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Going To School Is Awesome

Every day I ask myself why today’s youth dislike school. There is so much to learn, so many friends to make, and when you’re in school the years seem to go by too fast. I understand some kids may feel that when they go to school they are going to prison, just because they love freedom. Another reason is because either  they dislike their teacher;  because the teacher doesn’t present the material in ways that appeal best to their mind, or simply because they find it boring. Personally, have great memories from my high school years all the way to college. I thank myself each day for keeping my goal and finish my degree.

Besides the knowledge I gained and the good friends I made, education played a big role in developing my communication skills and improving my cultural understanding. From time to time I like to go back to my books and my notes; that’s when I realize how much I’ve learned. Seeing my grades and corrections from the professors it’s absolutely rewarding.The essay didn’t need to be perfect, but my efforts and eagerness to learn deserved the reward.FullSizeRender

These corrections made me comprehend and analyse written materials, a crucial skill in today’s modern jobs.By going to school kids and adults become socially literate (students learn to interact with people who are different from them) they learn to respect other people’s culture. Overall,  there are too many reasons to mention, but I can say my own reasons and goals were big enough to remind me and every person in my life  that going to school is just awesome.

Online Branding. Don’t Kill Your Business

 While it’s obvious that today’s generation is doing a fantastic job marketing their brand throughout Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and probably many other apps; Sometimes I feel that online users need advice when trying to brand themselves or their product on social media. let me dare to tell you that by filling your social network sites with the same content you may be just be putting friends to sleep. Besides gaining more followers, you are also taking the chance of getting the same followers angry enough to avoid the entire brand completely.  Almost everyone I know, including myself, tend to post the same information across all three or four sites. I think this is a fast way to lose interest in your brand. Nevertheless, I’ve also notice how some celebrities are doing a great job with Social Media. They’ve learned that every platform is different. Some of them are setting a great example; they choose every platform to post different photos and messages. For instance, Instagram is used for magnificent photo shots and great fashion images, while on Facebook they tell a different story. They use Facebook links for Fan page reviews, to promote local events and more. LinkedIn clearly helps you build and engage your professional network and access insights and opportunities. In short, we don’t want to see the same information everywhere!social

Some celebrities have built or enhanced their careers through social media. Taylor Swift is one of them, who according to US Magazine, is the “Queen of Instagram. She currently has almost 100 million followers, and counting. http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/taylor-swift-tops-kim-kardashian-beyonce-with-50-million-instagram-2015810

With that said, let me urge you to learn the correct use of social media, and understand what each platform is all about, that way you can get the most out of each one of these apps.  It’s extremely important to keep some of these tips in mind when hitting the Post button:

-Don’t be overly promotional or use too much jargon,  People will get tired of seeing the same ads or reading fancy words regardless of how great this news is.

-Get personal and connect with your followers. This can be difficult, but it’s not just about engaging with your audience, but making contact with the right people who will really connect with you.

-Craft a story. It’s not all about advertising, but about telling your followers what that picture really means to you. It’s a great way for people to know your truth, and gives you the opportunity to respond to rumors.

Don’t disappear for weeks. If you are not sure of how many post per day is enough for your brand, I can tell you that this really depends on your business. Every business is different and so is every audience. Facebook offers Post Scheduling based on your brand. To schedule a post: Create your post at the top of your page’s timeline, click publish, select Schedule post, choose the date and time you with these post to be published, and click Schedule.

Social Media: Spreading Lifesaving Messages

Have you ever thought  about making a positive contribution to the world? Today, there are so many ways to change people’s life and “be the change you wish to see in this world” but most of the time we have no idea how to start. In order to create an impact in society, there’s a couple of things we should think about. First of all, we’ll need to focus on the challenges we’ll encounter while attempting to make a change. We have to educate ourselves, and be aware that regardless of our passion, we will not be able to solve all the problems in the world and that we should focus on one problem just to begin with. Technology and social media have already revolutionized the way we communicate, social media in particular has transformed our world in terms of communication and creativity, but what if we use social media to create or use something that can save lives? Most of us are already  overwhelmed with the excessive use of social apps, even if you are not into technology and work in a different field,  I can assure that just like me, you have countless applications you rarely use taking space on your mobile device. Therefore, why not use social media and mobility wisely; in a way we can help others across the globe?  Just remember the old tagline “There’s an app for that.”

If we search online, we’ll probably find tons of applications  we can use to save lives. However, Facebook Safety Check tool was one that recently caught my attention. If you think about it, we  are basically using Facebook all day, we get notifications such as friend requests, comments and more, but i’m sure not many people know about turning on the Safety Check tool in case of an emergency. Back in 2011, Japan was devastated by an earthquake and Tsunami; these events led to Japanese engineers think about useful tools to allow people communicate during the disaster. It all started in Japan Japan Tsunami, but it’s now available worldwide. If a disaster hits  your area, the tool will activate and you can let your friends and family know you are save. The service attempts to detect your location via Facebook’s “Nearby Friends” tool, the city listed in your profile, or where you’ve recently logged in. It then sends a push notification asking if you are okay, and if if you respond “yes,” friends and family will be notified via their Facebook News Feeds.

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Amazing right? Besides Facebook, hospital rescue workers get alerts on their smartphones in case of emergency and cardiac arrests in order to indicate the first respondents in several communities across  the country who are trained for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, at least until  the professionals arrive. This application is called PulsePoint developed through collaboration between the district and Northern Kentucky University. Cardiac arrests, are an emergency, and if not treated quickly, it normally leads to death just within minutes.

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In my opinion, this is revolutionary. As an active social media user, I think It’s an incredible accomplishment for social media empowerment. The apps mentioned above are just two of the many mobile collaborative apps  people can benefit from. These apps that can help us save lives, and by promoting them you are making a huge contribution to the world since most people using social media are not even aware of their existence. Helping save lives by using these apps means you are already creating an impact to the world, it means you are engaged and you want to help your community. Let’s just keep in mind that social media is much more than just for fun, network, and advertisement, so when it comes to creating or promoting social media to save a life, the sky is the limit.

I Did Not Choose Technology, Technology Chose Me

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“I want to learn those Microsoft applications, they seem so challenging and I like challenges” Those were my thoughts when I decided to go back to school and study Office Technology. I decided to go to the nearest school and speak to an advisor. She asked:

-“Why do you want to learn technology”?

-“All my friends are learning Word, Excel and PowerPoint, I heard is the next “big thing” I said.

The advisor advised they did not offer that program, but they had a very similar one: Information Technology. I sure did not know the big differences between the two, but I decided to give it a try. “I think you will love it” She said. I enrolled in the Information Technology program, expecting to learn nothing but Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and so I did, but also registered for required and challenging courses such as programming, Statistics and Operating Systems. Every new semester, I looked forward to see more female students in the classroom, but it never happened. Out of 20 students, only three were females, or sometimes it was just me. Regardless of my deceiving expectation I decided to go for it and continued my career. During my journey, while working on several contract projects, I still remember comments such as “I feel bad for this girl, working on a male dominated field” Then I realized why most women refused to enroll in anything but computer science. “I hate computers” Some of my girlfriends said in response to my comments about choosing technology. Most said, it’s a male dominated field, or it had too much coding and math they wouldn’t understand.

Today I still wonder if Information Technology will ever escape the negative geek stereotype. Unfortunately, despite the increased popularity of the “geek” culture, the so called nerd, and anti-social ‘geek’ still suffers from our culture’s negative label. This explains why women still shy away from careers in information technology. Somehow, when women think about computer science, they automatically link it with the nerdy look, wearing glasses and being anti-social. It’s the culture, not because math is hard. In addition, tech room environments can feel discriminatory for some women. This issue does not refer to women being unable to do the job, but to feel comfortable and earn respect from their colleagues. Women in particular have to demonstrate that we are educated and highly trained in the field. Working in the technology room can be quite challenging, but also rewarding and fun. If like me, you are a female working your way up in a male dominated career, keep this in mind in to survive in this environment:

-Be polite and communicate (respect others and network as much as you can).

-Know your industry (get informed and find opportunities to demonstrate women’s strengths).

-Learn from “the guys” (your male colleagues usually have plenty of experience, get involved).

-Promote diversity (show your friends that being the only female in your team is rewarding).

Some coworkers may never accept the idea of working with women, and will subtly or overtly make this obvious to you. With these individuals, the best response is to accomplish our job consistently well. There is no point in engaging in a debate with such a person, and no one can argue with results. You may never be able to win over your entire team, but you can represent our gender to the best of your abilities. The rewards for you and future generations of working women in technology will bear the fruit of our efforts.

Favorite Golden Lessons from Steve Jobs

“Your time is limited,29c3879 so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

“You know, we don’t grow most of the food we eat. We wear clothes other people make. We speak a language that other people developed. We use a mathematics that other people evolved… I mean, we’re constantly taking things. It’s a wonderful, ecstatic feeling to create something that puts it back in the pool of human experience and knowledge.”

“I would trade all of my technology for an afternoon with Socrates.”

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

Screencasting For Educators

After reviewing screencasting.com for the first time to work on a project, I realized this is a great tool for teachers to incorporate in the classroom with their students, and for students to learn about narrating their own videos and even PowerPoint presentations.
This tool can be more challenging than podcasting, because you will need your video to be created in a specific format in order to upload it, otherwise it will not display properly, there is also limitations in terms of video space, your video must be 100 MB otherwise you need to download another tool in order to upload your video to screencast.com. However, regardless of its minor challenges, this tool was extremely beneficial to me, not only allowed me to practice narration, but it also enhanced my creativity by thinking about several choices and new ideas to create a movie clip.

Screencasting.com facilitates teacher’s presentations and lesson plans by incorporating visuals into their lesson plans, or just showing a video or webpage of any particular subject of their choice. It was the first time I used Windows Movie Maker to create a video, and I feel it was somewhat challenging because of the microphone sound, the quality was quite low and it was too much background noise. Overall, screencasting.com gives us the opportunity to showcase our ideas, it was a great experience for me because I consider myself a visual learner, and these kind of tools not only enhance student’s visual analytical skills, but they helps educators by facilitating and adjusting lesson strategies according to the student’s needs either visually or orally.

Technology is NOT andragogy or pedagogy

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At times, I like to look up articles related to educational technology, in order to stay current with my field. I attained my MSEd almost two years ago, May 27 2014 to be exact. As technology grows extremely fast, I already feel somewhat outdated but aware about new information out there related to technology resources I would need to keep up with. Occasionally, I read about teacher’s greatest fear: Being replaced with technology. Reading such distorted information can be very entertaining. Marshall McLuhan once said: “we are so embedded in technology we can hardly see it” and these teachers still seem to not realize that we are using technology the minute we open our eyes. The truth is, our society can no longer function without technology, and some technologies have become necessities, in fact, we only notice technology with it breaks because we cannot use it. In today’s classrooms, we still have teachers who resist learning and integrating these technologies because they feel that using the computer room will only cause distraction.

Teachers need to understand that technology is not pedagogy, or better yet, andragogy. Andragogy unlike pedagogy refers to adult learning, teaching adults how to use technology effectively. Educational technology is using technology as a tool and uses these tools and resources in the classroom regardless of the lesson content area. Educational technology is helping teachers with tutorials, engaging classroom techniques, and collaborative tools. However, most teachers don’t care about these tools, they feel they do not need to learn these computer resources in order to teach students to read, write, or solve math problems. The truth is that they shouldn’t. Effective teaching does not mean teachers have to learn the latest Apple or Android apps, learn coding or HTML, or build websites. Good teaching means inspiring students to actively engage in their own learning, researching and analyzing information based on their own experiences.

Good teaching is creating a fun, learning environment to ensure students retain what they have learn for a lifetime. Technology has changed the way we teach and the way we learn, however, basic teaching rules have not changed. Today, good teachers still have to perform the same old tasks: collaborate, communicate research and share resources, manage behavior and effectively deliver content. The only difference is we now have the tools to speed up the process and improve effectiveness. Teachers will always be teachers; machines can never teach students how to be good digital citizens, only humans can, so let’s focus on using these tools to create better lesson plans, and differentiated instruction so that we can build creative and persistent learners in the digital age.