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Below are the 13 most recent journal entries recorded in chris_maverick's LiveJournal:

Thursday, December 1st, 2005
8:59 am
Hard to believe it's the final blog
This reading really got me to thinking. I think that making books available online is great. I mean for families and children who have access to the internet and to computers, I’m sure this would be very convenient, as well it sure would free up a whole lot of shelf space. What sort of concerned me however, was the fact that all of this spending on computers for school and online books, is cutting back from the purchasing of actual books. Years from now the purchase of actual books may be eliminated and together and consequently the production/printing of books may be eliminated all together. I find reading books to be a very relaxing past time. Reading from a page of paper and reading off of a computer screen are very different. I think that trying to teach children to read from online books might make it more difficult to read simply because we are not meant to spend hours on end staring at computer screens. After a while our eyes and heads hurt, because it is almost unnatural. Computers are amazing and can do so many cool things, but I don’t think that making real books extinct should be one of them. Books are cool! Real ones. It’s not even the computers fault, it would be ours. Project Gutenberg, I found to be very cool. An online book site with thousands of free books available, very nice. I also really liked the fact that they have a catalogue of books in many different languages. It is much smaller than the English catalogue, but at least it’s a start.

Current Mood: hungry
Thursday, November 24th, 2005
10:00 pm
Open Source and Tux Paint
Well, I must say that this was a difficult read for me. Not because it wansn't interesting, because it totally was, it's just that sometimes my computer impairment and illiteracy gets the best of me at times. I was really excited however when I came across Linux, in the article because that I sort of understand. Reading this article really served to reinforce my positive views on open source. I think that open source is really awesome because it helps people to really step out of the box so to speak. Using open source software enables users to manipulate and modify the programs to better suit ones needs. Granted one would need to know what he or she is doing, or find someone else to tweak it in order for that to happen, but the way I look at it, whether or not you even make changes to the programs or not, it is the fact that this is possible, and that this option is available to you, should you so choose to do something about it. I also like the fact that these programs are readily available and free to share. On to Tux Paint, which might I add is awesome. I really wish that I had stuff like this to play with when I was a kid. Using Tux Paint reminded me of a placement I was at a previous year. There was this really old computer available for the children to play on and the only two programs it had on it were soliltaire and this crummie kind of paint program. This paint program was very difficult to use and it was bruttally boring and limiting. It couldn't hold a child's attention for more than 10 minutes. Looking back, I think that Tux would be an awesome thing for them to have there. It's fun, easy to use and you can do so much on it.

Current Mood: pensive
Monday, November 14th, 2005
5:38 pm
Children as Photographers
I mentioned this previously when blogging a couple of weeks ago, but I really appreciate the fact the people have taken the time to conduct a study such as this one. I think it is really cool that this study examines what children (at different ages) were interested in photographing, how they photographed and why they chose to photograph certain things. Studies like this one really help to open up our eyes to how creative and capable young children really are. The “children as photographers” website was really awesome. It was really well organized. I actually had a chance to visit this site previously, by clicking on the link, which was provided in the reading from a couple of weeks ago. I really enjoyed looking through many of the pictures that the children took and gladly took this second opportunity to look through the different pictures. I really must say how impressed I was with the quality of the pictures taken. I myself really underestimated how well children could take photographs. It looks as though many of them are better photographers than I am. Something that I found especially cool was looking at the pictures taken by children in other countries. In the Stewart reading, something that really stuck out for me (which I also remember reading in the journal article about the study) was that children who were the same age (i.e. 7, 11 or 15) had a tendency to photograph the same types of things, no matter what country they were from. The thing that I found most interesting was that children aged 11 were really interested in photographing things like landscapes and less likely to focus on taking pictures of people (i.e. family and friends). Something that didn’t surprise me however, was the finding that the children aged 15, very often preferred to photograph their friends. This is something that I can certainly relate to. I remember a number of people bringing camera’s to school in high school in order to take pictures of their friends. As well as people frequently taking pictures with their friends in those little 3-4minute photo booths in the malls and then carrying the small pictures in their wallets.

Current Mood: thoughtful
Wednesday, November 9th, 2005
10:53 pm
Week of November 8th-Reflecting of Teleconferencing
The teleconferencing experience was really a very novel and interesting one for me. I have never seen or experienced anything like that before and I’m sure that is the case for many of us. I thought it was really cool that we could see Ken and interact with him live, even though he is in Montreal. The way that one can manipulate the camera’s to show all different angles is really cool, and the fact that we can have each of the cameras broadcasting a different angle at the same time, (i.e. one showing the front of the room, another showing the back of the room etc.) is really neat. I found it very exciting that we could ask Kenny questions and actually talk and interact with him in real time, just as if he were in the same room with us. I felt a bit uncomfortable being able to see myself on the screen and knowing that we could be seen by Kenny as well. Although, I really must say that if I was him I would have been feeling very shy and uncomfortable being watched by an entire room of females (and very few males). I was very impressed. What I found really neat was when Jason and Kenny were doing jumping jacks and they managed to get themselves in sync on the screen. It was funny to see that Jason wasn’t in sync with himself on the screen (because of the lag), but he was right in line with Ken who was doing his jumping jacks from Montreal. It was very entertaining. I’d like to experience teleconferencing again sometime, but if I don’t get a chance to, I am glad I got to at least once.

Current Mood: sleepy
Tuesday, November 8th, 2005
3:25 pm
Sunset in the City

Sunset in the City
Originally uploaded by Chrissy the Kid.
I really hope that this works. In any case I will soon see. Good Luck to me :).
Tuesday, November 1st, 2005
2:56 pm
Video conferencing for adults, children and children as photographers
The article about video conferencing with pre-school aged children really blew me away. As I read it I couldn’t help wishing that I got to be a part of that. What a wonderful and innovative experience for children to have. I really like the way they had the two groups of children interacting with each other from their respective countries. This is a great way for children to experience children from other countries and cultures and a concrete way for children to understand that there is this big world, beyond our front doors. I thought that this provided the children with a very positive learning experience and with a very safe, enjoyable and positive experience with technology as well. I like that the children could see each other and were aware of each others names (in order to help promote positive interacting and a feeling of comfort as well). Video conferencing in the other article seemed much more complicated, I guess because it got into whole bunch of technical names that I am not familiar with. I really liked the part in the article where it said that there was an experiment that involved equipping universities with this kind of technology. I think that it is really important to provide things like this to university campuses, so that students can have access to and experience such things. Because university/college years are all about experiencing new things and for getting an idea of what’s out there. What also kind of stuck out in my mind was the notion, that technology such as this could potentially eliminate a significant amount of traveling, especially business travel. Don’t get me wrong traveling is great, but for a spouse or parent whose job requires so much travel that it is affecting and taking away from family life, something like this can be a dream come. And now onto the article about the young photographers, which I thought was awesome. As soon as I read the title I thought, “What a great idea!”. This thought was later highlighted when I read that there are basically no other research studies on this topic. I think that it is really awesome that people are taking an interest in children, their interests and children as creative beings. I also visited the site in which you can view samples of the children’s photographs and I must say that I really enjoyed it. It was really interesting to see the different kinds of things that children were interested in, at different ages. I wish I got to have a camera and take pictures of whatever I wanted when I was a kid. P.S-there is this really cute picture of a black dog (sticking his tongue out), taken by a 15-year old girl in Sweden.

Current Mood: my foot hurts :(
Saturday, October 29th, 2005
9:57 pm
Cyber Rape, Racial Sterotypes, and Differences in Internet Use
The Lisa Nakumara article reminded me of one of the very first articles that we read about MUDing, because it discussed created alternate identities and the crossing over of genders, and this one touches on that as well. What stuck out for me in the article were the required “race” and gender components and the fact that you could not complete an account without including those. I thought that it was really silly because people should only have to include information that they feel comfortable including and wish to include. The other thing that stuck out for me was how “Asian females” were being stereotyped and constantly portrayed as docile, passive, nymphomaniacs and playthings. It is very disrespectful especially when done by males. I am very bothered by this and I cannot even imagine how I would feel if I was part of this minority group. In the “A Rape in Cyberspace” article I was quite disturbed to read about the very yucky things that “Mr. Bungle” character was into. I realize that different things float, different peoples boats, but it doesn’t sound like the people on the receiving end of “Bungle’s” attacks are those people. I agree very much with words being able to profoundly effect and hurt people though. It is very important that people really establish a mutual consent about what is going to happen and what is okay. In situations like that although other people (myself included) may not understand how or why at least the people involved will. I thought the last article was interesting, reading about what factors actually had an influence on the difference in internet use, between the two populations, and which ones did not. I found the overall findings made perfect sense, that access to computers directly had an impact on the usage.

Current Mood: complicated
Monday, October 17th, 2005
6:33 pm
SimArticle, Media Families and Linnux Blog
Hmmmm. The first article I found rather heavy, but thats okay. “Sim” games sound really neat and it seems as though they can teach a variety of good skills, the one where you are given a scenario and you have to try and problem solve and remedy the situation sounded really neat. The author provided the example of rebuilding a city after a hurricane, I believe. Another thing that stood out for me also was the part about simulations being used as an attempt to problem solve or test the waters in real life situations. This makes sense to me because it is good to use tools like this in order to aid you in decision making, however it is very important not to rely too heavily on the results because the reality is that life is NOT a game and people and situations are not as predictable as they are in games, no matter how real they seem. I found the Media Family website to be pretty cool, I clicked on a few of the links and checked the site out. I found it to be a fun way of addressing issues regarding computers, technology and the family. For example there was a link to a page that provided quizzes to determine whether you or a member of your family was addicted to video games. The final article about the “linux” family was interesting. I’d never heard of linux before, and after reading about it, I am intrigued. I was also very impressed by what the article mentioned about Mr. Saffir’s children and how they were so proficient with the software and operating system itself. As well Saffir made some very interesting points about how other operating systems like Microsoft are actually quite limiting. Although I don’t understand a lot of what the article talked about (the computer stuff that is), it was an interesting read.

Current Mood: full
Monday, October 10th, 2005
12:05 pm
Hacking Humans :O
Wow. This article suggests some pretty scary stuff. I myself have never been too much of an online personality, but I have done my share of chatting and instant messaging. I’ve always sort of been one of those paranoid people who are always sure that someone else (other than the person I was talking to) was reading what I was writing. Unfortunately, I don’t actually know any ways to protect myself and my information other than to abstain from using the internet and certain online activities (which this day and age is quite difficult). I mean unless you actually know specific ways of how to protect yourself and what measures to take, we are all sort of fair game in a sense, which kind of freaks me out. I can think of many times where I’ve written quasi personal stuff to people and even sent pictures of myself and my family, which didn’t seem like much of a big deal at the time (aside from the fact that I was excited to have learned how to be able to scan and send pictures). To think that there are people who sort of just hang back and seek out and collect information about people without anyone really knowing or suspecting it, is pretty unnerving. It comforts me to consider the fact that nobody is particularly interested in collecting information about me, because let’s face it; very few of us would spark that kind of interest. It does however make me feel quite uncomfortable to think that if I was a more exciting and interesting person and someone wanted to find stuff about me, that they totally could. However, if I were that kind of person, I’d like to think that I would be fully able and aware of how to protect my information.

Current Mood: pensive
Tuesday, October 4th, 2005
9:50 am
Electronic Frontier Foundation: Children and Center for Children and Technolgy blog :)
One of the articles I chose is about parents allowing their children to surf the net and the other is about the use of televisions and their impact on learning in the classroom. I think the first article came up with a really good analogy. The author compared letting your child surf the net unattended (and without having censored) is a lot like just dropping your child at the mall and leaving. This article also explained that even when children are engaged in playing online games (in certain games you have to type commands in order to manipulate your character in the game), that another person can attempt to chat with you, whether you want them to or not. And can begin sending inappropriate messages to children (i.e. Do you find me attractive?). I think that is really scary stuff, when children cannot even innocently play a game without perverse predators trying to get at them. The article concludes with the discussion of ways that parents can limit their child’s access to certain materials, which I think is something that all parents should be doing. I found this article to be interesting and valid because the author had included some real life examples to really help to illustrate the text. The second article/report discusses the increasing use of televisions and videos as a tool for teaching and learning. However I think that doing this almost replaces the teachers (at least for a time) and relieves him or her of doing his or her job. Don’t get me wrong, I think that using things in moderation is good especially if it adds to a child’s learning experience however too much ‘watching’ will inevitably take away from a child’s active involvement in his or her learning. As well it takes away from the use of concrete materials and experiences to promote learning and mastery (which is the way children learn and understand best). This article seems to be valid because it has a very long list of resources as well as a wide variety of sources.

links to articles:

http://www.eff.org/Censorship/?f=kids_online.article

http://www2.edc.org/CCT/admin/publications/report/PBS_tv-school.pdf

Current Mood: sore
Monday, September 26th, 2005
3:33 pm
Blog #3-Webcams in Nursery Schools and Underwater cams
Reading and learning a bit about the use of camera’s (surveillance) in less conventional settings (such as childcare centers and swimming pools) as well as the parental take on it made for a good read. During and after reading the Jorgensen article, I found myself pondering both the pros and cons of having online web-broadcasting available to parents. As one mom in the article puts it "they don't just give you good experiences", which is very true. A father explained that he felt the webcams gave him a sense of presence in his child's day/life (while he was away at work) and that although he couldn't physically be there, watching his child on the computer gave him the opportunity to experience it at least somewhat (I can understand that). However, when it came to the mom who got distressed and uneasy at the sight of her child interacting positively with another adult, I think that got a little much. Rather than be satisfied that her child was observed enjoying herself and thriving in the environment, the parent almost seemed upset and read as though she regretted having seen what she saw. I think that having the webcam images available provides parents who miss their children and wish to check in on them every once in a while is nice, but I think it is very important not to allow this to consume you and your day and to exercise control and moderation (unless of course it is an issue of neglect, abuse etc.). If a parent is going to get too overwhelmed or affected by watching what goes on in the child care that it takes away from their quality of work, for example, then it may be time to re-evaluate the purpose of the cameras or the reason why a parent chose to tune in, in the first place. The underwater camera(s) in the second article sound like a great addition to the quality of service that can be provided by lifeguards (serving almost like eyes at the bottom of the pool if you will). Reading the article suggested that these cameras not only serve to improve the quality of care provided but also significantly impact the response time of the service (which is awesome, and a worthwhile investment in my opinion). The price of the equipment is undeniably expensive, but that of a life is priceless.

Current Mood: thirsty
Tuesday, September 20th, 2005
9:41 am
Week #2 Reading- Weblogging: what a phenomenon
Hmmm….where do I begin? Ah, yes weblogging . I thought the article was very informative, and heck I’m sold. I do agree very much with what was said in the article however, about blogging being one of those things that really must be experienced (lived) in order to be grasped and understood properly. It’s not one of those things that you can have explained to you and grasp vicariously. As well there is even a paragraph in the article that describes us, well not us specifically but it refers to weblogging being used at the college/university level, and how it is a great way to post course material, discuss the material, share any information (relevant to the course) and interact with your peers while learning from each other as well. I really thought the part that talked about taking ‘trips without the field’ was totally awesome. I think that children can get a lot out of an experience like that. The argument, it’s better to actually/physically experience things/places rather than to experience them through blogging, which is a totally valid and justified argument, however in reality is not always possible. For example it is extremely expensive to fly anyone overseas, let alone an entire classroom of children and any adults/parents accompanying them on a trip to Japan. I think that if we’re talking about a trip to the local zoo or museum than it is definitely, without a doubt worth it to actually go to visit the place (in fact there is no reason why they shouldn’t).
However, when it comes to something like taking your class on your once in a lifetime trip to Japan, (an experience that most of them probably wouldn’t otherwise have), weblogging is really great because it can give others at least a sense of what it would be like to be there, and it provides them with this through the eyes and perspective of someone their own age, who they can relate to and understand.

Current Mood: sickly (I have a bad cold)
Tuesday, September 13th, 2005
3:37 pm
Attempting to post properly :)
I was rather impressed by what I read in these articles. What really stood out for me in the first article were the paragraphs about people and their multiple on=line personae. Although it may have sounded a bit strange to some, for people to go on-line and pretend to be other people having conversations, and exhibiting very different behaviour and characteristics than in their RL. I thought it really made sense. For some people it is not possible to express certain parts of oneself in RL situations. One of the gentlemen interviewed in the article said that he was really assertive and even blunt and uncompromising when he was on-line and in a particular character. Unfortunately these are traits that are more likely to get someone reprimanded rather than praised, especially in RL situations like the workplace. But for someone who is more passive, this may serve as an outlet, where one can express parts of the self and not have to repress them. People can take something from one persona (i.e. confidence gained in a conversation/online experience), and apply it to their real life. I do however feel that there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed in terms of deceit, so as long as things don’t get too heavy/serious (i.e. meeting strangers in hotel rooms), I think that MUDding can be helpful to some and quite safe. It was really interesting to read about the children that Turkle has interviewed and how different each of them explained their understanding and perception of things. The one child who separated the different stages of Pinocchio’s aliveness and commented that the robots were like Pinocchio when he was an ‘alive puppet’, just not alive like we are, was really quite sophisticated and insightful. However, children learn a lot by actually doing and physically experiencing things concretely (which is not possible with computers), they learn to understand and grasp the steps in between, may be better able to solve a problem if it is right in front of them rather than on a screen. I.e. the young boy who didn’t pay attention to the text boxes that popped up during his game of SIMlife, simply because it didn’t stop him from playing (where is his curiosity). Striking a healthy balance of exposure to concrete and technological experiences may prove to be best

Current Mood: hopeful
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