video Richard proceeds to open up a beer, while still driving, and taking a swig. The best quote of the video has Richard saying “We all know that drinking and driving is against the law, but nobody ever said anything about driving and drinking.” This video was posted on Liveleak, an online video site, but was surprised when police showed up at his door to arrest him for drunk driving. Though he says it was made as a parody, it depends on whether or not the jury and judge believes him.

2) Name: Jacob Cox-Brown. Also arrested for: Drunk driving. Jacob

18 year old Jacob had just gotten back home on New Year’s day when he posted a Facebook status that read, “drivin drunk…classic 😉 but to whoever’s vehicle i hit i am sorry :P.” Thanks to a private Facebook message, the police showed up at his house a couple days later. Similar to Richard, Jacob claims that it was again just a joke and he swiped the cars because of icy conditions on the road. We’ll see what the court says. On Facebook, “smoking blunts” is also under his list of interests. Stupid.

My question is why anybody in their right mind would put that private information on the internet in the first place? If Richard’s video really was just for fun, it was kind of funny, he should have said at the end it wasn’t a real beer, but posting your drug use on the internet? That is beyond me. So be careful about what you post, everyone, or you might hear the police come knocking.

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Facebook – The Drug of the Internet

We all have our addictions whether it be coffee, cigarettes, chocolate milk, or even certain extra-fine people. Of course addiction can be either a positive or negative attribute, and when it comes to drugs nobody has ever said, “Wait, he smokes pot every day? Good for him, what determination. Keep up the good work, Jimmy boy.” Yet in this age of technology with social networking there IS a threat out there that has already taken the procrastinator’s world by storm, and it goes by the name of Facebook.

Now I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily addicted to watching the news feed change for hours and getting up-to-the-minute-status updates of people I barely know, but there’s something that draws an individual in. Not only from society’s standards, which if you don’t have a Facebook means you don’t have a life, but in a waste of time aspect as well. It is even easier with today’s smart phones that even have internet access built in.

Yes, I said before that I am not a Facebook “addict” per say, but when we were asked to not go on the site for a week the back of my mind was telling me I could not accomplish the feat.

Facebook logo

Facebook logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And it was right. I did go on Facebook a handful of times during the week, and am ashamed. I realized that it is just habit to check my phone on certain occasions such as waiting in line somewhere or when I’m by myself. Just like a cigarette, it is part of the routine.

I do have excuses, however. One class that I am enrolled in, Into the Writer’s Mind, used Facebook to communicate to the class what was happening in the days to come. I actually think it is a genius idea, since 99% of people now have a Facebook and I know that I go on there much more than I check my Rowan email. It is all about incorporating technology in the classroom, but that’s a story for another time. Since I have not viewed Facebook AS much, but continue to be a slave to it’s non-educational, brain-sucking tendencies. For now.

 

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Youtube – A New Platform for Fame (briefly)

Youtube. A site that receives 9,232 new hours of footage each and every day according to the video “An anthropological introduction to Youtube.” That was back in 2005, however, when the site was just getting started. Nowadays videos are uploaded every second of every day and it would be impossible to watch even a fraction of what Youtube has to offer in a lifetime. The videos are of anything and everything, where anybody can join in on the shenanigans simply by clicking a button. And once uploaded anybody around the world can view it.

I heard recently that the infamous Justin Beiber was actually discovered through Youtube, someone having

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber (Photo credit: cukuskumir)

stumbled upon his videos and picking the destined Justin for fame and glory. No, I am not a fan, I actually despise the guy, but that’s besides the point. Once a video goes viral such the evil chipmunk it is hard not to hear about it the next day around campus or from friends, but what becomes of these internet stars once their week of fame ends?

Some fade out with the wind. Others, such as the Numa Numa guy gets a spot on a late night television program and gets the crowd going. For most, they are simply known for a single video which can translate poorly to their real lives, and once everyone has seen a video the one who was part of it will never live it down. Internet famous does not work well with reality.

Although everyone would like to get their 15 minutes of fame handed to them it is not the best route. I’m going to finish this one with a little self-promoting. I have a Youtube band, The Prophets of Musical Genius… of Destiny (PoMGoD) where it is basically Tenacious-D with two ukuleles.  Our goal is to be on Ellen, yet being internet famous, like we should be, is not as easy as it sounds. Gimme a hand here Justin.

For a little uke action:

http://www.youtube.com/user/ProphsofMusGenofDes

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Reflecting on the Process.

A Walk through a Slide

Safety is an important topic in today’s Web 2.0. It can either make the experience, or break the experience. In my writing arts class, “Technologies and the Future of Writing,” my group put together a presentation about online safety. My topic consisted of the negatives on online dating (for clarification on why I didn’t say anything positives – not saying it’s a complete bad idea). The second slide in my presentation was a very important slide in terms of one of the most important slides on my presentation.uhhh It discusses how the identity factor plays into meeting people online and how you can’t determine if someone is being truthful or not if they are presenting themselves to you over the internet. The picture I used (ASL picture to the left) is a picture I made that demonstrates chatting with someone online. I think it was an effective picture because as you can see, there is no indication of who the person’s identity on the other end of the chat room. The person on the left says that they are 18, female, and lives in California – but how can the person on the right be sure of that? And even if the left person isn’t lying, how does she know she isn’t giving her information to some 50 year old weirdo on the other end? Within this slide, I referenced Dick Hardt from his Identity 2.0 video, saying “digital identity is unverified, like verbal information. Like when you meet someone, except there are fewer trust cues because you can’t see or hear the person.” I thought this was an important quote – it’s practically what makes meeting/dating people online such risky business. The most important words are digital identity is unverified. There is nothing saying that Person A or Person B was telling the truth. Overall, in my presentation it was an important step, if not the most important step to online dating – which was why it was my second slide. After this slide, I went further into the process, like people changing their identities and the possibilities of online predators, to the predators having the ability to track people.

What I Learned about my Blog Topic

My topic – safety – seemed to be a pretty basic, common knowledge type of topic. However, there are some aspects of safety that people tend to ignore for the pleasure of the internet’s freedom. In this class, we read an article by Sherry Turkle called “Who Am We?” and in the article, she begins with all the people that are named Sherry Turkle, and continues onto talk about identity online. I think this article was important to my topic because of how important the identity factor is to safety on the internet. Turkle allowed me to look at the positives on having an identity online, and being able to play around with it – it helped me understand that there is always a bad side and a good side to things, even though previously, it would seem that the ability to change and play with your identity could be a bad thing because of how much we equate it to people just being creepy. One thing that I’d like to mention is that during this class, by writing blog posts, and searching for articles online that I could discuss in a post – I came across one article in particular (Get ready for more media hacks, Twitter warns) (my blog post: Twitter Security Strikes Out!) that brought something interesting to mind. Over the process of me writing the blog post about information being stolen on Twitter, I stopped to think – What else is being stolen over the internet? When I put my credit card information to a shopping store online, can I really trust that no one is going to steal my information even though it tells me it won’t share or save it? Sites are getting hacked into daily, and I really don’t think anyone – even me – takes the time out of there day to really worry about these times of things. When you want something hassle-free, why not just order it online, right? But who knows if this is really part of the reasons peoples’ credit cards are being hacked into, or worse, their identities being stolen. I learned that no matter what the internet tells me, we always have to be careful. The internet can be a dangerous place.