A BRIEF HISTORY OF TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION

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.