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Skype – Way cheaper than calling cards

So, I used Skype.  It’s a free software you can use to text, call or video call online anywhere in the world.

The calls are free when you do them from a Skype account to another Skype account. It’s free video-telephone calling.

You can also pay a small ( compared to any calling card) fee and get an actual phone number. People in cellphones or landlines can dial your phone number and it rings in your computer.

I used the Skype video service and called a cousin in Mexico. It was really neat to be able to connect with someone I wouldn’t be able to. Calling cards are expensive, but it’s better than using minutes. Skype enables me to actually be able to see them. It’s a wonderful tool for videoconferencing.

Advanced E-mail

I did the lab for advanced e-mail. Wow, it has some really cool features.

I have an e-mail address hosted by gmail. I clicked on the top right on a green lab button.

It took me to all these different labs that you can activate for your e-mail account.

I saw this one

It’s really cool. It lets you receive and send text messages to any cellphone for free. It saves the lab in your inbox and it looks like this. You add a phone number and save as a contact. I send a message to my own cellphone.

Then a “chat” window comes up. It’s you on the computer “chatting” and your chat is sent as a text to a cell. Their text responses then show as a chat on your screen.

As I was looking at the labs I saw that they are many toolls for us to use so an e-mail is more than an electronic letter, you can have calendars in your desktop and tools that automatically translate emails into another language etc. This was very cool. I also saw another one so I can have multiple in boxes in my inbox.

Reflective Post

Consume

How has your digital literacy assisted your self-directed learning in the subject areas of this course?

It has been a very different experience to read PDF files and online material rather than reading from textbooks.  I’ve had a hard time learning how to consume this way.  It’s hard for me to read from a computer screen and prefer to read, mark, touch, write in a book. I’m a visual person and I like to be able to consume, mark and feel how I read. However, I liked being able to read from the Canvas website. I like that everything is structured, I can click on links of words that I don’t know. I can quickly look up events or times that correlate and I feel I have the whole library in my fingertips with cross references and through search engines.  I’ve been able to use search engines, to better learn as I search for things in the reading to further understand or comprehend. I can also quickly copy and paste quotes in my posts as I read through my notes. ( I still prefer to write my notes on a notebook) but I can keep references and use basic tools like CTR FIND to find the quote I’m looking for.


Create

How has your creation of blog posts and digital media impacted your learning?

This has been a very tough area for me. I love media, but I’m not used to using it in this same way. I don’t have a computer so everything I do I write in a lab or on a borrowed computer. This has made it harder for me to save certain things and have more time to explore the things I would like. I really like however to be able to take the thoughts and connections that I’ve had as I’ve read and post them in a way that I think is different or thought provoking. My posts are not so much a summary  than a different way or correlation I had with a specific idea from the reading. I try and implement and create personal application from this history we learn. Writing the posts ( even though some have been posted after they are due) Enables me to write the ideas I have in my notes, in my head and explore them further. It’s far easier to say a comment in class than to organize, or create out of unorganized thought, a proints and blog post that is coherent and has finality. It has made me analyze what I believe about certain points.

Connect

How have you connected with other class members and with the general public in these areas?

I really like how open the class is to discussion, while reading posts is interesting it is far more of a learning experience to hear people interpret or believe a point from the reading so differently.  If we didn’t have so much discussion in class I would only take away my interpretation without contrasting it with that of others. Weather I’m persuaded or not it makes me think of WHY I think what I think. It’s also very interesting to see the blog posts outside of class and how different things stick out to each of us.  I’ve been meaning to connect with people outside of class through my blog. I don’t want it to simply be my(1) thoughts on the reading, I want it to have an(2) application to our life and humanity and a(3) method to contribute through technology. I keep trying to have at least 2 of those 3 aspects in each of my posts.

Englightenment of Musical Diversity

How can one have an “Invisible College?” the ability to share information with other people. The pupil becoming the teacher and the teacher the pupil. This concept is fascinating and was used in the 1600’s for literary and scientific uses for dictionaries, encyclopedias and many more things.

First I wanted to talk about youtube tutorials. It’s a free tool you have to collaborate information and teach, learn from eachother. While this is true for science, and history I like how it’s also used to teach arts, music, graphic design, etc.

For example, the day after INCEPTION came out, they were tutorials on how to play the theme song on the piano. This is months way before sheetmusic is even out for the film. People with talent to play by ear recorded themselves, posted it with specific instructions. I think this is an extraordinary tool for sharing information and bringing social advancement to all who seek it.

Second, I wanted to show an example of Eric Whitacres Virtual Choir. Eric Whitacre is one of the most well known choral composers for our day. He had the brilliant idea to send free sheetmusic through youtube and have thousands of people submit themselves singing to his songs. He posted instructional videos and instructions and then came up with the result of a virtual choir of people worldwide. HOW AMAZING is it that ANYONE worldwide can be part of a choir with one of the best in the field.  Having an expert do tutorials and mix the songs, and at the same time in interviews he has said he’s learned from this experience. Again, everyone is teaching eachother.  I think this has enabled people in specific categories of interest such as modern choral pieces worldwide to learn from the best and for contributers worldwide to be able to help eacother.

The New Idols of Theater

When I read about the new scientific method there was a part that really struck me.

The following is from the Novum Organum. Keep in mind that this was written over half a millenia ago.  It’s crazy how this mentality is still present in our culture ( If not more than ever).

The idea of the idols is that we have different type of idols that cloud our judgement, learning. We put them before reason (scientific method). Idols of the Cave ( self), Market ( our face to face interactions), Tribe ( experiences of man, dogmas in society), Theater ( Drama, Media for us)

I am going to make the correlation between the problem with” idols of theater” and spoon-believing the media. The danger outlined in the Novum Organum against these idols of theater is when the people believe negligence and tradition that are presented for creative, scenic fashion and interpret it as a scientific truth that is applied to reality. In other words, people believe the world they see portrayed through art. ( Theater, film, music, photography, etc.) to be true.

Let me start by saying I’m an advocate for art, I think that many great truths and ideas can be set through the media, but the problem comes when people don’t think or test what is being portrayed. One must question what is watched in the news, on tv, online as truth or not. We cannot simply trust that things are correct realistically and learn from them.

The Novum Organum says that we should be like spiders making webs, connections in our minds. We must be skeptical and test truths for ourselves.   Like mentioned in my other post, if people just saw Big Love and assumed that’s what the LDS church is like then we would be making judgements, actions and calls that are not founded on facts or thinkging, these webs of knowledge, but on the idols of theater we have in our minds.

I’ve had to deal with these Idols throughout my life as people have misjudged me and others around me. Let’s play a game about how the media portrays what we believe.

I’m going to post a word, then 2 images. One is what people believe to be the majority or true and the other is what is actually true.  I’m going to use Mexico as an example. I’ll use real examples that have affected people’s reactions towards be because of their assumptions based on the media.

Taco

Nope, not a Taco. People in Mexico wouldn't know what this was if you gave it to them.

This is a Taco that would be a real one from Mexico.

Mexican High School Student

This are a group of typical High School Students in Mexico. They were uniforms, are dedicated and overall excell in Math and Science. ( Higher percentage than in the U.S)

I had several families tell their children not to play with me because their theories of Mexicans were media based. For the record, cholos originated in CA, not MX.

Now, while these examples are ridiculous, you can see how believing the media blindly and following these idols without making our own connections, webs of truth and exploration we become disconnected from the world. We become disconnected from reality and we vote, interpret and believe false arguments for laws, actions that hurt real people.

Moveable Ideas- Type

Texting and Chatting services usually get a bad reputation. They are blamed for dying grammar and punctuation.  For hundreds of years the written word was left for scholars. Ideas were slow to travel and virtually not heard with people outside of your influence.

While it is true that people are lazy when they text, is the benefit greater than the harm?

The literacy rate today is far greater than it was hundreds of years ago, thanks to the movable type and to the p rinting press. How about texting, being able to share an idea and a thought in seconds. The idea to be able to share a quote, address witht he right audience at the exact time you need them to hear something, that was unheard of for centuries.

Do you think that these forefathers of communication that dreamt of quick, accessible, communication between the common man would text or not?

It is my belief that Gutenberg would rather type than to this

So, are the benefits greater than the risks? I think so.

New Digissaince Man

The modern age requires all of us to become Digissaince Men and Women. We cannot simply be well versed in Microsoft and know how to type, in the growing workforce we have to know all sorts of trades. It’s not enough to simply be a secretary, answer calls and type memos.

Ha, you’ll never get hired.

The digital revolution has enabled the love of learning to everyone around us.

An example is a flyer that I made for a BBQ.

The flyer was at a hidden kiosk in an obscure park.  I had to know HOW to get to where we had it reserved, but had no time to physically go. So, I used google maps.

I got directions,  an areal view from the satellite so I could see the difference between the park and houses. I then had to make a flyer in photoshop to invite people.  Our society is quick to judge the validity and quality of things according to the graphic design. If I was to make a flyer in word nobody would have showed up. I know I wouldn’t have. So, I needed to use navigations kills, science and software about maps such as google earth, but I a lso had to combine it with simple graphic design and instructions using photoshop.

A simple map wouldn’t do.

I was even able to get an actual view picture so people knew what kiosk we were meeting in. This took some digiskillz.

Our society has become accostumed to this mix of science and art. Things need to be CORRECT and they need to be APPEALING. It’s a necessity for a career. In a way we are all being asked to be digissaince men and women.

A great tool and website I found to be able to teach us to be DigiSasaince men and women is Lynda.com

Here, the Digissaince mentality of sharing knowledge and altruism is combined with the rennesaince mentality of being well rounded.   You can see videos and tutorials on how to use dozens of software and how to use the computer. This tool will allow all of us to implement the arts and sciences to humaity and become better rounded Digissaince men and women.