Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Discussion Blog wrote an article about a study that was made earlier this week. Could banning cellphones in schools lead to higher test scores? The study says that after cell phone bans were put in place, students test scores rose. Some economists suggest that restricting mobile phone use in class could be a low-cost policy that would reduce educational inequalities. On the other hand, some schools encourage students to bring their own devices, for school projects and other assignments. Technology in the classroom in not an uncommon thing, the question is do students benefit from the easy internet access or is it harming learning? Technology has changed the way educators teach, and how students learn and there is no argument that cell phone use can be distracting at times, but also a good resource for endless information.
Cell phone bans do take place in many schools. Although recently, New York City schools said goodbye to their cell phone ban, as the schools decided to lift the "no phones in school" policy. The Wall Street Journal article explains how the schools are now allowing students to bring their phones to school. Before lifting the ban, several students were paying to have their devices stored while they attended school. Critics were saying the cell phone ban had become a fairness issue, students in high-violence areas were faced with metal detectors that found their phones, whereas students in other areas were able to sneak them in. The ban was also an issue for parents who wished to contact their children throughout the day, cell phones are a sense of security for families to keep in touch with each other.
I feel that cell phone bans aren't the best way for students to enhance their learning. Not only can the handheld technology help during certain times, but a ban would force students to sneak them in, causing even more problems. In today's society it makes sense to have phones in school, but regulating them upon teachers request seems fair. In reality the amount of learning that takes place is up to the student, the student has the choice whether they will let their cells distract them or not and when it is an appropriate time to use them.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Where do we get our news?

As we've spent the past ten days checking out unfamiliar news sources, I have grown to become really interested in the news. I find myself wanting to check the top stories and see what is happening. I feel very informed when it comes to things going on around the world, most of it is issues or tragedies going on, but I guess it is good to be in the know. I think that most of our news is negative because that is what society is interested in. We rarely see top stories that relate to a hero, or anything positive. I found a TED talk called "information is food" it compares mainstream news to fast food, neither are good for you. They are both "obsessions" and can be consumed in a healthier way. Along with non-uplifting news, comes pointless or unnecessary news. This type of news is put out for entertainment, to cure boredom. It is another way for news companies to make money, people also tend to click on the random news because it seems entertaining.

It's no surprise that there is an endless amount of places to get news, but I've been pondering the question; is it really necessary? Personally, I think it's a good thing to have so many places to get news, compared to if it were only a few. The more news sources, the more you know the information is accurate. If several sources post about one story, you know it's bound to be pretty reliable. Also, with the numerous places to get news, the information you're exposed to is endless. Some would argue this to be a bad thing because why would we need to consume more information? In my own experiences though, I feel I have gained general knowledge by checking in with the news. It keeps me aware of topics I would otherwise probably have no idea about.

My news quiz scores have definitely improved since doing the 10 days of news, I ended in the top 5, whereas usually I am close to last. I do believe that paying more attention to the news has helped. Although not necessary, I feel it is beneficial to look at news, maybe once a day or every other. It allows you to stay in the loop about things and inform other people about as well. My news source was the LA Times. Even though it is not a local news source, it still had a lot to look at and kept me updated on the world wide news. Overall, I am glad I had the chance to experience different sources of news and will pay more attention to other sources.

Monday, May 4, 2015


Yes, it is true. Myspace is back! Delete your Twitter and Instagram because Myspace is back and better than ever as the most popular social networking site! Myspace blew up on Sunday, May 3rd thanks to Justin Bieber and his 63.2 million Twitter followers. The young star tweeted out telling his fans to become friends with him on Myspace, in a mere 10 minutes, Myspace gained 50 million users.
As soon as the word got out, millions headed to Safari to create their personalized Myspace account. After waiting for dial-up, users finally began to experience the new and improved social media site. Nothing can compare to the joy of finding old friends on Myspace, what a great way to get reconnected!
Spend hours stalking your old elementary teachers and middle school crushes. Take the chance to IM the people you would never talk to in person.There is an endless amount of possibilities to explore on Myspace. Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your dog. Myspace is about to take the world by storm. No more hashtags, no more worrying about how many likes your picture got, Myspace is simple, and full of fun.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Learning about design has really opened my eyes. There is so much to consider when designing, the main thing to keep in mind is creating and laying out things that will catch the viewers eye or make them want to stay on that page. Often times when things are laid out poorly, people tend to flip the page and are ignoring an article that is possibly important. In my own experience I've noticed I tend to read shorter articles that look nice and include a few good photos to catch my eye. Design has also influenced my decisions on whether or not to buy something. Librarians always say "don't judge a book by its cover" but if the cover is designed well, its obvious more people will be interested in reading it. An example would be the Iphone compared to, lets say a Galaxy. Both designed well, both function well but the amount of buys it will get is mainly based on a choice and an opinion of the certain design. In some ways everyone is a designer. We design our outfits for each day, we design our schedule for the day, and pretty much design the way we want to live our lives.

A good design isn't only important for advertisers and graphic designers, it is extremely important for people like engineers. Engineers have to keep so many things in mind when creating a product, they have to make sure a product is completely functionable and user friendly. They also have to keep in mind what the users like and dislike. Design is just a huge part of everyday life even though it's not often realized. Great designs usually take some thought and careful consideration. An article called the 9 traits of a great designer explains what 9 things are put into thought whilst designing. The first trait is "observation", it's true that designing starts with observing, observing what people are interested in is a great way to start.

When doing the 50 minute design challenge, I really tried to create something that was nice to look at. I didn't want anything messy or sloppy and decided not to go for anything too complicated considering the time limit. It was fun to look at everyone else's and realize that we were all capable of doing that assignment even though it sounded tricky at the time. It's hard to believe what we can do in just an hour, and of course more time would give us a chance to make it even better. I'm so happy I learned more about design, I feel like it is really going to help me with future things and I hope to learn more about it.

The article pictured below is a page from People magazine. I thought this article looks pretty good because of the simple layout and large photo to catch the viewers eye. The headline is big and the best part, not much to read. I feel like this article is more likely to be read compared to other ones mainly because of the less reading. It is a pretty simple page but yet it is something that would probably catch my eye when scrolling through a magazine.

Friday, March 6, 2015


Each day we make choices about news. We choose what we want to read or watch, and tend to ignore things that are unappealing or boring. It is pretty hard to ignore news all together because news is everywhere. When we log into our Facebook and Twitter accounts we always see some type of news. Sure, we have the choice to stay off of the internet and social media for the day, but that seems very rare in this day and age. Other times we don't really choose the news we want to hear about, when we turn on the local news or pull up a 10 minute CNN video, we aren't choosing the news we hear about. There is also the choice of whether or not we want to believe what we see. When a trusted news anchor is relaying a story, you are bound to believe it. On the other hand when you come across a YouTube video of a teenage boy giving out information, viewers are probably a lot less likely to believe it.

This "quote" is a prime example of how people are fooled into believing things on the internet. It honestly took me a little bit to get this. Obviously Abraham Lincoln was not around for the birth of the internet and that it's not possible for this quote to be by him. It makes a strong point though, because the image looks legit, it looks like something you'd set as your screen saver or share on Tumblr because there is a picture with a quote next to it. It really makes me wonder how many scams I have believed on the internet that I probably shouldn't have.

In a way, I can see how online news can potentially be bad for people. People online can take a small bit of information and blow it way out of proportion, false assumptions can be made, and people end up getting in arguments over something that probably isn't worth arguing over. Overall though I believe that the power of online news is pretty spectacular. Often times we see that old people aren't connected with what is going on in the world because they tend to stay away from online news and the internet in general. They were just not raised in the technology age that we are currently living in now. Nowadays we can find out information in the blink of an eye. You can find out if your school has a snow day before the school even calls, just by logging on to Twitter. It is really amazing how fast information spreads online. In the past, and recently we have seen so many good causes over the internet. Over the summer a challenge called the ALS ice bucket challenge was taking the internet world by storm. It not only raised money for a great cause but also raised awareness on something not many people new about. It just shows how the internet is capable of a lot more than passing along gossip or sharing unworthy news.

I found a link from five years ago that said 6 out of 10 American adults get their news online on a typical day, if this was the ratio five years ago, the number is bound to be higher now which means that most adults get some type of news online daily. All of these people have the choice on whether they want to check online news or not. They also have the choice on whether they decide to believe what they read or not. Most online news users click on the stories that sound interesting to them which means they can completely control what they want to be filled in on.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Future of Journalism

The future of journalism is a quite talked about topic lately. From my personal experience and opinion I see newspapers as a dying trend. The other day I found out that my grandparents, of all people unsubscribed to one of their local newspapers that they had gotten for years, simply because there was nothing that interested them in it anymore. The public doesn't want to waste their money on something that doesn't pertain to them. Don't get me wrong i'm sure they're are still many newspaper readers but as new technology, and new, more efficient ways for people to get their news comes out, newspapers seem to be a lost cause.
I think that in the near future, newspapers are going to struggle with keeping their viewers and making enough money to support the staff. You know those newspapers your dad used to go out and buy every Sunday morning? Some people may think why go waste gas to buy a newspaper when it is accessible right on your mobile device.

I am basing my ideas for the future off of what is happening now compared to what has happened in the past. It is hard to come up with ideas for the future because I feel like we've seen it all, imagining anything bigger and better than what has already been done is a weird thing to think about. Overall I think the future of news will become something even more spectacular. I believe that with so many people out there that are full of ideas, and as technology continues to advance the world of receiving news will become more efficient, entertaining, and hopefully better.

By doing this project, I was required to think in a very spontaneous way. I think we did well on coming up with an idea that hasn't really been brought up or thought of. Having that video, or artice in front of your face, in a 3D form instead of looking down at a device seemed appropriate for the future of news. I found a link that talks about a "radically different future of news." It talks about the extreme use of technology combined with news. It all sounds so robotic and unrealistic but yet all of the technology required for it to actually happen, already exists. It is hard to comprehend a world of self-driving cars and a news live stream on your dashboard but this article explains that it's not too far off. I can't wait to see what is in store for the future of journalism.