Friday, March 30, 2012

Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship


        The article expains the emergence and preservance of social media sites. It explains how the purpose of some of the sites may vary. Some may specialize in linking people by same interests or similar people. The article then goes to construct a timeline of all of social network cites that had emerged since the first one which was I liked how the author(s) went through the history of SNS as well as the rise and fall of a few of them. Social network sites are now a global phonomenon. Whether a particular social network site will be here one day and gone the next, will not affect the emergence of many other's in the future. We have not yet reached the peak of social networks as a society. Where one is flawed someone will create another incorporating what was popular about the last, while displaying innovative features. Networking sites not only make the world smaller, they allow you to connect with people, express your thoughts, and share your life with others. In my opinion thats everything life should be about; perhaps that's why these sites have become so popular.

  1. Boyd, D. M. and Ellison, N. B. (2008), Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13, 210–230. doi: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00393.x

My Research Topic


     My research paper is going to pretty much be focusing on the effects of radiations fom mobile phones. More specifically, what the effects using a cell phone may have on an unborn child. A team led by Dr. Hugh S. Taylor, professor and chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale, conducted an experiment using mice and a 3 cell phones, one active, one on mute, and a deactivated phone for the control. According to the recent study, mobile phone radiation exposure in the womb of a pregnant mother can affect the brain development of the child and potentially lead to behavioral disorders such as hyperactivity. Indeed the definition of ADHD is based on behavior instead of a neurological disease, a developmental lag in the brain has been linked with magnetic resonance.
  There has also been a global study on link between cell phones and brain cancer; however the studies came up inconclusive. I will go into further details about the studies in my paper along with my opinion and future possibilities to avoid the ehealth risks which come along with an everyday gadget like the cellophone.

Scholar YOU Should Know- Neil Postman

Neil Postman was an American author, educator, media theorist, and a culture critic born March 8, 1931. He was a communications professor at New York University and was best known for his book about television titled, "Amusing Ourselves to Death". He was a firm believer that, "new technology can never substitute for human values". 

Neil Postman, a native New Yorker, graduated in 1953 from the State University of New York at Fredonia. He received a master's degree in 1955 and a doctorate in education in 1958, both from the Teachers College, Columbia, and started teaching at N.Y.U. in 1959. He was a chair in the field of media ecology and his eforts was fueled by his idea of television polluting society. He felt that only in the print world 'could complicated truths be rationally revealed'.

Dr. Postman wrote more than 200 magazine and newspaper articles and 20 books, starting in 1961 with "Television and the Teaching of English." His media and education influences werepresent in his seventeen print works including, Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985), Conscientious Objections (1988), Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology (1992), and End of Education (1995). Not to mention articles found in Teacher Magazine and Education Week.

In 1971, he founded the program in media ecology at the Steinhardt School of Education of N.Y.U. Over the years, he attracted a large audience for his lectures and writings. In 1993 he was appointed a University Professor, the only one in the School of Education, and was chairman of the department of culture and communication until last year.
His impact on education speaks for itself. He was very passionate about spreading a positive message about education. He is not only acknowledged for his educational influence but also his influence on technological advances and respect for Americas traditions and appreciation of it's diversity.
Neil Postman posted five things we need to know about technological change which includes,
1."All technological change is a trade-off; This means that for every advantage a new technology offers, there is always a corresponding disadvantage."
2. "The advantages and disadvantages of new technologies are never distributed evenly among the population.This means that every new technology benefits some and harms others."
3. "Embedded in every technology there is a powerful idea, sometimes two or three powerful ideas"
4. "Technological change is not additive; it is ecological. A new medium does not add something; it changes everything."
5. "Media tend to become mythic."

Unfortunately, Neil Postman died at the age of 72 in 2003. The cause of his death was lung cancer. I would like to leave you with a few quotes from this remarkable man to give a sense of what he stood for.
"Television is altering the meaning of "being informed" by creating a species of information that might properly be called disinformation. Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading information - misplaced, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial information - information that creates the illusion of knowing something, but which in fact leads one away from knowing"

"Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see"

"When I hear people talk about the information super highway, it will become possible to shop at home, and bank at home, and get your texts at home, and get your entertainment at home, so I often wonder if this doesn't signify the end of any community life"


Class Discussion- Topic(s) I've Learned


           There have been many thriving discussions held in our classroom in regards to new media technologies. We have spoke about so many different topics from internet regulation, the 'new book' from ipad, virtual popstars, Smartpens made by Livescribe, and how social media can possibly save lives in Japan. I would have never known about technology being available that would allow your to post messages that can be read by your love ones once you die, or new media literacies.
           Perhaps because I am a college student, I was specifically impressed by the abilities of the smart pen they have created. Basically this pen allows your to record a lecture given by your perfesor. But if this pen only allowed you to record it would be that impressive. Aside from recording, while your reviweing your notes, if there is something you forgot or don't understand, then you can simply touch that spot on your notes and you will be able to hear what your teacher was saying at the exact time when you wrote it. I personally feel this pen wouldbe a great investment throughout anyone's college career.
          Along with the smart pen we recently spoke about a virtual popstar in Japan called Hatsume Miku. Because of the society I was raised in, it is hard for me to grasp the concept of idolizing a computerized image, but I am not judgemental nor narrow minded to the idea. I understand mushc like cartookn caracters, people to enjoy computer generated images. I guess the part that throws me off is buying tickets to go to a concert to see a computer generated image accompanied by a computer generated voice. I admire god- given talent, not man-made talent. If I was to look at it from a sociologist view I would think that depending on the agenda or structure of society, Hatsune Miku may be the greatest thing that happened, especially for conservative countries. If all pop stars were made by computers, then the risk of inappropiate moments would deminish.  For example, these moments may include the infamous Janet Jackson nipple slip during the Superbowl half-time show, M.I.A. putting her middle finger up on live television, or grammy award winner Adele cursing at the British Paparazzi.
         Overall the topics I learned in this class will make me think more about new technologies and the impact they may have on societies.

My Tweet: New developments to charging electric cars while driving on the highway

                  Todays' electric vehicles require to constanlty have to charge the engine due to their lack of ablitiy to sustain the energy over a long period of time. This has become hectic to some drivers more specifically, those who drive long distances and constanlty have to pull ofer to recharge. In order to drive long ranges, one must invest not only a large amount of money for a new engine, but also an engine that essentially takes up a lot of space. However, technology is now being created so that in the future, constant need to charge your car with a cable would be unnessesary. Suprisingly enough, engineers as well as Stanford students are tesing new ideas. One idea in particular is called resinant magnetic coupling. They have come up with two interface coils which would use magnetic electricity to attract eachother; thus transmitting energy. One coil would be built on highways, underground. The other coild would be at the bottom of the vehicle. The idea behind the two coils is that once the car drives over the coil thats on the highway, the coil underneath the car would use a magnetic field to attract to the other coil, and charge the car using electricity while it's moving. This eliminates the daunting feeling of having to pull over to charge your car every couple of miles. These coils would be located on the highway (or as they would soon call it an e-way) just about every mile. The entire concept is safe considering each coil is only activated when another coil is over it; unlike, a subway rail.
                  The cost for implementing these e-ways would costs somewhere around $800,000 dollars a mile. The costs is expected to go down once the coil design and electronics improve. However, compared to the cost and effects of oil on our environment, this may be a good investment for many drivers.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Popar Toys incorporate Augmented Reality to make learning 'fun'

        Like most children, I can vividly remember growing up reading children books with the big letters and bold pictures. Although they seemed interesting to me at the time, I know now that was only because I had not been exposed to the recent develpoments in technology. There has been a lot of new developments as the years along with technology has progressed. It seems now developers are interested in making learning 'fun' and 'interactive'. Studies have shown that when a child is more active with their learning they become more engaged; thus obtaining the information more efficiently. Using this knowledge, traditional books are being repaced with leappad learning tablets and Innotabs.
       Following this wave of learning devices are Poplar Toys,a popular toys distributing company, with their new development of educational resources. They have incorporated augmented reality in efforts to better engage the child. Augmented reality is 'the technology of combining real world images, videos, etc. with computer genterated information and/or imagery.' Examples of Augmented reality can include a device that can explain information about something your interested in or something your looking at. You may focus the device on a movie theatre and movie listings along with customer reviews may pop up.
       The goal of Poplar toys is to change the way we experience stories, adventures and learning. They pursure this goal by using augmented reality technology to 'create an immersive reading experience that will allow the user to see incredible, virtually "real" 3D objects and animations that will pop off the book or card.'
       Using the Poplar devices, you are able to play with 3D planets, bugs, and princesses, virtually travel to a space station, etc. The technology they use basically scans the indivdual, along with their toys, and bring them to life by displaying them on a computer screen as a "mirror-like" image. If learning was this fun while I was growing up I would probally be publishing scientic theories at this very moment.