A BRIEF HISTORY OF TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Technology... Security Issues

"Gmail account security in Iran"
"Friday, September 09, 2011 2:14 PM"

"Posted by Eric Grosse, VP Security Engineering"

"Cross posted from the Google Security Blog"

"We learned last week that the compromise of a Dutch company involved with verifying the authenticity of websites could have put the Internet communications of many Iranians at risk, including their Gmail. While Google’s internal systems were not compromised, we are directly contacting possibly affected users and providing similar information below because our top priority is to protect the privacy and security of our users."

"While users of the Chrome browser were protected from this threat, we advise all users in Iran to take concrete steps to secure their accounts:"


"1.Change your password. You may have already been asked to change your password when you signed in to your Google Account. If not, you can change it here."

"2.Verify your account recovery options. Secondary email addresses, phone numbers, and other information can help you regain access to your account if you lose your password. Check to be sure your recovery options are correct and up to date here."

"3.Check the websites and applications that are allowed to access your account, and revoke any that are unfamiliar here."

"4.Check your Gmail settings for suspicious forwarding addresses or delegated accounts."

"5.Pay careful attention to warnings that appear in your web browser and don’t click past them."


"For more ways to secure your account, you can visit http://www.google.com/help/security. If you believe your account has been compromised, you can start the recovery process here."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Netflix


If you haven't tried Netflix yet, I recommend that you do.
www.netflix.com
It's affordable, fast, convenient, and it has a great selection. Its selection is far from being complete, but as a movie lover, I can say Netflix is definitely worth trying.
For those of you who are afraid of giving out your credit card number or have trust issues when it comes to doing business online, I have to say that I personally have been using Netflix for about five years and I've never had any problem.

Monday, July 25, 2011

World Digital Library

http://www.wdl.org/

The World Digital Library (WDL) makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.

The principal objectives of the WDL are to:

Promote international and intercultural understanding;
Expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet;
Provide resources for educators, scholars, and general audiences;
Build capacity in partner institutions to narrow the digital divide within and between countries.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dolls & Technology

Dolls have been around for a long time. They have always been one of the main toys children, particularly girls, have enjoyed playing with. When I was a child - a million years ago - what made a doll special was the hair or the dress or even the size of the doll. About two decades ago, this shifted and the most important feature of dolls became what they could do. Some dolls were built to laugh, others to cry, and some even to speak. The dolls that only have beautiful hair or a beautiful dress are just not as popular anymore. Children want something more. They want the doll to accomplish something. A doll is just not a child's favorite toy anymore unless it can do something.

Nowadays, collectors are the main buyers of traditional dolls. Children are now more interested in electronic devices than in beautifully dressed dolls. With the advance of technology, dolls have become more sophisticated. The traditional dolls are being replaced by action figures and electronic dolls. Some of these electronic dolls are being used in schools to teach teenagers about the responsibilities of taking care of a baby. Other dolls are used in schools for other purposes, such as sex education.

Many parents have different opinions about the "marriage of the micro-chip and silicone rubber latex" (Belinda Youlten) and the creation of these advanced dolls has created much controversy. Not every parent is comfortable with having little robots that can walk around in the house. Maybe if these dolls did some of the house chores, more parents would become interested. Maybe, in this case, even adults with no children would consider them.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Celestia




Celestia is a free program that can be easily downloaded. This tool can be used for all kinds of explorations in astronomy. The solar system is only one of the many topics I know nothing about. Celestia allows me to navigate through space in real time. The images in this program are amazing. I recommend this tool for anyone interested in exploring space. D. Thornburg says, "The only downside of this tool is that, once you start using it, you will probably lose track of time."


http://www.shatters.net/celestia/

Friday, April 29, 2011

Online Applications

A few days ago, I had to fill out an online application for a university. I always dread these tasks because I don't know what to do if I get stuck or have a question. There is no human being who can help me. Of course, the more you fear something, the more likely it is it will happen to you.

After I finished each page, I was supposed to click "next" to save that page and continue to the next. At one point, I got an "error" message. An arrow next to my residence address which now appeared in red letters and numbers indicated my address was wrong. I checked my address again and it seemed correct to me. Even the spaces between the words were right. So I submitted the page again, and I got the same message and my address turned red again. I looked at the recent bills that were laying on the table and compared my address to the one on the bills. There was nothing wrong.

After spending at least twenty minutes on this - clicking "next" and getting an "error" message, I decided to leave the address blank. After all, I had already entered my P.O. address as my permanent one, so I figured it would be fine if they didn't have my residence address; besides, the computer wasn't accepting in anyway. I tried submitting the page without a residence address, but the page bounced back, saying I needed to enter an address. Even though there was a line clearly explaining that they don't accept a P.O. Box address as a residence one, I had no alternative at this point and typed my P.O. address in this box as well and clicked on "next." Guess what? It worked! I was miraculously presented the following page.

A few pages later, I was asked my total annual income for the previous year. I looked at my tax documents which were sitting on my desk and entered the number. When I clicked "next," however, I got an error message on my annual income. I figured maybe they don't want an exact number, just an approximate one, so I rounded the number and tried again. Still red. At this point, I was completely frustrated and suddenly realized I was talking to my self, saying, "Yes, I'm not happy with my annual income, but it is what it is. Now what do you want me to do?" After at least ten attempts, I realized this application just did not like my income, so I tried a different number at random, and it worked.

Filling out my online application took me a whole day, and at the end of the application, I had to sign my name that all of the information on this application was true to the best of my knowledge. Well... it was close enough, but what else could I do? I mean I know that I live in a tiny studio, but it's still not a box, or at least, it's not at the post office. I also know that my income is five thousand dollars different from what I entered. But seriously, what should a person do in this situation?

I've decided that using technology to facilitate our daily life is an excellent idea, but what if it does the total opposite and complicates our life instead of facilitating it? Should we still use technology for everything, no matter how out of hands things can get?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Upside Down Screen?

An acquaintance came to me with a computer problem. This alone - asking me, Miss Technology, a computer question - is a joke all by itself and proves this person doesn't know much about me. He just saw me writing - typing - on one of my blogs and assumed that I was an expert in the field of computers.

Anyway...

His problem was that for some reason, his screen showed everything upside down, and he had no idea how this had happened. Everything seemed normal except the display. The mouse worked, the cursor moved, and all the keys functioned; however, everything appeared upside down, and when you moved the mouse, the cursor obviously didn't go in the direction your eyes would expect it to go.

Of course, this was very interesting to me because I had never seen such a thing, so I googled "upside down screen" and found quite a few links that helped me solve the problem. Apparently, if you hold down the 'alt' and 'ctrl' keys at the same time and press the down arrow, everything becomes upside down, and to restore the window, you need to hold down the 'alt' and 'ctrl' keys and press the up arrow.

I'm amazed at how much information is accessible on Google. I alone use Google every single day for anything and everything. It's the best source of information. Even though all the links that appear as a result of a search can not be trusted, many links are useful and helpful.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Good Old Days

A few days ago, I accidently came across a familiar name on Facebook. I didn't know that particular person, but I knew another person with her name. After searching for a moment, I discovered an old classmate. Her Facebook picture looked really the same as when we were in high school together... over twenty years ago. I sent her a request and she remembered me and sent me a message. Through her, I was able to find seventeen other old classmates now spread all around the world. I have been spending a lot of time chatting on Facebook over the last few days. It's wonderful to find that a lot of my classmates from high school are now very successful people in different parts of the world. I thank the people who have made this technology possible.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Power of Technology

MaryAnn brought up something in writing class that took me back to 2008, probably the worst year of my life for many reasons. So many things went wrong that year, but one of the most significant ones was my friend's death.

I lost my friend, Zohreh, to cancer in April 2008, and even though I was happy that she wasn't suffering anymore, I had a hard time dealing with the whole situation - hospitals, loss, funeral, ... - and experienced some kind of trauma for a few months after it was over.

One day, I was looking at my cell phone and saw her name on my cell phone contact list. I pressed "delete" to erase her number and I was surprised that I wasn't able to answer the question that followed, "Delete contact from phone book?" I felt that if I pressed "yes," I would be killing her all over again, maybe from my memory - not my phone's.

Eventually, I ended up deleting her name and number from my phone many months later, but a very strange feeling accompanied that moment, a feeling of betrayal and disrespect, like I was deciding that it was time to forget her. Logically, I knew I wasn't doing anything wrong; I simply didn't need to keep a number which was probably reassigned to someone else by then.

I thought about this for a while and then forgot about it. When MaryAnn talked about her experience a few days ago, I started to think about the power of technology. How powerful is technology?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nowruz & HaftSeen

“Nowruz” is made of two words: Now (new) + Ruz (day).
This is the name of the new year celebration as well as the name of the first day of the Iranian new year which is also the first day of spring and is usually celebrated on March 20th or March 21st.

“Haftseen” is a major tradition of Nowruz, the Iranian new year.
“haft” means seven; “seen” is the sound of the letter “s” in Persian (Farsi)
The haftseen table includes seven specific items, all starting with the letter S or Seen.
The items symbolically correspond to seven creations.
sabzeh – wheat, barley or lentil sprouts growing in a dish – symbolizing rebirth
samanu / samanoo – a sweet pudding made from wheat germ – symbolizing wealth
senjed – the dried fruit of the oleaster tree – symbolizing love
sîr – garlic – symbolizing medicine
sîb – apples – symbolizing beauty and health
serkeh – vinegar – symbolizing age and patience
sekkeh – coins – symbolizing prosperity and wealth


Samanoo

www.noosharavaghi.com

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Technology & Spelling

As someone who corrects essays all the time, I need to say this: the words their, they're, and there are not the same. People who just type and hope that the computer will catch their errors are so wrong! The computer's spell check tool will identify those words that are not in the word processor's dictionary. It will, unfortunately for people who can't spell, not fix those errors that involve words that exist. The same goes for to, too, and two. If I'm getting essays from college students - and professors - whose writing reflects they don't know the difference between "their" and "they're," or "to" and "too," then I can say something is very wrong with the education system of this country!
Oh! Here's another one: then and than.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

E-Books & Popularity

Each year, toward the end of the year, many people exchange gifts. In 2010, many people bought e-book readers for their children, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, parents, and even grandparents. Many of my students are among those who received these wonderful presents. They say that since they have gotten their Nook or Kindle, they have read a lot of books, a lot more than before, at least. After talking to some people about this and reading reviews about e-book readers online, I noticed that these devices have a huge number of fans.

I, Miss Technology, am not one of those people who tests a high-tech device as soon as it comes out. No, I wait. I wait until it becomes very popular; I wait until fans rave about it; I wait until all of my friends get it. Then I wait some more until it becomes indispensable. Finally, by the time I get it, it's old news, and EVERYBODY has it!

I'm a big fan of reading, so this might be a good device for me; on the other hand, I like the feel of paper; on the other hand, it can be very convenient for traveling; on the other hand, I can't read a book - unless it's fiction - without making little marks and comments in it; on the other hand, the price of e-books is a lot less than regular books; on the other hand, some titles may not be easily obtainable; on the other hand, there is no need for light to read an e-book...

E-books may have a lot of pros and cons, but there is no doubt they are becoming more and more popular. In fact, Newsweek reports, "The transformation of the book industry has reached a tipping point. 'Electronic books now outsell paperbacks on Amazon,' the retailer recently announced."

So, what's next?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The More Technology...

...the more education?

Apparently so!

Each year, toward the end of the year, many people exchange gifts. In 2010, many people bought e-book readers for their children, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, parents, and even grandparents. Many of my students are among those who received these wonderful presents. They say that since they have gotten their Nook or Kindle, they have read a lot of books, a lot more than before, at least. After talking to some people about this and reading reviews about e-book readers online, I noticed that these devices have a huge number of fans.

As you probably know by now, I, Miss Technology, am not one of those people who tests a high-tech device as soon as it comes out. No, I wait. I wait until it becomes very popular; I wait until fans rave about it; I wait until all of my friends get it. Then I wait some more until it becomes indispensable. Finally, by the time I get it, it's old news, and EVERYBODY has it!

I'm a big fan of reading, so this might be a good device for me; on the other hand, I like the feel of paper; on the other hand, it can be very convenient for traveling; on the other hand, I can't read a book - unless it's fiction - without making little marks and comments in it; on the other hand, the price of e-books is a lot less than regular books; on the other hand, some titles may not be easily obtainable; on the other hand, there is no need for light to read an e-book...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Information or Infomercial?

Technology has made it possible for everyone to share information globally. This has helped the world by increasing the speed of progress in different fields. Therefore, sharing information is definitely one of the advantages of technology. However, the question is, "Can we believe everything we read?"

Absolutely not!

Although in some developing countries, computers can not be found in each household, in the United States, most people own a computer or at least have access to one. This means anyone can write whatever they want and post it for the world to see. Should we believe anything anyone has to say?

Sometimes people post incorrect information online. They might not have the intention to do so, but once their post is out there, it is exposed to millions of people. The damage such action might cause varies based on what kind of information it is, how wrong it is, how important it is, and who reads it. Despite the fact that there is no evil plan to mislead people, many readers might consider what they read online as reliable information and somehow use it, which could end in very negative results.

Now imagine the damage that can be caused by information that is meant to be misleading. Many people now use the internet as a way to promote their business, and in order to do so, they tend to exaggerate when it comes to describing the services they provide or the products they sell. They might even tell you that without a certain product or service, life will just not be possible.

I had an interesting - and terrifying - experience very recently. My dog is pregnant. As her due date gets closer, I became more and more excited about being able to see her give birth to puppies. I thought I should be more informed about the subject so that I could be more prepared when the time came, so I decided to do a little research online and googled "pregnant dogs". I found much more information than I was hoping to find, some of which seemed to be very useful. One particular website, which I later found was linked to a veterinarian's office, scared me a lot more than it informed me. Every sentence on that site seemed like a threat, scaring dog owners, such as myself, of the terrible consequences of dogs having babies at home. And why? It was all only because the vet wanted to get business!

It is our job, as readers, to do our own research, consult a variety of sources, and not believe everything we read online. Only by being cautious can we protect ourselves from the disadvantages of technology and get the most out of its advantages.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Skype

I finally used Skype for the first time a few hours ago. You must be thinking, "This software application was created in 2003, and you're just using it now?" All I can say to that is, "Well, I wasn't given the name Miss Technology without a good reason!" I personally know hundreds of people who use Skype everyday, but to know people who do something and to actually do it are very different. Even now, I would have probably not used Skype if my friend, Leslie, hadn't insisted that we communicate via Skype.

What do you know about Skype features?

In addition to making voice calls to a person over the internet, by using Skype, you can do instant messaging, file transfer, and video conferencing.

Who created Skype?

Skype was founded in 2003 by Swedish entrepreneur Niklas Zennstrom and Dane Janus Friis.

Where did the name "Skype" come from?

One of the original names for the project was "Sky peer-to-peer."
This was then abbreviated to "Skyper."
There were no domain names available for "Skyper."
The final "r" was dropped and the current title "Skype" was made.

How much does it cost to make a call?

Making a call to a landline or a cell phone costs a low amount of money, but calling other Skype users over the internet is free.