Week 14 – Journal 1

29 Nov

While experts are still arguing about the definition of Web 2.0, I feel that it has to do with a more engaging, stunning and interactive websites.  The most important part is that the applications run on the web rather than on your desktop.  This can save us hard disk memory and storage.   There are a lot of engaging and interactive sites out there and they seem to be too difficult to keep track.  One good example is Second Life.  My first impression with Second Life was “stunning!”  It never came across my mind that you can create a graphical representation of yourself online and meet other people who do the same.  This concept reminds me of the movie “Avatar.” 

Using an avatar to meet people online is like almost real although you don’t actually look like your avatar.  It’s not comparable to text messenger like Yahoo and MSN Messenger.  I have seen presentation about a device that can read what your brain tells you to do.  In future your avatar may be abe to communicate with others using your brainwaves instead of typing.  How sophisticated that will be!  Sometimes technology changes too fast it’s hard to keep track.

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Week 13 – Web 2.0 for Teachers

29 Nov

New tools are emerging all the time, many not originally intended for education, but which can be put to good use by students and teachers alike to extent opportunities, enhance learning potential and develop the level of digital literacy that students will need for the 21st century.

While browsing the web today, I found some interesting sites on the best Web 2.0 resources for teachers and students.  One of the sites that I recommend teachers and students to visit is http://www.protopage.com/web2point0forteachers#Web_2.0_For_Teachers/Welcome   Not only it has “recent presentation” and “social networking” but it has extra stuff like software, productivity tools, audio/video communication, text based communication and many more.  I think teachers and students will benefit a lot from the resources provided on the site.

Week 12 – Journal 2

16 Nov

Did some research today.  I found out the Dell device I saw at the mall yesterday is actually called “Dell Streak.”  What exactly is Dell Streak?  In one of the articles I read, “the Dell Streak brings together a great web browsing experience, multi-tasking capability, slick turn by turn navigation and a great way to enjoy your photos, movies and music into a sleek device that’s built for mobility.” 

The Dell Streak is a hybrid device that lives in the space between a smartphone and other larger tablets or netbooks that you might be using right now. It is designed to provide a wide range of users flexibility to do what they need with a mobile device.  That’s why it is packed with a lot of features.

Here’s more information about the device:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ski1hOvDbKg

Week 12 – Journal 1

15 Nov

While at the mall today I found a gadget that almost looked like an IPad but it was a little bit smaller.  The screen had a measurement of about 4″ x5″.  It major functions include facebook, twitter, google and much more.  Besides being able to access online social networking, it can also function as a telephone.  There is also a camera attached to it.  For a moment I thought Apple had come up with a new design of IPad but I was wrong.  It may have a function like Kindle reader but again, I’m not too sure.  I will find some information about it tomorrow. 

To be continued…

Week 11 – Journal 2: 7 Ways Games Reward the Brain

9 Nov

The effects of video games on the brain is a highly controversial topic, as both benefits and drawbacks have been found, depending on the content of the video games played. Changes in brain regions associated with vision, motor skills, attention, reward, planning, emotion and social behavior are found after playing video games.

Video game playing may change social skills depending on the content of the video game. Video games requiring team playing can enhance collaboration skills.. Playing video games which encourage violence increases violent behavior, while playing video games that promote characters aiding each other in nonviolent ways have more “pro-social” behavior, according to a 2009 study by Gentile and Sakamoto. 

I do not have the skills and patience in playing video games and so therefore, I cannot say much about how a person feels after playing video games especially ones that require him or her to change the world. 

Read more:  What Are the Effects of Games on the Brain?  http://www.ehow.com/list_7277414_effects-games-brain_.html 

Week 11 – Journal 1 VoiceXML

9 Nov

VoiceXML is an XML application that formats voice dialogues between a human and a computer. It allows for voice applications to be developed and deployed similarly to the way HTML is used for visual applications.    Voice XML is our way of giving you full control of the call.  This powerful feature allows you to specify completely different execution paths for either when a live person answers or an answering machines picks up.  The moment the phone’s picked up, your Voice XML script is executed.  This new feature now allows you to specify two separate scripts.  One to be executed in case of a live answer, and another in case of an answering machine.

With VoiceXML gaining popularity, people no longer need a telephone receptionist to answer queries from the public.  Most of the telephone calls in business and government are handled by somekind of VoiceXML.  VoiceXML is used in customer service, banking, stock trading and notification services such as announcement from schools.    It can use existing web development tools and can have single application for both web and voice.  I experimented on calling 1-800-GOOG-411; the speech seemed very natural as if you’re talking to someone in real time!

Week 10 – Journal 2 Headset That Reads Your Brainwaves

2 Nov

This is absolutely an amazing technology! I can imagine this technology will affect every aspects of our daily life. Being able to shut the lights off and close the curtains using your brainwaves is simply amazing! It’s like magic. You don’t have to move a single muscle, your brain will tell things to work. My only concern with this kind of technology is that it helps people to become lazy. There is no doubt technology makes our life easier but it can also make us lazy. There will be nothing left for people to do other than just sit in front of their computer getting things done around the house using their brainwaves.

Maybe with this technology in future, we will be able to control all our electronics including our car. How about having the technology in your car that can “read your mind” and react in dangerous situations? Another question “could this technology replace SMS?” Could communication at the speed of thought possible in future?

I read an interesting comment about this technology that if we can use our brainwaves to produce output, why not inputting something to our brain? Wouldn’t it be great if we could understand the whole story of a book by simply downloading it directly to our brain. What about instead of enrolling into a college course will just mean downloading the whole course, i.e. Medicine?