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Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday, October 7, 2011

Steve Jobs Passing: A sad day for The World

Image from Apple Inc. Site
It is with great sadness that I write this blog to the reaction of the passing of the technology Guru Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs and Mac, an icon of Apple Inc. and the World at large, has time and again surprise the entire world by the type of dynamic products that have continued to flow from Apple Inc. to the market. Are we going to see the same kind of products again or this is the end of high end computer technology?
Surely, the passing of Steve is a beating that doesn't have any soothing remedy. When I first new about Macintosh computers and I first shown away from them. This is when I joined the University of Northern Iowa College of Education as a graduate student. I did not have a choice but to learn how to use a mac and within a few minute I was using the much. I instantly fell in love with them. Regular desktop mac have a beauty that no other computer can ever come close to beat. At the same time, they are virus proof and their ragged nature ensures longevity.

They are are nevertheless very appealing to the eyes. At the same time they are soft to the eyes and tantalizing to the touch of a finger and the rest of the body. It is the saddest day to not only Apple Product lovers, including institutions of higher learning like UNI, but also to many elementary and High schools across the world. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Real Global Online Collaborative Learning still a stone through away

As we have seen in our readings, chats and discussions, emerging technologies cannot be wished away in the present ever changing world and especially classrooms, but all the forces we know of embrace it eg social forces and economic forces. For the children who want to get a good education, they have to keep up with the new technologies like tweeter, blogging, IM, chats even texting, and not give in. With texting though, once they get of age to have cell phones the gadget stays in their hands constantly and so it comes easily. Here is a twist about  Text Messages

But what I can see and I have to say that this is just a layman retorting and not a research finding at all, is that although there will be more than enough end point user hardware around the world, there might be difficulties when it comes to connectivity. As we have seen in our readings (Web 2.0 and Disrupting Class text), some countries are far ahead when it comes to connectivity of the World Wide Web but none of them has riched the perfect level (100%). So this will always be hindrances as far as online learning and especially due to the financial, technical and logistical difficulties attached to it. For the majority of the countries finance is a problem, especially most of third world countries. We have to bear in mind that it is not collaborative learning until we hear from everybody in different parts of the world. At the same time, I believe that every country is doing its very best for their citizens to be connected and be part of this great experience and even better become global citizens.

Putting that aside, my take for a good education is not just mastering the lectures and readings provided by the teacher but also relating the lectures and readings to the real world events. For example, apart from just listening to news and getting satisfied by what you have heard, an educated individual will try getting other views from other sources using the internet, texting friends to know what they think and so on. Paulo Barsio explains this better here .

Social networks have grown very rapidly and they offer fast ways to organize things like get together, sharing, lazar fast communication and meetings as they collaborate. Such are the functionalities that I think kids will benefit from but by using them for educational purposes other than just socializing. See this  Computer Games Another way that student can learn better is using online based computer games. This is well explained here