Sunday, May 1, 2011

Change for Schools (Blog 6)

Change Up That Education!

Society in the world today is growing more and more each day. We come up with new inventions everyday and are constantly brain storming new ways to make our world even better then it already is. So why does our education system have so many flaws in it? Dave Eggers' realizes this with the many teachers involved in his life. The teachers notice students that can't keep their grades up in many subjects especially reading and writing, with all of the different learning styles and backgrounds it's almost impossible when you have 200 students to be able to help each one individually. Dave realizes this and he knows that with the help of one on one teaching, all students would be able to improve. In order to help, he opened up his own tutoring school.

Dave is not alone in the hunt help children gain a better education for themselves. President Bush used his own efforts to start the "No Child Left Behind" act. He has set higher standards in the education system for children to strive for. WIth this act, states an gain some of the flexibilities they need. Is this going to solve all of the education flaws? No, we still have so many more tangles society is trying to work out. School is such a big part of everyone's lives so why would we not want to help figure out a way to make it better?

With Dave's small act in order to help, he has already begun changing the world. If a hundred other people think of ways to help, it would help just that much more. "A bunch of happy families in a neighborhood is a happy community. A bunch of happy community tied together is a happy city and a happy world," stated Eggers. By opening 826 Valencia school children had the opportunity to lear one on one and get the teaching they needed. If people today start thinking like Dave Eggers, then maybe we can all change the world.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Booming Technology! (Blog 8)

Technology at It's Finest
It's the year 2011, and technology today is way more advanced then what anyone could have predicted. We have designs, applications, gadgets, that 10 years ago, were unimaginable. But recently, there has been a lot of discuss about our society coming to a stop with technology, especially in our class fish bowls. Mick Ebeling has not only proved people wrong, but his invention was life changing for the people who use it.

Mick Ebeling heard about the graffiti artist TEMPT who was diagnosed with ALS, which completely paralyzed him. His only way of communicating was by blinking, something most people take for granted. Blinking was his only was to live, by opening and closing his eyes. Mick decided he wanted to help him and with that, he invented the device that changed TEMPT's life. He created glasses that can project images on to walls and buildings and it can be controlled by the movement of eyes.
So now would you agree that our society has come to a screeching stop with technology? Some people argue that out inventions are improving but there is no actual new inventions, just upgrades of the old. But how would you explain these glasses? No one has ever seen anything like it. What about the Straddling Bus that was recently released in Bejing? It is greener, quickest, and doesn't take up any extra space. New invention? I think yes.

A lot of children today have so many brilliant ideas to share with the world. Adults tend to shoot them down by saying, "That's ridiculous, that could never work!" But society needs to realize that at one point in life, somethings weren't possible. 100 years ago, people thinking about a cell phone? No way! That would have been amazing! "If you see something that's not possible, make it possible," stated Mick Ebeling. Every time we think of something new and different but can't decide to try to make it happen, Mick tells us to ask us two simple questions: "If not now, then when? If not me, then who?" Mick made TEMPT's dream come true by letting him do what he loved again after seven years. He is now going to be in an upcoming art show in California. Not only can TEMPT use if, but so can any other paralyzed person that can not communicate. It is also free to everyone, no one is making a dime off of this invention. If Mick can help someone's dream come true, so can we. Our generation needs to stop letting our brilliant ideas get constantly ridiculed by how impossible they are and realize, that one day, they can be possible.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Is Wrong the New Right? (Blog 7)

Instinct Wrong
One day this past summer up in Keystone Colorado, I was walking by and suddenly saw a sign that says "Tent Sales: Here for the next 3 days!" I automatically assumed, "Oh, they're selling tents....Cool?" So when my brother asked if I wanted to go to one, I was a little shocked, I mean really, why do I want to go look at tents that I won't buy or use? So when I told him this, he gave me an "are you kidding?" look and started laughing. Apparently, tent sales are when people sell their merchandise under the big white tents. To this day, my family always reminds me of how funny that moment was. Personally, I don't think it's so funny. There are so many other examples I could give about being wrong. People are wrong every day of their lives. Maybe if you're that person that never does anything wrong and is completely flawless, then maybe you're never wrong. I can't even count how any times I've been wrong in my life. That number has multiple digits in it. But the point the Kathryn Schulz gets across is that, maybe, sometimes it's not so bad to be wrong.
Schulz explains that people today try to avoid being wrong and avoid thinking about being wrong. People get so caught up with trying to be right that sometimes it's hard for them to realize that they are wrong. Kathryn says that being "stuck in that bubble" is a huge problem today. But we don't have to worry because there is a way to get out of the bubble. To get out, we need to know how to realize when we're wrong and become aware of error blindness. Error blindness is not knowing that we're wrong, until it's to late to realize that we're wrong. Actually being wrong doesn't feel like anything but then when you realize you're wrong, that's the part that people hate. So if we become more aware of error blindness, we might be able to avoid it happening more often.

When we are wrong, we are taught that being wrong is bad. The kids that always got bad grades on paper were always "the dumb kids", the kids who didn't try, the slacker kids. We learn that being right is the only way to be successful as kids. But how do we know what's right for him and what's right for her? We are taught that getting something wrong means theres something wrong with us. Kids all around the world would be able to tell you this. But in reality, don't you think that being wrong is the whole point of being human? If everyone were right all the time, where would we be today? Everyone would be successful, everyone would have everything, and everyone would be the same.

So the next time you're debating something, trying to decide if it's right or wrong, slow down. Look at all the facts around you, and be prepared for error blindness. Trusting to much in our choice and feeling can always be dangerous if it goes wrong. We have to realize that everyone sees everything differently, like when you wonder if everyone sees colors the same way as you do. That's the whole reason we get things wrong, it's all about perspective. Something that everyone needs to learn is mistakes are what make us human, mistakes are what help us learn, and mistakes are what create us. But trusting too much in decisions can always lead to worse.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What is Success? (Blog 5)

Success is.....

Success, it is what everyone told us to strive for, what everyone says is the best thing to achieve in the world, it is what makes us and breaks us. Without success, we would be no where; but really, what is success? This is what John Wooden helps us define, what true success is. The stereotype for success in school is getting an A or B on everything that you do. Typically, if anyone got anything lower, students automatically thing, "Oh, that's the idiot kid." This is just the way that students today are raised. A point the Wooden makes is "The good lord .....didn't create us all equal as far as intelligence is concerned any more than we're equal for size, apperance." Not everyone in the world learns the same, takes in information the same, so not everyone in the world has the opportunity or ability to earn that A or B, not matter how hard they try. Yet, that's what defines our future, our grades in school. So, if I have bad grades, does that mean I am not successful?

Everyone in the world should have their own definition of success. Since no one person in the world is the same, success is going to be different for any person depending on who you are, where you are from, and who you grow up around. If you have strict parents who only accept A's, then anything less is going to be taken in as "unsuccessful" but what people need to start asking is, "Is this successful to me?" Even though every person has their own thinking of success, we all have one big idea; to achieve something that has been hard to get to for yourself.

While playing a sport, the goal of the game is to win, and beat the other team. If you do not win, you're team is considered unsuccessful. I am a lacrosse player, and when we play a game and do not win, it's frustrating. Everyone becomes upset and mad, even if we played to our full potential, to most people all that matters is the score. This is another way that kids today are being raised. But what really matters in games and practices, is effort. And not just in games and practices, but in everything that people do. When teams start to get down, they give up. But what we have to realize is that there is always a chance to have a come back, you have to play your hardest till the end, and most of all, you have to want it. Which ever team wants it the most is going to get it in the end. If I'm the worst one on my team but I try my hardest, then
I say I deserve to be out there and maybe I don't score a lot of goals but maybe a make a good catch or throw, and that is what I would consider success. People may tell me I'm a terrible athlete, but I would just tell them, "Hey, I'm trying my best, putting out my best effort." And in the end, that's all that really matters.

Society today is growing up with TV, magazines, movies, and in all of these are glamorous, flawless people. We tend to not see what real life people look like and strive to be more like them. To us, they are the successful ones in life, they have it all. (Again, another way children today have grown up with and been taught.) But we need to learn to never try to be someone else, never try to be better than someone else, but instead learn from others and be PROUD of who YOU are. Don't let anyone tell you who you should be. That's all up to you. You can't tell anyone who you should be and you also can't tell anyone what success to you should be. You choose your success and you choose where you go in life. In the end, it's all up to you.

Through out life, people have success every day, and failure every day. What's everyone's success? Well, that's a good question, because it all depends on the person. John Wooden's definition of success is, "Peace of mind attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best, or what you're capable of." As long as you put your best efforts forward, and do what you have the potential to do, you have succeeded. Since everyone in the world can't have the ability to earn an A, how do we determine success? I think that this is still trying to be figured out today. In life, according to Wooden, "(We need to) give people something higher to achieve than just a 'mark on the paper.'" We need to understand that for some people, a C is a success. In order to achieve it, we need two things, patience and faith. We must believe in what we do and we must believe that things will all work out in the end. Something that a lot of people don't realize is that, "The journey is better than the end," said John Wooden. Success is, well I can't tell you. I could give you the definition, I could give you my opinion, but you need to figure out what success is for you. So now, you can tell me, what's your definition of success?

John Wooden created his own pyramid of success. He uses traits that lead up to success. What's on your pyramid?

Works Cited:
180 Tech Tips. Web. 27 Apr. 2011. .
Web. 27 Apr. 2011.
"Wooden on Leadership by John Wooden and Steve Jamison - Leadershop @" Leadership Development - News and Issues @ Web. 27 Apr. 2011. .
"Wooden on Leadership by John Wooden and Steve Jamison - Leadershop @" Leadership Development - News and Issues @ Web. 27 Apr. 2011. .

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cognitive Surplus (Blog 4)

On average, teenagers spend 30 hours a week watching TV, spend 4 hours a day on the computer, and play 2 hours a day of video games. Imagine how good your grade would be if you spent that much time studying! According to Clay Shirky, there are over a trillion hours a year of free time, including the time we spend on TV and computers. This is time that goes unused, time that is unproductive. Not just a million, or even a billion but a TRILLION. If someone works for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and take one week off a year, they will work about 2040 hours a year. It would take 490,196,078 people to work for 2040 hours to reach a trillion hours. If you think about how make people are in the world, that's really not that many and yet, we still have a trillion hours of free time. But within that free time, there is something that is being created, cognitive surplus.

Cognitive surplus is the work we do online and share with the world in our spare time. Right now, you could be thinking, on Facebook I share information with the world when i post status'! Does that mean I'm part of cognitive surplus? Well, not exactly. In order to be a part of cognitive surplus, you need to volunteer and work together with others on large projects that may even affect the world. You need to use your hours of free time and use creativity and share with the world. Shirky talks about an example he gives of a woman in Kenya. This woman started blogging aout events happening in Kenya, then many people started commenting on it and contriuting to it ut she couldn't keep up with it. Blog readers saw that she needed help and reached out. They realized that they could find a program to keep up with it. That program was called Ushahidi. Ushahidi became such a big hit and so many people used it, that they decided to make open-source. It is now used in many countries today. This is just one of the many examples of cognitive surplus in the world.

Inventing Facebook is another example of Cognitive Surplus. Mark Zuckerberg created a social networking site that is now used by hundreds of people all over the world. There is now an easy way to get information from person to person. There are groups that give information about world issues that you can join if you are interested in finding out information about them, and so many other things that would have been considered impossible 20 years ago. When Mark started this website, he was not expecting to get one penny from it, he did it because he liked to work with internet and computers. He volunteered his free time to put something out there for others to use.

The general message that Clay Shirky is trying to get across is that if we design to give because we like it, our society can get so far in the world. It has been proven in so many studies that more can be accomplished when people do things because they ENJOYED them not because they were getting paid to do it. "We need human generosity and technology," says Shirky. With these two things, we can lead our society to a future filled with many successes and learn more about the world every day. Every person in the world should try and put something forward. Even if it doesn't work, at least we can say we tried to add something to our world and future.

Motivation 101 (Blog 3)

Push It To The Limit
Motivation, it's what drives us, pushes us, makes us try our hardest. Where does it come from? What encourages us to get through that 30 page essay that is due tomorrow? Well, that's what society today is still trying to figure out. Really think about this one, why do you go to school and try your best? Why do you study for your test? Everyone has their own reasons, some are from their parents, family,and friends pushing them. For others, it is to feel like they can accomplish things. What's your reason for motivation?

In studies, it has been proven that when a reward is given, people tend to do slower. If you have something to accomplish and people pay you to do it, you will usually finish the task later than you usually would. Thinking about it now you are are probably saying, "No way! If someone payed me to do something, I would definitely do it faster and try harder!" Maybe your parents pay you for your grades. For every A and B you get you get X amount of money. That would encourage me to try harder, but what works better than motivation from others around you is self motivation and drive. As Dan Pink says, there are three things that can help you with finding your motivation and the source of your motivation, autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

Autonomy is the quality of driving your self and being independent. You push yourself on your own without any one or any thing else motivating you. Mastery is taking control of your motivation. You choose what you do and use your own creativity with our any one else persuading you what you should do. You grasp what the situation is and motivate yourself to handle it. Purpose is why are you doing this? What is the point of motivation? When accomplishing your action, you have to know why you're doing it.

With these three simple motivation helpers, you can accomplish anything you need to do. If you are in charge of a buisness,know that self direction works better. Let people have freedom in their schedules, let them do work when they need/want to do it, and the work will get done better and faster. "There's a mismatch between what science know and business does,"explained Daniel Pink. So let people find there own motivation in life and try their best. In life, you can only go so far without motivation.

Works Cited
"Google Images." Google. Web. 19 Apr. 2011. .
"Google Images." Google. Web. 19 Apr. 2011. .

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Blog Post of Awesome (Blog 2)

The Three A's

"We're all gunna get lumps, we're all gunna get bumps, none of us can predict the future but we do know one thing about the future and that's that it ain't gunna go according to plan," no one could have explained life better than Neil Pasricha. Every day of every year, people have bad days. It could be from having a bad hair day, we all know everyone has those, or to loosing a family member in your life. Through out the lumps and bumps on our road of life, we have to know that the road will eventually flatten out which is the way Neil Pasricha looks at life. With the tradgic events that happened in Neil's life, he used his sadness into something good. He started a blog called 1000 Awesome Things. The "things"in his blog were from putting objects in your shoe so you don't forget them later, to finding money in your pocket, to buffets, I mean really, every one enjoys unlimited food. His blog won the "Best Blog of the Year" award and even has two books out today, The Book of Awesome and The Book of (Even More) Awesome.


Thinking about my life, I know that I've had bad days he
re and there. On those days, you don't think of how happy simple bubble wrap can make you feel better or how dancing in the car can instantly boost your mood. I mean really think about it, when's the last time you've said, "Oh! The waitress just refilled my drink with out me asking, that's just made my day!" Yeah that is right, you are trying to think about it, but you can't because you don't do that. What has made our society today so negative? Well, "We will all have high highs," said Neil Pasricha, but all also have low lows. In order to get through the "low lows" we need The Three A's.

The first of the three A's is a no brainer, attitude."You've always got two choices," stated Pasricha, "You can swirl and twirl and gloom and doom forever or two, you can grieve and then face the future with newly sober eyes." If your planning on having a good attitude for the day, I think we all agree that we need option two. You always hear teachers and coaches telling you, "Go into this with a good attitude and I know you can do great!" Is positive thinking really going to help you score that extra goal? Or help you get an "A" on that really hard math test? Well, it can't get you into college but it CAN help you with many other daily challenges. It is a proven fact that if you think negatively, most of the time, it will go negatively. So go with option two and think about the positive things happening in your life and stay away from negative influences.

The second A is awareness. Who knew being aware of your surroundings helps you live a happy live? Well, that is not exactly what Neil Pasricha when he used awareness as one of his A's in life. Instead, he meant to open your eyes and be aware of what new things you have around you, what beautiful things are in the room that you've never seen before. "I love the way they (3 year olds) see the world becuase they are seeing the world for the first time," said Neil. If you think back to the positive first times you have in life, like maybe seeing that awesome movie for the first time, wearing the new clothes you got, getting the new gum everyone's talking about, then you can see the world in a whole new, positive light. Neil's message is remember the positive first times in you life and always, always embrace you're inner three year old.

The last A that Neil Pasricha talks about is Authenticity. Now, if your vocabulary level is the same as mine, right now you are probably thinking, "Definition of authenticity please?" Authenticity is the quality that people can have of being sincere to yourself. When you have the quality of authenticity you are not afraid to show who you are, what you love, and what your opinions are. You are loyal to yourself and others around you by showing who you really are. "It's all about being you," said Pasricha. His general message in this A of life is to follow your heart, and go with your gut instinct in a decision. Life is to short to take the time to think about all the daily decision's we are faced with.

After his inspiring thoughts and moving stories, Neil Pasricha decided to leave us a closing thought to think about. Consider being true to yourself to get through what you're going through. "There are just so many things to be happy about.....And we've only got a hundred years to enjoy it," stated Pasricha. Through out life we have to be willing to live it to the fullest, and do not let those bad days get us down. Try to find the positive in that negative situation. Think about using the three A's in you life; positive attitude, awareness, and authenticity. And just maybe you can enjoy life like you are supposed too. So take that extra time to sing your favorite song in the shower to cheer up your day, and it is okay to think that bubble wrap is the best part about receiving a new package, and always, always remain sincere to yourself.


Works Cited
"Google Images." Google. Web. 18 Apr. 2011. .
"Google Images." Google. Web. 18 Apr. 2011. .
Pasricha, Neil. "The 3 A's of Awesome." Ted. Jan. 2011. Web. 18 Apr. 2011.