Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Assignment

As I’m sure most people did, I spent the majority of Thanksgiving break on my couch eating food and spending time with family. This allowed me a great deal of time to observe what my family members were doing around me. I found that my siblings and I spent most of our time in the living room on our phones or watching a football game/movie. My mom on the other hand spent her time reading books and magazines. Finally, my dad spent his leisure time on his iPad. As we lazily wasted the day away with these information systems, I asked my dad if he could survive one day without his iPad. I targeted him specifically because he has his iPad on him at all times. He said he would be able to survive, but his day would be very unproductive. This is because he accomplishes so much with it. He uses his iPad to check his email, look things up, communicate with others, and set reminders for appointments. He said it has everything he needs in one simple device. He also specified that he likes the iPad better than his iPhone because it is bigger. His eye sight isn’t very good so he enjoys the large font of the iPad. He also thinks the keyboard on the iPhone is too small and appreciates the enlarged keyboard on the iPad. My father compared his iPad to the vast array of devices he had to once use before they all converged onto one tablet. He told me to appreciate the conjunction of these devices because it saves so much time and money. Talking to him about this really made me appreciate the time period I live in because I have years and years of development and progress handed right to me, without enduring the old fashion glitches of ICTs.

Past Blog Posts

After going through my previous blog posts, I noticed that I wrote in a fashion similar to how I would speak out loud. I think this is because we had a lot of freedom with our bog posts, and there was no specific structure we were told to follow. This allowed me to write freely and openly and my posts therefore reflect my voice most accurately. I feel that other assignments, such as speeches and formal papers, were more formal. This is because I would go back and edit my original thoughts, and they would not sound like me in the end. For example, after taking into account my peer comments for our formal papers, my voice would be altered because it included the voice of others. However, I felt that my blog posts were consistent throughout the semester because I did not slack off as time went on. Overall, I think that my blog posts are most congruent with my actual voice and the language I use daily. This is because when I post them, they are free of revision and influence of others. I also noticed that I felt more comfortable in my posts as time went on. For example, my introductory post seemed forced and scripted. This is because I did not know anyone in our class at the time, so I simply answered the questions I needed to. I did not include my personal humor or voice and I could tell it came out more as the semester went on.

Thanksgiving assignment

After a very filling dinner, my family settled down watching the football game and discussing varying topics. While debating on whether or not getting a new computer is beneficial and the consequences of having to relocate all of your information, the evolution of computers came up. My grandpa (the one thinking of getting a new computer) was astonished at all the new features out there. He described when his company first acquired a computer many decades ago and how it actually didn't improve the work at the time. The computer in his office was said to be "large, intimidating and not user friendly." My grandpa didn't have much interaction with the computer unless he absolutely needed it. However, he was grateful to hear how laptops and desktop computers today are much more user compatible. He wanted an easy transition between computers and was very nervous of losing all his former information because of his early experience with such technology.
I found this very interesting. As I grew up in a time where technology was never daunting but inspiring and helpful for me. Assisting my grandpa in choosing a good computer for his needs, it was interesting to hear about his first hand experience with one of the first computers.

Blogging throughout the semester

While going through all of the blog posts I have written over the semester I found the decrease in formal language interesting. In the first few posts I wrote a lot longer entries with more descriptive information. My "online voice" was definitely professional and to the point in the first half of my blog entries. As the semester wore on, my "online voice" became more lax and I wrote shorter posts. I'm sure that has to do with the desire for the semester to end quickly and my motivation decreasing as the weather gets colder. Nonetheless, I think my "online voice" also changed as I became more comfortable with our section and knowing how to answer the assignments. I think overall my online voice is very accurate to how I am in person and in other assignments. It portrays me as the type of student I act as on and off the paper.

Thanksgiving Post - Connor Klosterman

                Over break I started watching The West Wing and, in one of the episodes, two of the characters got lost as they were struggling to read their map.  I was extremely confused as to why they did not just look up on their phones where they were or even type where they were going into their GPS.  I remembered then though that The West Wing was produced in 1999 when they did not have such technologies.  The only tool they had to use to help them find their way was a paper map.  Their lack of a GPS prompted me to ask my cousin which technology was most important to him in his job as I was pretty confident what the answer would be. 
                My cousin works for the state of Utah and his job is to go out and map the dirt roads in the rural parts of the state so they are recorded.  Often times he is not able to use a car to get to his destinations so he has to use an ATV or ride a special mountain bike out to his destinations.  It is very important that he knows his location not only to be able to complete his job but for his own safety as well.  Therefore, he believes the most important information technology in his job is the GPS he uses when out in the field.  It was not a difficult technology to learn to use as he had been using a GPS for years before that, whether it be on his phone or an actual GPS device that he had in his car.  The GPS is essential to his job because a paper map would not be able to get the job done as where he is going is not yet on the paper map.  He would surely get lost if he had to just use a paper map and would not be able to successfully do his job.  The use of the GPS makes the job he extremely enjoys possible.  Being able to go out into the rural parts of Utah by himself is something he finds extremely enjoyable and is only possible through the use of his GPS.  Therefore, the GPS is the most useful and essential tool to his job.   

                The inspiration I had for this blog really made me realize not only how quickly information technology has changed but has also how it has become a part of our lives.  They are two things that almost seem to go hand in hand in the modern world today.  Our lives would not be able to function to the standards we hold without the use of the current information technology and really brings into perspective how much we have progressed in a short period of time.    

Thanksgiving Post Anjali Patel

Over Thanksgiving, I talked to my dad about what the most important technology for his job is. He told me that his iPhone is hands down the most important technology for running his business. My parents own a wholesale business and frequently are taking orders from customers during and after business hours. My dad explained to me that his iPhone allows him to take orders on the phone, take orders through email, and take orders quickly by text. He deals with customers who are extremely tech savvy as well as customers who rely on traditional technologies, such as the phone, in order to do business. With his iPhone my dad can cater to all these needs quickly and efficiently.  At first, my dad struggled with texting but with more use he has definitely gotten a lot better at it. No longer are typos an issue for him. However, speed is something he still needs to work on.  I found it interesting that my dad actually uses texting to run a business unlike myself who mostly only uses texting to have conversations with friends. 

Thanksgiving Post Sofia Corelli

This weekend, my family came to Madison for Thanksgiving so that we could all go to the football game! While they were here, I noticed that my Dad was on his phone a lot, but I know my Dad and I know that he never ever texts people. So, I was wondering what he was spending all that time on his phone for. When I asked him, he said that basically 95% of the time that he uses his iPhone is for checking email. Since my Dad is a small business owner, whenever he is gone, he needs to make sure that everything is running smoothly while he's gone. However, I found it interesting that he resorted to email instead of texting or an easier/faster method of communication. He explained that email is the most important aspect for his company because since all of his employees are around his age, email is what they all ares used to and, therefore, it is the most efficient method for them. I found this very interesting because it made me realize how advanced our information society is now, and how fast these advancements happened. My Dad, who is living at the same time that I am living, is in a totally different information society than I am in. The resources that are very "convenient" to them, are some of the least convenient for me. Although in my life, my professors who are my Dad's age also rely on email, which makes me use email as well. So, I guess this is what links their information society to ours, the fact that when they use their devices to contact us, we need to use them as well in order to communicate with them.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Blog Assignment Over The Semester

For this weekend’s assignment, I went through my past blog posts to see what my “online voice” consisted of. The main thing I noticed was my rhetoric. For the majority of my assignments I wrote like I would in any other format, formally. However, as the posts progressed, I think my content and language decreased because I got more familiar with the assignment and how to write it. For all my posts, I would write them first in a word document to detect any glaring syntax, spelling or grammatical mistakes. The word document also allowed me to check how many words I included in my posts to meet all the requirements the assignment called for. However, because I was able to express my thoughts in a more free and informal matter, the content featured in my posts were less concrete and structured. These can also be attributed to the way the blog posts were constructed by Professor Downey, they often possessed several ideas; some were connected, while others were not. The blog posts allowed me to voice my opinion in a way that mimics how a conversation would play out in our discussion classes. My true writing ability was not found in these but the more formal assignments like the argumentative papers. Overall, I think the blog posts show how I would typically respond and converse in a discussion setting, the only difference is that in a physical face-to-face setting my ideas would be more jumbled as I don’t have the luxury of a backspace button to revise my ideas.

Thanksgiving Post

Over Thanksgiving, I noticed how all of my cousins, aunts, uncles, parents and even my grandma, utilized their iPhone in one way or another. Between taking thousands of pictures, disputing ideas (how many wins do the Patriots have in the last thirteen years), or doing work, my entire family turned to their hand held devices. My mother, who is an incredibly tech savvy woman, is ALWAYS on her phone, even more than here twenty year old daughter. Since I thought this was very interesting, I decided to ask her about the most important information technology in her life. I asked, but I already knew the answer: her beloved iPhone. She answered that the device makes EVERYTHING easier. At the palm of her hand, she has access to the world wide web, a camera, and a plethora of contacts. My mom works at a car dealership doing consumer experience and is always attempting to improve that experience. A few days ago we were in Summit, NJ, when my mom whipped out her phone and said, "I need to take a video of small businesses and how they impact the area in which they are in." My sisters and I were embarrassed at this gesture, my mom looked like a tourist in her own town, but it was cool to see how she utilized her phone. She was able to take out her device and create a movie that she would then present to her boss and then broadcast to consumers relaying the importance of small businesses like her own.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Blogpost

While I was home for Thanksgiving I talked to my mom about information technology that she uses in her everyday life, specifically at work.  My mom works as a administrative assistant at the local school district, and she believes that the Outlook Calendar is the most important informational technology in her office.  The Outlook Calendar is used to schedule meetings, workshops, reminders, and appointments.  With this online calendar she is able to share these important dates with other workers in the office, increasing the communication and efficiency of the office.  My mom first learned to use this technology through the PTA a number of years ago.  It started out as a new challenging system, but with a lot of practice and familiarizing herself with it, it became second-hand.  This system makes her a lot more productive and organized at work, she has the Outlook Calendar up on her screen at all times.  She can also see 7 or 8 calendars at once, because everyone is sharing their calendars.  My mom says that it makes her job more enjoyable because she is less stressed out.  The calendar allows her to have all the information about appointments and meeting at her fingertips at all times, and gives her helpful reminders.  Overall. my mom's experience with information technology has created a more productive workplace, increasing productivity.

My past posts

I actually enjoyed reading my past posts since the beginning of the class, because I could find various forms of writings written by myself and my reactions online. It is interesting to see myself writing on blog because for every assignment a style of writings was much more formal and objective even though I still used words like "I," "my," and "me." I also found that online I can speak more loudly with more confidence than speaking in public like in the class discussion. I think it is because I can take time to contemplate and double think if there is any correction on what I want to say but when I actually have to talk in public, I stutter and do not concisely and exactly inform what I really want to say. I like when I have a chance to talk to others with an enough preparation. It is the best way to represent my true self that with enough corrections and time to contemplate conveying my thoughts for me.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Online Over the Weekend

After going through all my previous posts, I feel as though I presented myself pretty accurately with my writing. I was much more formal in my writing in the written assignments such as the essay’s and prepared speech. My blog posts were a little more laid-back in style, but they were intended to be more personal than the formal assignments and show off my personality through the style of writing. I think when it comes to my skill as a writer, the formal assignments showcased my talents, since they were longer and I spent more time working on them than the blog posts. For the most part, my “true” self was depicted throughout all of the work in the class. The exams and formal writing assignment showcased my work as a writer, whereas the blog posts and discussions showcased my personality, overall. 

Final Over The Weekend

Throughout the semester, I felt as if I maintained the same presentation of my writing.  In all my classes with required writing aspects, I usually stay very professional with the assignment I'm given to complete.  Many of these over the weekend assignments were fairly easy, but that didn't change how I'd present myself.  The way I present myself in class, is not necessarily how I present myself outside the class room.  I definitely take down the professional wall I usually put up for school.  I feel my professional side is the more successful presentation of myself because I hold myself to a much higher standard when it comes to anything, even when writing something out for class or an email.  But when I'm not focusing on staying professional, I'm much more fun to be around which is why I don't always like staying professional throughout the day.  I feel both aspects are important to have, especially when in different environments.  But I don't think someone should have just one side to them because that isn't the best way for success in something you're trying to accomplish.

Blog Analysis

This weekend I looked over all the blog posts I have completed during the course of this class. As expected, I found that the style of my writing for these posts did not vary too much. I was always very to the point and concise with my posts. There was not much discussion in my posts, and I think this can be attributed to how these over the weekend assignments were structured. The questions were very direct and did not ask for much analysis. The tone I use in these posts was more informal than the papers I wrote for this class; however, they were not as free flowing as my contributions to discussion in class. Overall, I felt that my abilities were best showcased in the formal writing assignments and speeches in the class. Through these assignments, I was better able to back up my arguments and make a truly strong case for my views. My writing best showcases my talents when I can provide support and evidence.

Blog Assignment- Sofia Corelli

After reading through all of my past blogs, I first realized how many smaller scale assignment we had done and I was able to see how they all connected to topics that we have learned in class and in the readings. I noticed that my writing style is very consistent throughout my writing, whether that be a good thing or a bad thing. I think an outsider reading my blog posts would be able to tell that they were all written by the same person. I realized that I really focused on answering the specific assignment questions, and never really dug too deep into my own opinions about the material. This is where I see the biggest difference between my blogging and my written assignments for the class. Since the written assignments are so much longer, there is a lot more room to dig into the ideas and offer way more opinionated statements. For this reason, I think that my "true" voice is expressed more in my written assignments than in my blog posts. I also noticed a bunch of small typos while reading through my blog posts. My blog posts are much more casual than any other assignments that I have done for this class, but I think that's a good thing. Overall, all of the different forms of writing/speaking/assignments in this class has helped me to understand different forms of getting information out there.
After going through all of my blog posts on our discussion website Blogger, I feel that I have presented myself through my online writing in a decently realistic way.  Throughout my time in LIS 201, I have presented myself in a couple different ways, depending the form of communication.  My blog posts are more of a casual way of writing for me, where a reader can get a better idea of what my personality is like compared to the exams or the written assignments.  The essays that we have turned in, portray my writing abilities more structurally and formally. And then, in person at discussion section, I am more reserved.  I believe the online blog reports represent my personality the best because I'm able to form opinions and thoughts with the ability to push the backspace button, yet still be somewhat informal. When writing more formally in essays, I try and perfect what I am saying in order to do the best that I can on the assignment, so it may take more time, but it showcases my talents more. I think this class does a fine job and making us aware that through different forms of communication, we are capable of presenting differently, and that way, we can get different points across.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Over the weekend assignment- blog reflection

This weekend I focused on looking over my blog posts and interestingly enough, I noticed a pattern in most of my posts. Most of the posts were about two paragraphs long, as I read them I noticed that I did not really go into depth with my ideas and or writing style. I feel that the reason why I did this is because most of the assignments were very direct and did not require too much critical analysis. Also, I noticed that the way I present myself in these blog posts is different than the way I present myself in class discussion and my formal papers. The blog enables me to have the most freedom with my writing, but because of that I limit it to only the information that is needed and avoid adding fluff to the posts. In other assignments I tend to be more critical because I have to analyze the content and add my own critique to it.
I prefer to discuss in class or in formal writing assignments because in those I feel like I showcase more of my abilities. Also, when discussing in person I can jump back and forth from ideas and receive input right there and then.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Weekend Assignment - Connor Klosterman

                One unique thing I found when going back over my different blog posts was the many different lengths of the blog posts.  I mean it is expected to find different lengths; different prompts should inspire different thoughts and thus different lengths.  It just was something that struck me when I read them over again.  Even though a lot of my blog posts were different in length, I feel I expressed myself in largely the same fashion throughout all of the blogs, which is a good quality.  I enjoy to see my same voice coming out in each of my writings.  I am not completely laid back in the way I write but I am not entirely scholarly either.  I believe it is a good mix of the two that gives me my unique voice on the blog. 
                Along with that voice comes the consistent way of expression.  I am always putting my ideas out there.  I do not believe I am holding anything back, whether that be in person or in the writing on the blog.  I do not often feel the urge to hold back and enjoy to put unique and often not highly agreed upon ideas out in the open.  I believe if you bring about the unusual ideas it creates a situation where there is more flow of ideas which is always a better learning environment, which is what we are here to do so you might as well try to get the greatest benefit out of it that you can. 

                I believe when I write I am able to display ideas a lot better than when I talk about them.  It is a lot easier, for me at least, to be able to express an idea more fully through words on paper than trying to explain them by talking about them.  I think that is so because writing allows me to think out what I am going to say more and be more concise than when I have to explain it by talking to someone.  I thus feel that while I may not be truer to myself when writing than in person, I believe I am better able to explain my ideas in that way.     

Go Big Read Event

The Go Big Read event I attended was Breaking Stereotypes: Women in Islam.  The event consisted of a panel of Islamic experts and activists from around the area who talked about the different experiences they had.  The panel consisted of Sheikh Ziyad Hamdan, the Imam at the Islamic Society of Milwaukee; Inshirah Farhoud, a pediatric nurse practitioner at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin as well as a member of the board for the Islamic Society of Milwaukee; and Reema Ahmad, a community organizer in Chicago and Milwaukee.  They all brought many different experiences to the table and different perspective on how to fix the same problem. 
            The most outspoken member of the group was Sheikh Ziyad Hamdan.  I found it surprising that the only man on the panel was the most outspoken of the three on all the issues that were discussed.  He was extremely enthusiastic about all the topics and never seemed as if he was willing to give up the microphone and stop talking to pass it along to the next speaker.  One of the biggest problems he sees with the Islamic world is the lack of education people of the Islamic faith have about their own religion.  He specifically brought up references to the Taliban, ISIS, and Boko Haram in Nigeria.  He looks at these groups with disgrace and believes they are not truly upholding the teachings of the Islamic religion, partly because they do not understand all it has to offer.  These groups are extremists and do not understand all of what Islam is trying to teach and thus, they are living their life in a way that is not appropriate to be called the Islamic way of life.  Sheikh Ziyad Hamdan believes if these groups of people were educated they would better understand the ways of the Islamic lifestyle and become more accepting and less brutal. 
            One example he specifically brought up was the attack on Malala Yousafzai.  She was attacked and nearly killed because she was trying to go to school and learn.  Sheikh Ziyad Hamdan believes the Taliban would not have tried to kill Malala if they had been educated and understood the teachings of Islam.  For the teachings of Islam say men and women should learn and be educated and no one should be denied the right to knowledge.  If they had known what the Islamic religion says and had truly believed in it, they would not have done such a terrible thing.  Too many groups claim to live their life according to the Islamic lifestyle yet misunderstand it and lack the proper knowledge of it.   With the proper education and the proper commitment to the Islamic lifestyle, these extreme events of terror will cease to exist and the Muslim religion will cease to be held up by such poor standards. 
            Ishirah Farhound and Reema Ahmad have similar ideas to each other.  Both of them have noticed a difference in the way young people of the Islamic faith act towards it when they are at school and then when they are at home.  This does not help to solidify the faith in any sect of society.  Ishirah Farhoud believes the older generations of the lifestyle need to encourage the younger ones the religion is a normal way of life and should not be looked upon as something that is weird and unusual.  Too many times are Islamic followers considered as portraying an unusual way of life that is not considered normal.  However, that is not the case.  When it is looked at deeper, it can be seen as a very normal way to live one’s life and should not be looked down upon in the slightest.  The younger generation needs to be encouraged to embrace their lifestyle and embolden it in everything they do. 
            I found this talk to be extremely interesting and eye opening as well.  What Sheikh Ziyad Hamdan  spoke of is something I found extremely intriguing.  Most, if not all, practicing Muslims find what the terror groups of ISIS and the like to be doing to be completely horrendous.  They do not follow the ways of traditional Islamic thinking and should thus not use the lifestyle as their excuse for what they are doing.  I personally believe some of the followers of the groups do not actually believe in the way of life but are just trying to use it as a way to push back against western lifestyles.  The Muslim religion is not typically associated with the Western style of life so that could be an out they are using to try and signify their hatred of the western style of life.  Unfortunately, it is thus putting a bad rap on the religion in many places throughout the world even though the true religion has nothing to do with the many problems these different groups are causing. 

            I believe education in general, not just to the followers of the Islamic religion, is the strongest way to fix the problem.  If that occurs, people all around the world will understand the flaws in these terrorist groups’ ways and rise up to stop them and stop joining them.  Education, as it so often is, is the solution to the problem that is ravaging the world.  If the world better understood the complexities of the Islamic lifestyle many problems would be fixed, including the suppression of the women from the culture.  Once the world becomes educated on the issues and teachings of the Muslim religion, the world will start to come out of the shadows of fear it is hiding in and we will all be able to live peacefully together without the problems we currently face today.               

Online Writing Reflection

This weekend I went through my past blogposts to see what common mistakes I have made in my online writing.  One main grammar mistake I found was that I was consistency not capitalizing "I".  Maybe it was the online, informal nature of the blog, but it did make my arguments and ideas less valid because of such a silly grammar mistake.  I believe that my online voice, besides the grammar and spelling errors have been very similar to the way I present myself in my other written work. 
However, in scholarly work, such as essays, I put a heavier emphasis on editing then in my blogposts.  One thing I found was that I was more open about sharing my opinion and ideas in the blogposts then in in-person discussions.  I think this has to do with the safe environment that the Internet can provide.  People can leave comments agreeing or disagreeing with your ideas, but you can't actually see then doing it and therefore don't have to really be afraid of experiencing it.  Overall I think that online and written assignments can showcase my talents better, since I don't hold back in them.  But, to make them a more valid representation of my talent I will need to put a bigger emphasis on editing. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Over the weekend- Aris

         When I first read the assignment on our class homepage, I wasn't too excited to download a new app.  I have very limited space on my iphone, and I try to avoid adding any useless apps or data from using that space.  After looking at and perusing the website, I thought that the app might be pretty interesting.  I have heard from many people that Madison has a rich history, and I've always wanted to know more about it.  So I downloaded it on my phone and created an account, but for some reason no matter how I changed my settings, the app would not let me use location.  I tried signing out and signing back in, but no matter what, no games would appear on the homepage.  So a while later, my friend let me borrow her phone so I could download and use the app.  This time it worked.  I played two different games, Wisconsin Uprising and UW Campus Tour.
          Both games had different spots on the map in the close Madison area that I was supposed to travel to, but since it was cold I just virtually visited them in the comfort of my bedroom.  I thought that providing a few tidbits of information in different locations of Madison was a cool idea.  Both games introduced me to new locations and pieces of Madison's history that now I hope to one day physically visit.  I appreciated these aspects, and it made me want to explore more of Madison.  Aside from those aspects though, I did not like the game.  First of all, both "games" I tried were not really games; rather, they seemed more like tours.  I couldn't really grasp the objective of either game other than clicking on each checkpoint.  Then, I was frustrated that many checkpoints only had useless, very short details, providing barely any information worth knowing.  Also I did not think the game's layout was easy to understand or very interesting.  Overall, although I appreciate incorporating history and different local places into a "game", I believe that the app needs a lot of improvement.  I don't think I would ever choose to use this app.  I think there are many more engaging and informative apps out there, so I don't think I understand why this app is as popular as it is or why it was chosen to be used for class.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Matt Reich Patrick Connolly When first looking at the Aris app and website, we assumed that the app was a bunch of learning games that seemed to be all made and organized by UW-Graduate Students. The majority of the students seemed to be from the UW School of Education’s Games and Learning Society Group. We came across an article called, “2011 ARIS Group Game Jam draws participants worldwide.” In it the author was talking about how this app has attracted people from all over the world to play all the new games. The author mentioned that within the first 50 hours of the app being public, 50 new games were added. After reading this article I was eager to see what about this game makes it so attractive to a wide range of people However, as we spent more and more time on the “ARIS” app, we found it to be very confusing and almost pointless. It took me over ten minutes to figure out how to work the app and even then I wasn’t totally sure about it. Once I began to get my bearings and found the local games, I felt as if they were a waste of time. We were very disappointed after reading all the great reviews and didn’t understand why so many people had been using this app. I am currently sitting on the third floor of college library which is where Matt and I first started using this app. We thought doing the library “quest” could be interesting and useful, so we decided to give it a shot. We spent quite a bit of time walking around floors 1-3 of College Library and didn’t get any useful and interesting information. The game kept just shooting random history facts about College Library and other surrounding areas. We thought it was all quite a waste of time. After discussing the app after doing the Library Quest, Matt and I came to this consensus. We don’t think this app is going to be the next big thing. We don’t think it has enough features to make users not want to stop playing. In conclusion, while we were attempting to play with and enjoy this app, we kept getting bored and would quit out and open Facebook or Snapchat.


My experience with Aris was quite frustrating and a waste of time. The app was very poorly designed so it was just a pain to navigate. Once I found a game that looked interesting, AJSoccer, my little hope was quickly deteriorated. I clicked through a virtual conversation of me (the player) and a coach, convincing me to go back into the soccer game, even though I had suffered what seemed like a concussion. Firstly, that is horrible to put a player back in if they even remotely have a chance that they could have a concussion. Secondly, after the coach put me back into the game, the screen just went blank and there was nothing more I could do except "Leave the conversation". Overall, I did not get the point of this assignment, besides testing my patience.


My experience with the augmented reality game, ARIS, was not exceptional. When compared to role playing games that don't require physical movement to complete quests, yet still provides the freedom to choose from hundreds of possibilities, I find ARIS to be much less functional for a few reasons. First, ARIS requires much more time dedicated to complete a quest. Over an hour was not uncommon for the games I saw. Second, its winter in Madison, WI. Nobody wants to walk around campus for an hour and a half straight. Our assignment is equivalent to being diagnosed with strep throat. With that being said, I decided to do the Library tour because I am sitting in a library. Quit the game after it asked me to "travel far across campus to visit the library among the hospitals."

Over the Weekend Assignment

Over the weekend, I downloaded the app ARIS. I was surprised by the variety of "quests" one can take while playing this game. The first game I clicked on was a campus tour that was 90 minutes. I decided it was too cold to go on this adventure so I decided to look at different street art across the campus, ARIS gave a brief description of the street art featured and gave its location. I was surprised by the amount of street art on our campus because I have not noticed most of it before. I traveled to three of the locations ARIS sent me to and I was surprised to find that the art was actually located there. Although playing this game allowed me to notice something new about Madison, I didn't really get the point of the game. I felt like it was too time consuming of a game and required too much traveling; therefore, it does not really appeal much to a busy college student. 

ARIS Assignment

Over the weekend, I downloaded the ARIS app and began playing the local games.  One of the games that showed up for me to play was called Dow Day.  In the game, I was a reporter who needed to gain knowledge of events taking place in the city.  I was suppose to gain information on the Dow recruiters who came to campus and the angry protesters to Dow.  Dow was the company to make napalm for the Vietnam War and many Madison citizens were upset that they came to recruit employees here on campus.  Throughout the game, I had to talk with several different people to gain the knowledge I needed for my story.
Overall, the game wasn't very fun, but it did give me a little historical insight to something I hadn't known before playing the game.  Also, the application needs a new look because it seems to be lacking an appealing platform to play on.

ARIS assignment

Over the weekend and today,  I browsed the ARIS website and downloaded their application through my iPad. While looking at their site, the idea of ARIS struck me as something that is new, innovative, and entertaining. The community online also seemed very interesting, the site lets others use their codes and what not to develop their own games at no extra charge. I can honestly say that I was actually excited about downloading the game but to my surprise, my experience with the actual application did not meet my expectations. First off, as I began to navigate the app I noticed that the app was not visually adjusted to my iPad. It was weird looking at the content through a big pix-elated screen. Also, I had a hard time understanding how to play the actual games. I understood that I needed to walk around and use my GPS in order to complete the game but the app did not register where I was most of the time. I was able to complete half the game called "Library Tour" before I decided I'd had enough of this app.
Overall, I feel like the idea behind this app is  really interesting but the developers need to improve on the technical aspects of the app in order to actually become popular and successful.


When I first downloaded the Aris App I was a pretty confused.  It was pretty embarrassing how long it took for me to figure out completely because usually when I’m trying to figure out a new app or anything of the sort, it comes pretty easily to me. After playing around with it for a while though, I kind of figured out the basics, I thought it was kind of cool.  It's interesting that it combines GPS navigation and location services with games. I played the UW Campus Tour game and had my roommate go along with me to learn about the history of certain places.  I also liked how you are yourself in the game. I tried to play other games but either I couldn’t figure them out or they just weren’t available to challenge at the time. Overall, I think this app is a pretty cool idea to get you to play games designated to the location that you are in, or a different location of your choice. It is definitely a smart way to use today’s technology and get people outside at the same time.            - Tara Duffin

Not possessing any iOS devices made me frustrated at first to complete this weekend's assignment. I had to rent i-Pad at the College Library but it took me a considerable time to get access to the program because I had to create a new account and there was a tidy amount of questions that I had to answer even before I was able to see the actual screen of the i-Pad. Besides, it was never easy to install an application for the first user because there are many requests such as confirming email for about three times. The application called Aris at first seems very interesting because it made me feel like being a character in RPG game, consistantly receiving quests. Among various games, I chose 'University of Wisconsin-Madison Campus' because I thought this seems to be the only one that I can actually go around. This game gave me quests making me go to the Memorial Union and the College Library, and when I completed each quests, it gave me some information about the places. I thought this application would be interesting and even useful for people who visited Madison for the first time because for me, having been in Madison for about a year and a half, those places are pretty familiar.
- Seowoo Park

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Online Over the Weekend

I found the "ARIS" game to be very confusing. It took me a good 15 minutes just to figure out how to navigate the app and once I did, I found the nearby games to be confusing and pointless. It seems like a good idea in theory but the actual implementation of the app does not seem necessary. After downloading the app, I explored the games within 100 meters of me. I was at the library when doing this assignment and happened to find a library tour. I walked around the second and third floor of college on a "quest." I was confused the whole time and kept getting random facts and history about the area I was in. I also played a game called "Robots" which sent me on a quest to search for the "robots" that are "roaming around Madison." There was only one "robot" in College Library and the others were around Memorial Union according to my GPS. Unfortunately, I did not capture all of the robots. I was bored for a lot of the time and it seemed like more of a task than a game. I would not recommend this app and/or see it picking up momentum in the app world.

Online Over the Weekend

First off, it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out how this app worked.  It might have been just my phone, but there seemed to be a glitch in the app that wouldn't let me create an account.  After a good 15 minutes of trying to create an account, I entered the list of games I could participate in.  Since I was near Camp Randall at the moment I decided to do the explore Camp Randall game.  I really appreciated the history aspect that this game provided about the grounds around Camp Randall.  It was interesting to learn about this history in an interactive setting.  However, the level of detail in history varied which each aspect of the grounds.  In some cases, the app just showed me pictures of the landmark, which I could obviously see anyway, since I was physically there.  Overall, I thought this app was not that great or revolutionary.  It wasn't a very exciting game and the app doesn't seem like something that will catch a lot of popularity.  The history aspect is pretty interesting, but it depends on the amount of history that each game provides.  Also, not everybody has the time to walk around and listen to an app, so I don't think it will really catch on.

Online Over the Weekend

The apps website states that "ARIS is a user-friendly, open-source platform for creating and playing mobile games, tours and interactive stories. Using GPS and QR Codes, ARIS players experience a hybrid world of virtual interactive characters, items, and media placed in physical space”. When I downloaded the app, there were a lot of available games under location specifics. I chose the first, which was titled Lakeshore Tour. The main purpose of this game was to locate different things on the path based on your location. It was really interesting to see the different views they had, which included a GPS view and an aerial view. The app was very accurate when it came to location the different locations

Weekend Assignment

When I first read the assignment for over the weekend, I was kind of annoyed that I had to download an app on my phone. I hate downloading unnecessary apps because I don’t have that much storage on my phone, but for the sake of the assignment I sacrificed some pictures and downloaded the game. Since I was situated and comfortable in the heart of College Library (the third floor of course), I made the executive decision I wasn’t really going to move.  I then created an account and clicked on “playable anywhere” location.  To my surprise, there was a game that consisted of visiting two floors at College Library, I allowed myself a few minutes to recuperate and take a break from my studies, and sat out to “explore” College Library.  My “exploration” consisted of me walking down the stairs and attempting to figure out how to play and operate the ARIS app. Safe to say, I never figured it out and anyone who says millenials are completely tech savvy are false. I pride myself on how good I am at playing with things to figure them out, but this game was confusing to me. It showed me a map of where I was in comparison to College Library, except I was in College Library and it said I wasn’t. Also, when I went to press “quests” it said I completed one “Visiting Memorial Library,” which I haven’t done today except for pass it on my way over to College. When I went to click on my “active” quests, the “Visit the College Library- Go to the College Library and visit at least 2 floors.” It wouldn’t let me click it and see what I had to do.  I’m not sure if this is more complicated than I made it out to be or that I just have no patience in general, but I found it to be confusing. When I walk places, I like the destination aspect of it, not the observing the path idea and as I read from previous posts it seems that the game connects the user with his/her surroundings, something I really don’t care for. I agree with Connor, I really don’t think this game will gain popularity, it doesn’t have a pointless concept or strong addictive concept like Flappy Bird, and in today’s world that is what’s popular in the world of Apps.

Weekend Assignment

I found the assignment of playing an augmented reality game to be one of the more interesting assignments this semester. Once I downloaded the App and made an account, I decided to play the "Henry Mall" game because a lot of my classes are in that area. I thought that the game was cool because it told me all about the history of the different academic buildings in Henry Mall. For example, the game said that the Rickets disease was overcome by a discovery made at our very own Biochemistry building. I then had a virtual conversation with a former researcher in Henry Mall. It was interesting the way the game set this conversation up, but ultimately it didn't lead anywhere. It was kind of an irrelevant detail to the game. However, when I visited the former Life Sciences Communications building, I found out the the man I "talked" to, Joshua Lederberg, won a Nobel Prize based on his research done on bacterial genetics here. This was a good aspect of the game because it connected it's different parts. It made the "conversation" with him less irrelevant, even though I still don't this it was beneficial to the game. Next, when I visited Agriculture Hall, I found out that a study conducted in that hall led to the discovery of vitamins. It was facts like this one that made the game interesting to me. Overall, I think that this game was interesting, but I don't think it will ever take-off as a really popular App. I could definitely see it being used while touring a new city, but I don't think people would just spend time using this App in their free time if they didn't have the motives to collect information about a certain location. I probably won't use it again, but I'm happy I was exposed to it and learned some interesting facts about our campus. If I ever wonder about any academic buildings on campus, I now know I could check this game to see if anything is posted.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Weekend Assignment - Connor Klosterman

      When I first opened the game to start playing I did not know what to think of it; was this going to be something I enjoyed or just another app that was not going to make much of itself.  I was leaning towards the latter conclusion but decided to keep an open mind going into the experience considering you often find exciting things in unexpected places.  I picked an adventure that was near to my apartment which was to go around and explore some of the sights around Camp Randall.  Some of the spots included the different cannons on the hill as well as the big stone gate on the east side of the grounds.  When I ventured to the arch I was pleasantly surprised by the background the game gave me.  It was interesting to find out the history behind the gate.  When I went on over to the cannons on the hills by Camp Randall I was disappointed with what I received considering what the gate gave me.  The cannon destinations just provided me pictures of the cannons which seemed to lack a point, at least to me it did, considering I was standing right in front of them and could see them with my own eyes.  There was no purpose in supplying the pictures without any written information to accompany it.  I was equally disappointed by the rest of the different points on the game as well.  The only one that was slightly interesting was the gate by the entrance to the grounds of Camp Randall.   

      I would give the overall experience I had from this game a C.  It was not too exciting or something I believe will catch on.  Some of the ideas could be neat if you were new to the city and wanted to explore its history or just the places it has to offer.  Unfortunately though, I believe the excitement from this game would wane extremely quickly.  Most people do not have the time to wander around the city looking for points on the map and even if they did have the time to do so, I believe the excitement would wear off too quickly and they would find much more productive things to do with their time.  Overall, I think the concept of this game was made because someone had too much time on their hands and that it will not be going anywhere anytime soon.    

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

“No Child Left Untableted” by Carlo Rotella – Michelle McGuire

           Due to the digital age’s continuous growth across all aspects of society, there has been a big push to implement heavier technology-use within the classroom.  In this article published in The New York Times in September 2013, Carlo Rotella analyzes the effects of providing iPads and tablets to every student and teacher and evaluates whether these educational tools will improve or worsen the quality of education in America.  Rotella completed his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University and later received his PhD from Yale University.  He now teaches English at Boston College.  Over the course of his profession, he has given lectures in foreign countries, published notable books, and has received numerous awards for his brilliant work and articles, which regularly appear in various distinguished newspapers and magazines.  For Rotella, a scholar interested in American history and committed to perfecting his own teaching style, this issue about improving American education is a topic he holds to the utmost importance.
            Rotella titles the article “No Child Left Untableted” to emphasize that many groups believe that the 1:1 tablet-to-student programs will achieve the goals first introduced by the “No Child Left Behind Act” back in 2001.  Although this dramatic increase in use of technology in the classroom immediately strikes Rotella as a bad idea, he decides to ignore his bias and ventures out to research the issue further to better understand the impact of these changes.  He travels to Guilford County, North Carolina to focus on the how Amplify, a company that creates tablets and other educational products, affects their first paying customer, the large school system in this county.  
           The first step of Rotella’s investigation was to sit down with Joel Klein, the CEO of Amplify.  In this first interview, Klein sells the idea that tablets have the power of customizability.  He claims that tablets can be tailored to each child’s needs and rate of learning, so that each student will be taught with the method best suited for him/her.  Klein goes on to talk about how students’ enthusiasm for the tablets should not be overlooked.  He believes tablets could maintain the students’ engagement and will quell boredom by allowing them to explore further into their studies. Rotella then talked to other educators and asked about their feelings toward this movement.  One teacher Sally Smith had tried to avoid the change but eventually realized that there were benefits to the technology and that she would have to adapt to teaching with technology if she did not want to get left behind.  He also talked to Greg Anrig who wanted to highlight the relationship between successful schools and the connectedness among the people of the school.  He believes that students could become too focused on the device and isolate themselves, but with the right engagement between teachers and students, the tablet could also enhance interactions.  Finally, Rotella addresses many of the teachers concerns that the technology will overwhelm them, weakening their ability to teach well and implement it effectively.
            I believe Rotella examined this issue very thoroughly.  As he went back and forth weighing the pros and cons of this new program, it became clear to me that there is not a clear answer to improve education.  Rotella began with an almost completely negative view on this program but concludes with an understanding that the success of a tablet is possible depending on how it is exploited, which is in the teachers’ hands.  Online, I found tons of feedback and comments from readers, most often teachers or parents, who feel very passionate about this issue.  Overall, the general consensus among readers was that tablets would primarily be distracting and would hinder the education of young children.  I think I would agree with Rotella and most of the comments and say that the teacher’s role is the most important factor in education and that some classes could be enhanced by technology while some might be impaired.

More info:
(a lot of comments by New York Times readers)