Tag Archive | Education

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.

It’s not a Star Trek scene, it’s Microsoft’s HoloLens.

While sitting at home and flipping through channels, I watched the latest Microsoft’s commercial about holographic technology. I started browsing online and did some research about the technology, and I thought “Wow, they did it!” Holograms have been around for many years, however, a selected group of visionaries and technology leaders of Microsoft were the first create a standalone helmet that gives an illusion of a world you can just imagine. On January 22, 2015; Microsoft unveiled ‘HoloLens’ which will basically combine the digital with the physical world. Using advance processors and augmented reality built on Windows 10, HoloLens will allow wearers enhance real world scenarios in 3D.

Official Video

This is a big deal, I started thinking, and how can holograms fit into our world, what are its pros and cons? Think about it, with simple gestures we can unleash our creativity and if used wisely, this will create a big impact in science and education. Holograms can just make learning more fun. Students will experience an unimaginable level of engagement, as teachers will finally be able to replace chalkboards with modern projection screens to bring virtual guest speakers to the classroom using Telepresence Technology. Teleprecense is a form of robotic control that provides the participation of distant people. Students from all over the world will benefit from lessons delivered by teachers remotely. In addition, scientists are and will be able to continue exploring other planets from the comfort of their offices. One example of this is how NASA teamed up with Microsoft to control Curiosity and explore Mars.

All this is amazing news, for the pharmaceutical world, this would bring a tremendous help to surgeons who try to demonstrate a medical procedure to medical students. So then I think, what can be negative about HoloLens? So far, nothing, but there is more to come, HoloLens is now available for developers and organizations only, therefore this technology is still being  carefully reviewed in order to work the way it promises. I am personally excited about the technology; the price range from $3000 to 5000,  definitely worth it when we think about the contribution it will bring to science and education.

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.”

10 Educational Tools Every Teacher Should Know About

cagleTechnology and education are pretty integrated these days and just about every teacher has a few favorite tech tools that make doing his or her job and connecting with students a little bit easier and more fun for all involved. I have compiled a list of some of the tech tools, including some that are becoming increasingly popular and widely used, they should be part of any teacher’s tech tool arsenal this year, whether for their own personal use or as educational aids in the classroom.

1) Khan academy: Many teachers use this excellent collection of math, science, and finance lectures and quizzes to supplement their classroom materials
2) Animoto: Animoto makes it simple to create video-based lessons or presentations for the classroom and to share them with students or anyone else.
3) Prezi: Want to build presentations that will wow your students? Make use of this online tool that makes it simple to do all kinds of cool things with your lessons, even allowing collaboration between teachers
4) Google Docs: Through Google Docs, teachers can create and share documents, presentations, or spreadsheets with students and colleagues as well as give feedback on student-created projects
5) Popplet: You and your students can use Popplet to brainstorm ideas, create mindmaps, share, and collaborate
6) AudioBoo: Through this tool, you can record and share audio for your students or anyone else.
7) Twitter: There are so many ways Twitter can be used in education. Teachers can connect with other educators, take part in chats, share their ideas, or even use it in the classroom to reach out to students.

8) TedEd: Great inspirational site with videos organized by subjects to teach just about any topic.

9) Google Earth: From geography projects to learning about geological processes, Google Earth can be an amazing and fast way to show students anywhere in the world.

10) Educreations: Educreations is an amazing online tool for the iPad that lets teachers (or students) create videos that teach a given topic. Perfect for studying or getting students to show off their knowledge.