Monday, April 29, 2013

What have you learned?

Our classroom was designed specifically to encourage a more active, student-centered, and engaged learning experience. In Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman writes,

“. . . the content of a lesson is the least important thing about learning. . . . 
the most important thing one learns is always something about how one learns”(144).

So, what have you learned in this course?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Twitter adding some sound to its Tweets

It's finally here - what you have all been waiting for...Twitter music!

The music streaming industry has been starting to boom a bit as of late. Recently it was reported that Google was jumping into the music streaming ring. Now Twitter is joining the fray.

The Bird is finally going to make some noise

To be honest this wasn't really unexpected. There is money to make in music streaming, and honestly mixing music with twitter as a tool of discovering new artists seems like a cool idea.

However, there still definitely is this reoccurring theme of transparency. Sites are seeking to become so multi-faceted and versatile, and, like with smartphones, people could start to grow too dependent on or addicted to sites like Twitter (though I don't think it would ever be to the same degree as smartphones).

What do you think? Does the twitter music concept seem cool? Let me know what you think!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mass Amaturization and Websites

So while I was thinking about what to write this blog about, I started thinking about the different stuff we have done in class and kept thinking about our Web Based Research Project.  Mine is hosted as a Weebly website, which got me to thinking about the whole, mass amaturization stuff we have talked about in class. 

I am by no means an expert when it comes to building websites, I barely know the basics of HTML and CSS (the language used in programming websites), yet I can build a website and host it online for free.  This is interesting to me primarily because my uncle used to be a web site programmer, and built websites for a living, and is very good at it.  The process of mass amaturization is applicable here mainly because I, being a web building amateur, am able to build and host a website.  However, I still find myself wishing I knew as much as my Uncle does because that would make this process significantly easier because I would not be confined to the limits of what Weebly allows me to do.  I would be able to start from scratch.

That being said, it is still possible for me to learn how to do that using HTML and CSS on my own but the time and effort that it would take me to get that final product finished would way out weigh the benefit.  In the end, I think even though there are a lot of "amateurs" who are capable of becoming almost as good as "professionals" there will be still be a place in most industries for "professionals" to do their work. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

When walking into the Apple store at Keystone, you would think to find more people in their early twenties to forties. This was not the case, I began noticing older adults buying mini IPads, IPads, Mac computers, etc. Seeing this surprised me, because we hear about the digital era we are in, but I know when it comes to my father using his IPad, he only uses it for Facebook (Sadly) and Flipboard. Although, this makes me wonder, are older adults starting to get better at technology, than the younger generation?

From the Article Online habits Coming Slowly to Older Adults, explains how older adults are all coming to the digital era. In addition, it goes into explaining, the more money someone has (older adults) the more technologies they will buy to fit into society. I believe this to be true, because my ninety-three year old grandma has an IPad, and she uses a variety of apps and takes it with her everywhere. This question is for you: Do you believe that technology is being used by older adults, if so, how can you tell?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Free Gift Cards and Privacy

So, over Christmas break I was shown this website called MyFreeApps where I download free apps and get points, once I get enough points I can cash them in for different types of gift cards.  I only ever get iTunes ones though.  The only catch is that you have to actually open up the app and use it for awhile, usually only about 30 seconds, and to make sure you do this you have to install something on your device to make sure you are actually using the apps for the required amount of time.  I read though what they tell you it does when you install it, and didn't really find that they monitored or stored any info other than how long I was using the apps I downloaded from them.

I am now getting ready to write my paper on mobile devices and all the privacy issues involved in that and have been thinking about what other information they may be taking from me, and also whether or not I care if they are taking it.  I think I have come to the consensus that I don't really care that much.  There can't be that much information they are taking from my iPad and I am being compensated (the free iTunes gift cards).  Also, I am convinced that in order to be able to install software on an iPad (not sure what it is, but it wasn't actually an app) they had to have Apple sign off on it because they typically highly regulate what can and cannot be installed on their hardware, especially mobile stuff, then they can't be taking too much.

lastly, if anyone is interested it is available for iOS and Android I believe
Here is the link:

Monday, March 25, 2013

Youtube/Google continuing to take over

I recently made a Spotify account. It kind of snuck up on me. All of a sudden everyone was using it, and notifications on facebook let me know about it. I had never jumped on the Pandora train, so I didn't really have experience with streaming music sites. I made a Spotify account and have really liked it. Being able to listen to full albums legally without buying them is a really cool way to test out albums before buying them and then keeping albums that are only ok but not worth buying available in a way that gets at least some profits to the music industry (via ads).

"Anything You can do I can do better" - Google

With the boost in popularity of sites like Spotify and Pandora, I was not very surprised to see that Google is joining the music streaming fray. Youtube will soon feature a free with ads and premium, ad-free music streaming service. As many of you probably know (or might not know), Google owns YouTube, on top of things like Gmail (naturally), blogger, drive, maps, calendar, and images. Many of these services that Google provides have become, as we talked about in class earlier in the semester: transparent. Heck, google has even become a contemporary verb - googling.

With the addition of a (I assume) competent music streaming service that can rival spotify and pandora, it would seem that Google would become even more transparent in that it would have one more feature that we become very accustomed to. Yet, the neat thing with Google is that it has all of these cool features tied to one account. I think that youtube adding a streaming service is a good idea, despite the increase in transparency of and dependence on Google's services.

What do you all think? Do you use streaming music sites? Is Google taking over? Too transparent? Are we too dependent on it? Am I asking too many questions?