THE ASSIGNMENT:  Capture on video a friend, family member, or stranger recounting a favorite (or least favorite) memory. Then be creative.

THE PROCESS:  I used photo’s from one of the most memorable experiences of my life, and then arranged them in a video creator program on my computer.  I added music as well as some added effects, such as gradients and zooming features.  I uploaded this video to You Tube and then embedded this video to my WordPress page. The process took about two hours to complete and I’m very satisfied by the outcome.

THE STORY:  I’ve always wanted to create a video with the pictures that I had from a couple years ago, but never had the time or patience in order to do so.  This assignment gave me the opportunity to sit down and put together a creative video of my experiences, and I’m very pleased with the outcome.  The only thing that I do not like about this video is the point where the two songs merge together.  I couldn’t figure out how to do a smoother  audio transition, but regardless, it turned out the way I wanted it to.  You can’t have a future without remembering the past,  Enjoy!

This is my cooking show!



THE ASSIGNMENT:  Host a cooking show in your own kitchen, and show everyone how it’s done.

THE PROCESS:  I used a program called You Cam to record this video.  The picture quality is not very good, and you do not have the option of pausing and resuming while recording, it has to be one continuous video.  I do not own a video camera, so this was my only option.  I filmed myself cooking and then uploaded this video to You Tube, after this was successfully uploaded, I then embedded this short film to my WordPress page, and that was it!

THE STORY:  I needed to do a DS106 assignment on a new category, and the video assignment was the one I chose this time.  When I came across this assignment I instantly knew that this was going to be the one for me because I love to cook, and more importantly I love to eat.  I knew that it would be difficult for me to record this: #1) because I don’t have a “real” camera, and #2) I needed to chose something quick and simple to make because I didn’t have the option of pausing while filming.   If I tried to give a cooking tutorial on chicken parmigiana, it would end up being an hour long video, and nobody has time to watch that (not even my devoted professor) .  I thought that it would only be necessary for me to prepare a Japanese dish, so I chose sashimi because it is very simple to prepare, also one of my favorite things to eat.  In the end, I’m fully satisfied with the outcome of this project, it was fun and I would recommend this assignment to anyone taking this class.

“The Lost Decade”

Posted: 2012/04/05 in Uncategorized

Can you imagine a world with zero economic growth, higher unemployment rates, and governments that cannot provide financial assistance to aid poverty within the global economy?  According to Dr. Bryan Alexander in his lecture called, “The Visible College: Four Futures For Higher Education,” this may be one of the four possible outcomes that will happen by the year 2022.

Before I let my imagination run wild and give my interpretation of “the lost decade,” I would like to first explain why I believe this possible outcome is likely to occur; and I am going to do so by using current global economic situations.   In some parts of the world the idea of “the lost decade” is already reality.  I would like to use America as an example, simply because it is the world’s preeminent economy.

Every day there are roughly 25,000 people worldwide that die from starvation, and roughly 13 million children in America alone who are considered “starving.”  Unemployment rates are continually increasing with an estimated 12.5 million unemployed American’s in the year 2011.  It is also estimated that 22 out of every 10,000 people in the U.S. are homeless,  and roughly 20% of American’s 25 and older are without a high school diploma.  The public education system in America continues to get weaker, and although there have been attempts by the government to change this (such as Bush’s No Child Law), it has been seemingly unsuccessful.  The rich, who can afford to send their children to private schooling, get a good education; as the rich continue to become  richer and the poor are continuing to get poorer.  This all has been happening for a long time now with no signs of improvement.

New Orleans, and other cities in America are already in a state of decay, basically rotting away, with no sign of recovery.  By 2022 a mere 10 years from now, America as a nation, will begin to regress into a process referred to as “the lost decade.”  However, not only America will suffer, this will begin to happen everywhere in the world.  Economic interdependence explains the world’s reliance on the American economy, if the world’s preeminent economy suddenly topples, other economies will topple with it, causing massive global economic depression.  This process will however take longer than 10 years to achieve, and there are in my opinion, other situations that could also occur.  China or possibly India’s economy may slowly surpass that of America, causing a gradual shift of economic interdependence in which countries become more reliant on  the economy of China or India, rather that of America.  This will be the turning point in the world, where America is no longer considered number one, and will most likely result in some sort of a global struggle for power ( a.k.a World War 3).

Both of the possible outcomes that I’ve provided will eventually lead to the beginning of “the lost decade,” which will result in the end of  the human society as we know it.  Funding for necessary expenses such as education, healthcare, and advances in technology will become non-existent.  The human race will consume all of the worlds natural resources, and there will be no alternate source of energy found, due to the lack of technology to create new sources.   Global warming will cause more and more natural disasters, decay will set in, as cities begin to fall apart without the resources to repair the damage.  There will be widespread discontent that will span across the population, as crime rates increase, and governments begin to fall apart.  Money will loose it’s monetary value, and people will become less and less concerned with upgrading their i-phone, and more concerned with finding food and water.  Disease will spread and there will be no available medical care for the sick.  People will die of starvation, sickness, and murder. The survivors of “the lost decade” will eventually return to a primitive state.  However, there will be no future improvements for this primitive human being.   There will be no more industrial revolution’s or advances in technology because there will be  no available resources in order to do so.  This will be the end of civilization.

Now that I let my imagination get carried away, I do realize that there is also positive outcomes that could occur.  If you watched Bryan Alexander’s lecture you would recognize this, although his lecture is mostly dealing with the future of education, not the human race.  However, the negative outcome seems to be more realistic based on world history and current events.  This blog post was not intended to scare anyone, maybe just open your eyes to the possibility that this could happen.  Who knows, maybe someone will read this and become the person, or inspire the people, who will change the course of history resulting in a more positive outcome?  Thank you for reading.

I recently read an article called “A Personal Cyberinfrastructure” by Gardner Campbell.  This article discusses past, present, and possible  future relationships between the education community and computers (specifically internet usage).  Gardner Campbell begins by describing how the early days of the web in the higher education community started off  by involving workshops on basic HTML.  There were presentations on course web pages, allowing staff, and in some cases students to generate and manage content in “public.html” folders that appeared on connected desktops within schools.  Few people understood how this process worked, aside from issuing e-mail address’s during new student orientation.

As a result of growing online dependence, courses began to appear online, and  students began to experience online education.  Students could do everything from registering for classes, to participating in online discussion’s.  This gave faculty and students easy-to-use online capabilities that seemed to be the way of the future at that time;  however,  according to Clay Shirkey, (who wrote an article on “Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable”)  “that wasn’t progress.  It was a mere “digital facelift.”

Then, the web changed once again with the creation of Google, Blogger, Wikipedia, YouTube, Facebook, ect.; and it is argued in this article that higher education almost completely ignored this, and failed to empower students to use their imaginations in a digital world.   Gardner Campbell stated that “The “progress” that higher education achieved with massive turnkey online systems, especially with the LMS, actually moved in the opposite direction,” and that the “digital facelift” enabled the higher education community to deny both the needs and the opportunities emerging from this new “era” of the web.

Gardner Campbell believes that the future of education lies within the students ability to build his/her own “personal cyberinfrastructure.”   Students will be given their own web servers and domain name upon matriculation.  Lab seminars will be conducted by instructional technologists, and advisers within the faculty to ensure students know how to operate this system. Basically, students would build a their own “personal cyberinfrastructure,” that would continue to modify and build throughout their college career.  According to Campbell,  students would not only acquire crucial technical skills,  but would also  be participating in an environment that provides “richly teachable moments.”  Information science, knowledge management, bibliographic instruction, and social networking would be incorporated into the students curriculum, and there will be  “fascinating and important innovations” that would then emerge as students are able to create their own learning experiences, expression, and reflection within a digital medium.

In my opinion, the “personal cyberinfrastructure” may be the direction education will decide to transition to, due to the growing importance of technology.  Gardner Campbell makes a lot of valid points when expressing that fact that students need to be able to learn technical skills, and be “internet savvy” in an age where technology is quickly improving.  However, I don’t think education should decide to go this route.  The fact of the matter is, technology is a great thing, but I fear that if a society grows too dependent on technology, it will cause even bigger issues.  For example, when I was a child and my mother was cooking dinner, she would say “go outside and play,”and I would go outside and all of my friends would be having fun together.   Sadly, this isn’t happening anymore (at least in America), now mothers are saying, “go play X-Box or check FaceBook.”  This is a problem for me due to the fact that technology is taking away the value of personal interaction.  Children who grow up in an online world, will have online teachers, and online friends, some of which they will never have the chance to meet in person.  Take that same “sheltered” child and send him to a job interview, and then on to a “real life job” in which he has to “actually” interact with people, and he will most likely fail.  Like I said, technology is great, but people should not base their lives and their entire education around technology alone.

Cyber Bullying

Posted: 2012/03/19 in Uncategorized

ri12211’s post  has also inspired me to research cyber bullying in order to better understand the issue at hand.

The article discussed in ri12211’s blog post, talked about cyber bullying, and the problem that it has been causing in Japan.  The article stated, that according to a recent survey conducted by Japan’s Hyogo Prefectual Board of Education, an estimated 10% of  high school student’s have at one point been harassed by some form of cyber bullying.  The article also states, that in Japan some of the more severe cases of cyber bullying has led it’s victims to attempt/commit  suicide.

After reading the article/blog post on cyber bullies in Japan,  I became curious enough, and wanted to find out if there were similar results throughout the world.  I found a website with an article written on cyber bullying worldwide.  It was surprising to see the amount of information currently available on the internet.  There was a global survey conducted by  Ipsos (for Reuters News), that found that 12% of children around the world has experienced cyber bullying.  24% of the people surveyed said that they know a child in their community who has experienced cyber bullying, and 60% say that the harassing behavior was performed on social networking sites, such as Facebook.

The surveys also stated that children who have experienced cyber bullying were twice as likely to seek treatment from mental health care professionals, and are nearly 3 times more likely to have considered dropping out of school.   The fact of the matter is, cyber bullying is being conducted via internet/text messaging worldwide, and it’s a serious issue (sometimes life threatening).  The best way to prevent cyber bullying is to make the children aware of it’s existence, and (in my opinion) parents need to act like parents, and make an attempt to monitor their children’s cellphone/internet usage;  however,  I am not saying that a parent should attempt take away their child’s privacy in the process.

There are ways of properly reporting this to government officials (if necessary), however, most children are not properly educated on the seriousness of cyber bullying, and will allow it to continue until it becomes a major problem.  The internet may not be able to protect children against cyber bullies, however, parents have direct influence over the internet content that their children are viewing.  PARENTS….. it is your responsibility to ensure your children are not falling victim to cyber bullying.  Also, if your child is found causing any type of cyber bullying, you (as a parent) should be the first to know about it, and put an end to it.  There are internet programs used in order to block certain content from making it’s way to your child’s computer, USE IT.  Parents often use extreme precaution while trying to prevent children from becoming exposed to the internet’s  “adult material” (such as pornography),  why should cyber bullying be considered as being something different?  Education is key, knowledge is power, parents need to educate themselves on the severity of this issue, and then take action in order to protect their children.  I hope after reading this that you now have a better understanding of cyber bullying and how to prevent it.


Posted: 2012/03/18 in Uncategorized

03/19/2012 Cyberspace & Technology “sentence of the day”

My favorite sentence from the article “A personal Cyber-infrastructure” is as follows: “Any technology gradually creates a totally new human environment.”

I chose this sentence because (in my opinion)  it makes a very powerful statement in regards to technology’s role within society.  Take Apple’s i-phone for example, a mere twenty years ago, that particular piece of technology was nonexistent.   Now, people around the world are using these phones to connect to a global,  high speed internet connection;  not only do these cellphones provide internet access, but they are used as multimedia devices that are capable of accessing hundreds of thousands of internet applications.  A cellphone can now be used as a tool to learn new languages, automatically receive weather updates, find cooking recipes, GPS tracking, and much more (this list could go on-and-on).  The sentence chosen from this article,  caused me to take a few minutes to reflect upon the technological advances that have been made throughout the past couple of years.   It’s amazing to see the close (almost too personal) relationship that people have developed with technology.   In fact,  I often hear people say that they feel “naked” without a cellphone, only bringing me to realize, that the statement made in this article,  is in fact a true statement.  Technology will and already has created a totally new human environment. However (in my opinion), the benefit of the advances in technology will always outnumber the disadvantages.  After reading this article, I gained a better understanding of the “cyber-infrastructure,” that if incorporated within the higher education community, could result in some very beneficial educational advances.  I guess we’re going to have to wait and see what role technology will have on the future of education.

This is my finished product, hope you enjoyed it!!

THE ASSIGNMENT:  Take two cultures and create a banner that represents how their coming together would mix.

THE PROCESS:  I found various pictures on the internet of things that are symbolic to both American and Japanese culture.  I then decided to make two separate banners for this assignment, one of them would be a collage, and the other would be a design that incorporated both the American and Japanese national flag.  My first idea was to make a collage of pictures that represented both cultures, and I did this using the program called Gimp.  I saved the photos that I found on the internet to my computers desktop and then transferred them into Gimp in order to begin creating my masterpiece.  I never used Gimp before so it took me awhile to understand how this program works.  Probably about two hours of my time was spent trying to figure out how to use the program well enough to create my idea for this assignment. Once I had a good understanding of this program,  I then used the tools available to enhance/change the pictures in order to create the collage.  Once I was satisfied with the outcome, I uploaded the final product onto my WordPress page, and began to work on my flag design.  I found a way on Gimp to merge the American flag design with the Japanese design, and then crop certain parts of the flags that weren’t needed.  After that was finished,  I added some extra color to the flags using the paint tool, and uploaded it to my WordPress page.

THE STORY:  When I found this assignment on the DS106 website, I knew that it was going to be a good chance for me to use some of my creativity.  Due to the fact that I am an American who is now living in Japan,  I felt it only necessary to use these two countries for the culture clash.   While creating this assignment I learned how to use Gimp (which could be helpful in the future), and I am very satisfied with the finished product, although it took me way too long to complete.

Original Assignment Link

Japan Flag Link

American Flag Link

American Eagle Link

Fuji Link

Both Flags Link

Tori Gate Link

Liberty Bell Link