Monday, February 23, 2015

Blog 4: The App that can Replace Your Magazines

This past week my professor introduced our class to the app Zite, an app that allows you to personalize a news feed of articles, magazines, blogs, etc. to your liking. It has been referred to as "the first personalized magazine app". Developers explain how the more you use the Zite app the better it gets and the more personalized it becomes. Displayed at the bottom of each magazine/article viewed on Zite is a "like" or "dislike" button that when pressed remembers or forgets and discards the article. If "liked", Zite will list anything similar to the "liked" article on your feed.

“Our goal is to be the ultimate content-browsing app that doesn’t rely only on feeds,” Zite CEO Ali Davar told Macworld. I've been using Zite every single day since I was introduced to it, I am entranced by this app. I have been binging in a variety of articles. From the newest technologies in the medical field such as 3D printers creating prosthetics to motivational articles about mood boosting and articles about quick, easy healthy meals to make. Originally bought by CNN in 2011, CNN sold the app to "Flipboard" another newspaper app. CNN and Flipboard made a deal to team up and launch custom magazine for CNN. The deal is valued at $60 million dollars so far.

Zite's ability to personalize your
feed with articles of you interest make it a very unique application. This quality of the app allows access to more information favorable to the viewer. On Zite I came across an article that was related to my future field of work. The article was about 3D printers creating an affordable hand prosthetic for children with missing limbs. Each prosthetic is custom made through the 3D printer allowing for a variety of colors to choose from. For pediatric patients the prosthesis looks like an Ironman super hero arm and they grow to really like it. The prosthesis is cheap to make costing anywhere between $20-$50 and can be assembled much like an advanced lego kit. By just the tightening of the wrist muscle the prosthetic hand clenches objects of patients desire. This new technology has allowed potential future patients of mine to exceed the limitations of their disability. In doing this they can live more fulfilling independent lives.

This past week I read chapter 2 of The Connected Educator. The chapter was about developing a connected learning model through your local community, global network or PLN and a bounded community which is essentially a broadened version of the first two. In professional learning communities the goal is to maintain continuous improvement. To do this leadership is distributed between colleagues. In doing this the professionals get to connect, collaborate, and reflect while improving the outcome. PLN's methods are more individualized and a do-it-yourself kind of ordeal. PLN's allow for more of a personal growth that in-turn the educator can bring back to his/her professional learning community. The bounded community or community of practice's focuses are a shared domain of interest, collective competence among equals who are skillful and talented and a shared practice/common interest. Putting all of these attributes together we create our connected learning communities. The connected learning communities are designed to support professional development goals and improve instruction which in-turn brings about increased growth and achievement.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Is privacy on social media websites actually private?

    I think it's fair to say the majority of college students have one or more social media accounts whether it be Facebook, Instagram, twitter, vine, etc. Although these accounts let thousands, even millions of other people, view their accounts some people can put their account as private which will send a request to the account holder to approve or deny access to view their account. When doing this most of us think our accounts are guarded and totally private but that is not the case. Although your account may be set to private any information you put on your Facebook profile is accessible to Facebook's associates, mainly advertisers and collaborating companies. Facebook shares the information you provide to their site to a plethora of companies then these companies track your digital footprints and make their ads based off of what you search and they provide this information to other companies (restaurants, brands you may like, activities). A new amazing yet eerie technology Facebook is developing is facial recognition. With this new technology any picture taken and uploaded to Facebook will be saved to a database so when a picture of you is uploaded from another user Facebook will tag you automatically. Although part of me thinks this is pretty cool at the same time it is pretty scary. "As PCWorld's Sarah Jacobsson Purewal explains, facial recognition is more than just creepy. Strangers would be able to access information detailing everything about you with a single photo".

   Another worry, especially for recent college graduates, is landing a good job. Today, more and more companies are reviewing applicants social media accounts before making their final decisions on hiring. "a recent CareerBuilder study found that two in five companies now use social-networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook , MySpace and Twitter to screen potential candidates."(article)
It's crucial to keep your profiles private if you believe some of your posts could affect you in society but other then that it's just best to post something you think a potential employer would approve of, just to be safe.

It's important to know and always remind yourself before each post, upload, transmission, share etc, that everything we do online is permanent and can be tracked back to you in someway shape or form.We create a digital footprint while actively online, a digital foot print is a trail or trace of our activity online. To establish a positive digital footprint you want to begin by looking for guidance from people and professionals who have already established their own. Teachers, librarians, parents and other professionals who provide great examples are good to follow. You also want to be real and use your actual information not fake names. In doing this you will establish an identity that you own and it will be harder for people to steal yours. This also allows you to be real because people reading see your picture and your real name. Being consistent and using the same username on all platforms is another positive way to establish a digital footprint. This allows for you to be recognized by others in a positive way.

For class I also read chapter 1 of Untangling the Web by Steve Dembo and Adam Bellow. The first chapter was about curation tools. They explained how before the internet was really utilized it was difficult to share information like we do today. Bookmarking was unheard of until Joshua Schechter founded a website used to bookmark information. The curation of this new tool started the information era. Shortly after, Diigo another website used for bookmarking and sharing was made. Diigo allowed for the organization and sharing of different websites. Diigo made retrieving previously viewed information easy and quick. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Week 2 Blog: Useful Tips When Using Google Drive

For this weeks blog I am going to go over a couple tips to utilize google drive. I only started using google drive about 2 weeks ago and I am already using it for two different college class assignments. Google Drive acts as a cloud for all of your google software and devices (google+, google docs, Gmail, etc). Drive allows you to explore, save and share information all over the web. Here are a few tips I've learned so far. 

A feature of google drive I have been currently using in a few of my classes is the docs sharing. Drive allows you to share and collaborate on a document with other people. This way theres no back and forth emails or texts about a certain paper or project you and other students are working on, you can simply add your work to the project, whenever, wherever. Theres also a chat enabled with the document so you can message back and forth on the same screen as the document, how cool is that? I was stoked about it. The chat makes it easy for me to communicate with my other partners on our project at the same time as we add and edit our work. 
This week I read chapter 6 in "The Connected Educator" for class. The chapter was about building your PLN (personal learning network). The chapter went over how to start a PLN and how to use and preserve it. First you must think of what your PLN is going to be used for (profession, education, etc) and then build off of what your main goal of our PLN is. The chapter described ways of connecting within the community. A way of doing this would be to follow people who have the same interests and profession as you. Follow people you can learn from and always make sure to web check them before following them. Checking your PLN everyday and making sure to participate on it is a good way of preserving it. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Intro Blog: Utilizing the Twitter App

Hi all, my name is Manny Ambar, you can find me on twitter @ambare_RSC. This is my first blog for my Exploring your digital portfolio class. During our first week we discussed ways of utilizing the twitter app to create our own PLN. A PLN is a Personal Learning Network, essentially it is a network of social media apps that are utilized to gather various forms of information in an organized manner.

Twitter is a very popular social media app that connects millions of people and organizations. I am excited to learn how to utilize the Twitter app so I can access the most recent information in my future profession.