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.

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