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Below are the 14 most recent journal entries recorded in smile_eternal's LiveJournal:

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005
5:21 pm
Access Grid Video Conference.
I was not able to attend this lecture because I had to take care of my sick baby after taking him to the Dr. Though I asked one of my friends about it and got an idea how the thing works. I really felt bad for missing this Lecture, it was the only one I missed in this course and I missed alot!! Too bad...:(

Current Mood: sad
Monday, November 28th, 2005
11:36 pm
The Young Reader and the Screen
Human beings are always eager to learn and know about new things, we yield to every new idea and experience. Same thing apply for young children, children by nature love everything that is unique and look genuine. They are selective in their choices and sometimes it is hard for us to convince them of an opposite choice. In the article “The Young Reader and the Screen” the authors discusses interesting information. Though it is good to use technology with children, I think that this should be done every once in a while. Children must be tough the importance of books and reading first, once they gain a solid base in reading and appreciate this procedure; they can be introduced to the idea of reading through a screen. Children can interact with each other or with the reader during this process which will not happen if they are reading through the screen. Interaction is one way of widening children’s horizons and making them appreciate others ideas and thoughts. By sharing ideas while reading in groups or couples, children add on their own ideas, correct and sometimes create new ones. This process simply works as a stimulator to their brain/imagination. However, while reading through a screen, some children will neglect the content and focus on the animation and sound effects. In the article, the authors mentioned that children who do not have access to screens rate computers as their priority while those who have access to it rate it as the least preference. By touching, smelling and feeling the book children will experience different feelings. I think that no matter how much technology will add or sometimes replace things in our lives; I know that the importance of reading a book with children will never fade away.
To me as an adult, to actually read through a book makes a difference than just reading over the computer screen. I can add comments and highlight important points while reading through a book which I find it hard to do if reading an on line article. Plus I sometimes find it hard to keep focused while reading an article on line.

Current Mood: rushed
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005
1:18 am
The Technology of Difference & Tuxpaint
“The Technology of Difference” is an informative article which drew my attention to certain issues I never bothered thinking about. Though some parts were hard to understand because of the technological terms, I was able after rereading the article to understand the whole essence of it. Besides, the interesting thing that drew my attention is the route the educator go through to be able to participate in the publication procedure. Another thing that I really found appealing is the fact that Internet is written in English. I mean I know that everything I use on line is in English but I never thought about using Internet programs written in my own language! It might seem confusing to me because I guess I got used to computer in its English version which proves what the author mentioned “it is impossible to participate in technology without privileging English”. Some times when I am chatting with friends or family from back home, I mainly use English or write English letters that represent the same phonetics in my own language. For example the word “baddey” doesn’t make any sense in English language however, it means “I want to” in my language!
As to Tux Paint web page, having somebody who thought about children and how they can benefit from using an open source drawing software is a good thing. It is exciting to have such programs available for children, and what is more remarkable is the numerous languages this program can be translated to. I guess each child will have the opportunity to have their own art work even if they are not really good at it- without the help of this program. Children will be encouraged to employ this program and use their imagination. Since this program is used in many different schools as part of their curriculum, children will be learning and having fun at the same time. I can’t wait until my son is able to work on this program to see how he will handle it!

Current Mood: drained
Tuesday, November 15th, 2005
8:27 pm
Children as Photographers
Giving children the chance to use cameras is a very interesting learning procedure for us adults, because we get an idea about the essence of children’s perceptions, and for children to express and reflect themselves. It gives us an idea how these children view the world and its surroundings. Since it will be a new experience for children, children will love and feel enthusiastic to participate in taking pictures. Children will not be restricted or directed in the process of taking pictures, rather, children were provided by a camera (not taught how to function it) and were asked to use the camera in any way they like instead of directing them how to take photos. Children became creative and started to take shots they liked or thought they make sense, they simply reflected their preferences. In the Kodak study, children at early age took pictures for their objects or people who surround them, i.e. they took pictures from their direct environment like their family and their possessions. At age 11 years old, children obtained pictures that were more abstract such as objects or natural outdoor scenes, excluding people. However, as they grew older, and started building friendships and trust among their peers, they took pictures that included their friends and social lives.It is ammazing how these children took such nice pictures. Some of these pictures were really good and interesting. Moreover, after watching the passionate eye documentary on children with cameras, it was frustrating to learn about the bad conditions these children were living in, furthermore, it was obvious that the social conditions they lived in was reflected in their pictures. So if we compare these poor children’s pictures with those who participated in the Kodak study we can easily notice the differences in the essence of the pictures even though the ages were the same. It is very unfortunate to see how bad the social condition was for these children which made me stop from watching the rest of the documentary!

Current Mood: tired
Wednesday, November 9th, 2005
3:21 pm

Originally uploaded by biso80.
This lab is easy so far
Saturday, October 29th, 2005
11:47 pm
In the article “video conferencing with preschool children”, I find it cool to have children from different backgrounds/countries interacting with each other. The conference idea allows children to share their learning experiences which benefit both. It is well known that interaction stimulates learning process, and children might perceive this experiment as a fun/interesting way of learning. I think that those children who were having the music conference lab didn’t feel that they are in a class setting. So, I highly recommend more trials on using this technology with children to grasp more of its effects. As to the problems of conferencing, I guess each technology has its leaks, however, these minor problems will be solved someday.
As to the second article, “metaportal for a mega trend”, the idea of having virtual communities sound interesting. Having “brains” working together to solve a problem or to invent new strategies makes it more interesting. But what came to my mind is the fact that countries that don’t have access to such technology will be at a great disadvantage. Advanced countries will get the chance to work together whether solving problems or inventing things while the developed countries won’t, so the “wealthy becomes wealthier”!
The third article “children as photographers”, was motivating. It inspired me with some ideas to use as activities in other courses. It even made me convinced that once my child is able to operate a camera I will be more than glad to provide him with one. Children will be interested in expressing themselves as well as their preferences. Moreover, in my social emotional course, we learned that children at early ages tend to express themselves in terms of their physical appearance, direct environment i.e. family and their possessions. However, as they grow older, they direct their attention more to their social world i.e. they value the importance of friendships…etc. All of which matches the essence of photos children took in the experiment.

Current Mood: frustrated
Monday, October 24th, 2005
3:11 am
The article Race in/for Cyberspace brings about the same old topic of hiding/hidden ID’s. As the author mentioned, no body knows if the information provided is real! I guess no one cares. However, the only problem is that some psychos use an ID related to a certain race/gender/religion inappropriately. Other than that, we are living in a free world and it is totally up to people to waste their time and efforts while trying to be what they are not!
Since race is not a must to mention when registering, then why do some make it known for the public? Certain endless topics related to race issues may become confusing and frustrating. The author reflects on how people who choose to reveal their race involve in a form of hostile performance.
As to the article, Rape in Cyberspace, I was really upset and thanked god this didn’t happen to me. I’m trying to imagine my reaction if somebody does it to me, and I don’t think his virtual head will be enough. Nevertheless, being a psycho does not justify what he did. I would like him to have somebody as wicked/mean as he is or even worse to teach him a lesson of his life. Though it is against my ethics to do such things but “eye for an eye” might help him to “put himself in others shoes”, after all he started it! Moreover, I expected he will use another ID, but I did not expect that he will expose himself by committing other wicked deeds. This proves that ignoring him wasn’t an effective solution!
In “Bridging the Digital Divide”, two common widely spread themes are introduced, income and education. I think that income, excluding race, does influence the availability of computers at homes. Well off people have easier and more access to technology as opposed to mid or low income families. Furthermore, education does affect people’s willingness/desire to have access to computers but without the means “money” they can’t get anywhere.

Current Mood: restless
Monday, October 17th, 2005
12:12 pm
The article “Seduction of Sim” is interesting to read. It is true that it might help broadening children’s views and imagination of life, but it is also true that it might limit their problem solving abilities! It is fascinating to have a game where the player sets his/her own rules, but unfortunately this does not apply to real life! In SimCity, children can build a city and become accountable for it without any authorities and legislations. I think that such games give children unrevealed/hidden messages that underestimate the importance of having a government. However, isn’t it early for young children to be exposed to such abstract and complicated issues-such as tax funds, ruling system, equality, liberty, rights…etc-at this young age? I mean can children really understand the right meanings of these concepts?
It is hard to delete things in real life, instead people have to use their intelligence to find a way to face and solve their problems. By playing such games children might lose their ability/skills of problem solving and resort to what they think as a quick and effective way. In such games they can delete or use auto problem solving, I wonder what they would do in real life! I guess that children when faced with new issues they have to deal with will not act better than the Safir’s children. Those children became frustrated when exposed to programs other than their own. Mr. Ruben mentioned that his children “have no limitations” when dealing with computers, and that “this change the way the kids view things”. Well what does he call having his children frustrated when exposed to other programs? I guess “limited” is the magical key word here!
The article “Truth about Secret Grand Theft Auto” is a frustrating one. Nevertheless, it should give parents the red alarm of watching carefully what their children are buying as games. In these days, children should be monitored on a daily basis to assure their safety! This article made me wonder why people do such things? If they are smart enough to find ways to corrupt children, why don’t they use their intelligence in a beneficial way?

Current Mood: sick
Tuesday, October 11th, 2005
12:45 am
Reading the article opened my eyes to many issues and made me uncomfortable. The idea of having somebody digging in to my personal life is scary. By thinking about that somebody out there might be reading my personal e-mails or any chatting I do drives me crazy, it makes me feel paranoid! However, I liked the way the authors decided to open their topic. It is true that no matter how the security system is good and protected, still some people especially hackers might dedicate their efforts to break through the system just for the sake of fun. They perceive security systems as a challenge. It is also true that cracking personal lives is easy and costless, but how about the ethical costs. I think we reached a time where respect or concern about ethical issues is trivial! Moreover, when the authors mentioned how some dead people live throughout the internet, they made me remember a certain funny/scary and questionable issue that happened in my country. Eight years ago, we had elections running in Lebanon. The competition was really at its peak and the candidates would do anything to win the election. Anything to the extent of arising dead from their graves! They faked documents and made dead people alive, and bribed their family members to help them out in this drama! Whenever I remember this issue, I smile with concern asking myself what is next? Where will people reach from here? When is it going to stop? Who will be the “legend” “honest” person to start implementing ethical rules? And who will be the other person feeling jealous, and following the legend’s lead?

Current Mood: scared
Tuesday, October 4th, 2005
2:29 am
Television goes to school... and... Informing ourselves to death.
The first article, “Television goes to school: the impact of videos on student learning in formal education”, talks about having videos in classrooms to promote learning. It is a remarkable article to read and it pretty much reflects my own preferences. We are all visual learners and we tend to remember things we have seen before over things we read. Though I am not underestimating the importance of reading nor the article does, but I personally find it more interesting to watch a documentary about a topic rather than reading a book about it. Now, and though I am a university student, I find it motivating how in some courses we have to watch a movie or documentary and reflect on it. Technology endorses children’s learning and makes it easier and more exciting. Moreover, having the ability to pose, comment, reflect and analyze an idea is a good and effective way of active learning.
In the second article, “Informing ourselves to death”, though written in the 90’s, reflects the ongoing fear of technology that each of us possess. However, the speaker mentioned how teachers will be considered-on the long run-as having an old fashioned way teaching with respect to the use of television. Nevertheless, the first article argues the importance of having teachers organize and control the use of television in the classroom to get the best out of it. In his perspective, the speaker thinks that schools, by teaching/emphasizing the importance of learning how to operate computerized systems, are preventing children from learning other valuable things. Well, I think that having children actively involved in planning, arranging, implementing their understanding in addition to sharing them with others is an enthusiastic as well as an informative way of learning.

Current Mood: sleepy
Friday, September 23rd, 2005
12:45 am
Jorgensen and Bunyan' Articles
After reading the article by Jorgensen I had to sit back and think about what he advocated. As a mother, I tried to put myself in other peoples’ shoes to be able to reach a fair argument. I think that being a lonely parent construct chains around the caregiver because the responsibility is harder/bigger than if it is shared by another partner. Nevertheless, I prefer not to enroll my baby in a day care with a web camera because I can picture myself checking on him every now and then. Not out of skepticism or insecurity, rather out of curiosity and to use what is offered by technology! In Bunyan’s article, a piece of technology saved a life (not under estimating the achievement). I think that it is a must to have cameras in pools for such emergencies, but it is unlikely to have very urgent situations in day care settings that require having cameras. Besides, teachers are taught how to react in emergency cases.
Anyway, I would like to inform parents who use web cameras to assure that their children are fine, and to know the level of interaction, involvement, or the suitability of the activities provided by the teacher, that daycare teachers are trained to take care of these issues based on previous knowledge/agreement with the parents. Furthermore, parents might not be aware -though Mads is- that sometimes their children have to deal with their own issues, and that any interference from their side will reduce children’s abilities to face/solve further problems in their lives. They might become psychologically, emotionally or physically dependant on others for help. Moreover, I found that daycare web cams somehow resemble web logs virtual trips. Many parents cannot afford paying for their children to go on discovery trips so, children use web logs to travel virtually. On the other hand, parents cannot afford staying home with their children to monitor their development so they resort to web cams to fulfill this need! What makes me wonder the most is: how teachers in such day cares agree to be monitored by others? For me it is very disturbing and uncomfortable to be in such an environment. I would like to close my discussion by asking, if we now depend on technology to fulfill our needs and desires then what will happen to human interaction sometimes in the near future?

Current Mood: contemplative
Tuesday, September 20th, 2005
11:47 am
While reading the article I was impressed by the amount of information I was learning since I am not a computer person. However, I kept thinking in my mind; do these information and ideas have any negative effects at all? Well for me, having web pages that are easily updated by any person who encounters them on the web rings a bell of danger! Some people might use these web logs inappropriately. They might send wrong messages especially to children which might lead to corruption. Nonetheless, using web logs for educational purposes has its good and bad impact. I agree with the author when he anticipated that having students actively involved in their own education helps them grasp more knowledge and understanding of the material. In addition to the fact that teacher can correct and guide the students to the right track. Nevertheless, the community will not correct, they either agree or become influenced by what a person wrote! Moreover, web search is tempting especially for students overwhelmed by researching a topic. Students will have plenty of information related to their subject but how will they identify if these information are reviewed carefully or basically right? Also trips without the field are interesting for people who like living virtual realities up to the maximum. People tend to learn from these trips while for me actual participation like going on a trip myself and visiting historical and important places construct more learning. What I can say is that people have to think about technology as something they can control, stop or modify at any time not the opposite. Also adult guidance for students/children of certain ages is an important factor to help them distinguish between what is right and wrong.

Current Mood: moody
Wednesday, September 14th, 2005
1:56 am
The articles of Sherry Turkle.
Upon reading the articles lots of questions popped into my head. Why do people tend to use different personalities and enjoy it? What kind of social interaction is it to pretend something and interact with people whom we cannot see? Between thinking that it is healthy to know what inner thoughts or interests we have, as well as getting the right way to manifest and share it with others without being laughed at. And feeling the danger of having psychos who are of danger to society, and people who run away from their real lives to hide behind fake identities, my confusion arises. However, and by trying to link the present with the future I can somehow reach my own conclusion. Children who are now being exposed to high technological devices are already given the chance to pretend and to role play so they might turn out to be assertive adults who know what they want, better than those who start searching for their selves and start their acting games when they are old! Furthermore, people are biased in using technology, they take advantage of what technology offers for their own benefit and use it in different means. In the article the author said that windows were innovated to help facilitating people's lives and to grant them access to more than one window at a time. People tend to use this technology to have more than one window of identities! Besides, having children exposed to such high tech toys is somehow dangerous if not guided by elders. We have to constantly remind our children that those toys are only machines, they have neither emotions nor feelings and that they do not relate to real life in a way or another. I can still remember years ago when my two brothers started fighting and one of them jumped over the other impressed by the ability super Mario and luigi brothers had. Comparing how threatening Nintendo was to my parents and the games children are exposed to nowadays, I can tell that the messages children got from games in the past were less dangerous than the messages children are getting now. Unfortunately children are now introduced to their ability to kill or rule the world
Monday, September 12th, 2005
11:04 am
The Incredible
Human beings, by nature, tend to take things for granted. Most of us excessively use technology and/or technological devices throughout our daily basis, without being aware of this reality. In the movie, The Incredible, the old well known dilemma of evil vs. good drew my attention because a number of people think that technology is an evil addiction. However, I think that how some people tend to manipulate technology immorally to attain their goals is what makes it evil. For example, Incrediboy used technology as a way to revenge from his hero who refused him as a partner. This is revealed in the scene where Incrediboy faced his hero and told him how he started inventing weapons which made him rich and as a result he is now a threat to people in general and specifically to those born with natural powers. While on the other hand, Mr. Incredible, with his supernatural powers plus the help of technology, was able to reveal the good side of the usage of technology. Furthermore, the movie displays the idea of how sometimes technology prevents people from spending some quality time with their family. For instance, after the government banned people with natural powers from interfering with the work of police, Mr. Incredible started to steel the time he had after work to listen to police internal calls to be updated on what is going on. He started to be distracted from his duties as a father and from guiding his children, leaving this issue for his wife to deal with. Unfortunately this is what is happening to family members who are spending most of their time busy on computers, TVs, play stations and other technological devices. Take me for example; I left my 15 months old son watching T.V to comment on the movie.

Current Mood: okay
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