Monday, April 18, 2011

Blog Post #10: The Dependence on Technology

Why has technology become such a big part of our lives? We are dealing with technology in school, the work force and in our own personal lives. What has caused it to become such an intricate factor that affects our everyday lives? I'm going to break down our dependence on technology and in the different areas that we use it: school, at work and for our own personal lives.
There has been a growing dependency on technology in the classrooms across America. It has been proven that technology in classrooms causes students to be more motivated when it comes to learning new material. Furthermore, laptops, computers and Smart boards have created different outlets for teachers to make teaching an easier and more innovative process. The amount of technology exposure that students get at schools is beneficial to them because it makes them better trained for learning new programs when it comes to their professional careers.
This leads me to the next topic of using technology at work. More and more employers are looking for employees who know how to work with different computers programs. This is important to a company because these computer programs and technology in general provides for more efficiency and greater organization. Instead of a secretary writing down appointments and keeping filing cabinets overflowing with records and information, he or she can now keep everything conveniently assessable on a laptop. Keeping everything organized at work obviously creates a more stress-free environment because everything runs more smoothly.
Lastly, technology has become an intricate part of our personal lives. It has become an outlet for many people to share their emotions, let the world know what is going on in their lives and a way for people to stay connected with family and friends. These social outlets are ways that you can stay in touch with people even if you don't see them as much. Wherever we are in life, it seems as if technology is making an impact on our lives and we are becoming more and more dependent on what it has to offer.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Blog Post #9: Counter Argument--Technology in Classrooms

Millions of schools across America are taking greater steps towards adding technology in their classrooms. Adding different amenities such as personal laptops, computers and Smart boards increases a student's understanding of a world that is steadily increasing its dependence on technology. Technology in classrooms has proven to have many beneficial effects on students. Children exposed to advanced technology in classrooms, such as personal laptops and Smart boards, have proven to be more motivated to do their work. Technology allows a new outlet of learning. This is beneficial to students because as they proceed to find jobs in the work field, more and more companies will be looking for employees that are qualified to operate different computer programs. Different computer programs in classrooms also allows for a broader and better use of programs that teachers can use to teach students. With the innovation of new programs, teachers are no longer stuck to just teach on the chalkboard or use the overhead projector.
On the other hand, Julia Klaus believes that technology in classrooms takes away learning time, is overused and can cause students to become off-task. Klaus believes that technology should not become the sole source of learning material in classrooms; it should "supplement the classroom curriculum" (Klaus). It seems to me that there is no problem with this because it only allows learning to become more efficient. Technology cannot become "overused" because you are constantly learning and evolving when you use technology.
Technology is increasing in classrooms all around the world today and it has proven to be beneficial to classrooms because it increases a student's motivation, allows teachers different ways to teach their students and it increases students' understanding of technology which will be beneficial to them in the workforce. To read more about Julia Klaus' views, you can read her article Negative Effects of Using Technology in Today's Classroom.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Blog Post #8: What Does it Take to be an Innovator?

Facebook, Napster, YouTube. What do all of these big companies have in common? These online companies were created by young individuals who went out on a whim and ended up creating raging businesses. What does it take to make such a successful online company and how do you know that your idea will work? These are the questions that intrigued me when I was reading the chapter on "Innovators" in the book Born Digital.
Let's look at each innovator separately starting with the creator of Facebook Mark Zuckerburg. Zuckerburg dropped out of Harvard to create Facebook with his friends but he was faced with some dilemmas along the way. Another group of Harvard students claimed that Zuckerburg stole the idea of Facebook from them. Zuckerburg also faced a speed bump when his idea of a "News Feed" caused controversy among its users because it was too invasive of their privacy. Zuckerburg fixed the problem and the masses gobbled up the idea of controlling how much they want to share on Facebook.
Napster was created by Shawn Fanning, a student at Northeastern University. Fanning had the idea of creating an online website where people could trade music. Fanning's idea may have seemed fine but it was seriously flawed because it was illegal. Soon enough, YouTube co founder Chad Hurley came up with the idea of posting movies online without it being illegal. When looking at all of these young innovators, it is obvious that they took a risk when creating these highly successful businesses and they figured out how to work out the problems that came in their way. More information can be found about young innovators by reading the book Born Digital or visiting the website Born Digital.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Blog Post #7: Online Safety: Analyzing Visual Rhetoric

The piece of visual rhetoric that I chose to analyze was found on a blog at This public service announcement pertains to parents whose children talk to strangers online and it was made to make parents more aware about their children's Internet activities. This ad was originally created for the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative. The ad is all black and white and it shows a girl on a laptop and a man with the word "predator" underlined in red on him. The ad is in black and white to emphasize the red, underlined word "predator". This draws your attention to the word "predator" and enhances the importance of the message of the ad. The black and white color of this ad also brings out the serious tone and the inexpressive face of the man appeals to pathos because it is actually somewhat scary because he seems like a prisoner having his mug shot taken. The ad also has the phrase, "You should see who your daughter met online last night". The images of the man and the young girl help explain the verbal content because there is a clear meaning in the message of the verbal content. This ad adequately grabs your attention and conveys the message that parents need to be more aware of their children's online activities.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Blog Post #6: What's Your Password?

When it comes to sharing your password with strangers it is pretty obvious that we all know that you should not do so. Often times though, we over look this care and concern when it comes to sharing our passwords with friends. This does not apply only to social networking sites but it also applies to sharing passwords for your email accounts or school learning account. It is unsafe to provide your school learning account because people can then access personal information such as your grades and the classes you are taking. Sometimes people let their friends access their personal school learning account such as eLearning if they need to print out notes or catch up on a lecture that they missed. This can be dangerous though because your netID and password can be saved on your friend's laptop and someone else could obtain access to your account.
Another scenario to keep in mind is that many people believe that they have a secure password when in reality, they don't. Texas A&M requires it's students to take an Information Security Awareness Training. This training is mandatory to help students learn about how to be safe when it comes to online safety on campus. You can find out more about this security training by going to the Texas A&M Information Security Training website.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Blog Post #5: Cyberbullying Blogs

Francis Duncan's blog post "Would Your Child Tell You If He/She Was Being Bullied?" discusses the element of cyberbullying. In her blog post, she discusses if children would actually be comfortable telling their parents that they are being bullied online and tips to deal with the situation. Diana Pentecost's blog post "What Can You Do If Your Child Is Bullied Online?" also discusses the issue of cyberbullying. Pentecost's blog post offers tips on how to effectively recognize and deal with a situation that involves your child and online bullying. Both of these blog posts obviously are geared towards parents. This causes the blog posts to appeal to pathos. Both of the blogs also offer tips on how to deal with situations regarding your child and online bullying. The two blog posts are different because Pentecost offers tips on how to deal with online bullying with the help of The NetSmartz Workshop, instead of offering her own opinion. Duncan's blog post, on the other hand, has her own insightful tips on how to deal with cyberbullying. The rhetorical messages conveyed in both blog posts are successful because they offer good advice and the response that they have received from their blog followers is positive. Francis Duncan's blog post can be found at the safetyclicks website and Diana Pentecost's blog post can also be found at the safetyclicks website.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Blog Post #4: We are the Future

When it comes to the subject of being cautious about what you put on the Internet, many children choose to not focus on this aspect. Students in college and young adults are more aware about this matter because they know that potential employers may take to their social network page to see the kind of person they are. It is very possible that if they see a picture that doesn't reflect their potential employee's attitude or personality in the best light that they will not consider him or her to work for them. Now let's fast-forward twenty years from now when students who are now in high school will be the ones hiring individuals. It seems pretty evident that if they see a picture of a future employee consuming alcohol on the Web they will not judge them on that. They would not judge them because it will be highly likely that they have had pictures of themselves drinking alcohol posted on the Internet. So is it okay to disregard someone's not so flattering actions posted on the Internet? Many would argue that it is not okay because doing these things such as having your picture taken partying and drinking and having them posted up on the Internet makes your unprofessional life available for everyone to see and this does not reflect back in a positive way. Others would contradict this notion by saying that just because some pictures are posted on the Web does not mean that you can judge a person. People who are the future generation would generally make this statement because they know they have experienced the same situation. I would have to say that I agree that you cannot a judge a person's capability or skills based on what you see on the Internet.