Friday, April 26, 2013

Au Revoir

“You never leave someone behind; you take a part of them with you and leave a part of yourself behind.”      –Unknown

     It is the end of the semester, and this will be my last blog post.  I am so happy to have had the opportunity to be a part of this class and get to know so many of you. Thank you all so much for the nice cards I received today! This has been a wonderful experience. I hope you enjoyed this class, too.

He's totally smiling!!!
     I am transferring to Weber in the fall and will no longer be attending Utah State.  What a great way to end my career at USU, by being the UTF for ASTE-3440!  I hope you all go on to reach your goals and enjoy life to the fullest.  You are at an amazing school with fabulous professors (and friends). 

     As I officially “sign off” of this blog, as well as my position as a UTF, I only hope that I have left a part of myself behind.  I will take memories, knowledge, and friends away from this experience.  If I was able to make you smile, laugh, or help you in any way, I am grateful. (And if you ever need a funny baby picture or meme, you know where to find me...on Facebook!)

     While searching for pictures for this post, I came across this website:
It is full of awesome “happiness” quotes.  One of my favorites:

Knowing yourself is one thing, but truly believing and living as yourself is another.  With so much social conditioning in our society, we sometimes forget who we are.  Don’t lose yourself out there.

Good luck with your finals!! ...and the rest of your life!

Aaaand that's a wrap, folks!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Leaving the Stone Age Behind

      We all know how the majority of seniors feel about technology.  It is confusing, complicated, and expensive.   How can you justify paying hundreds of dollars for technology that requires a teenager to set up, the understanding of a whole new vocabulary like "blogger" and "twitter" and "google," and and is practically obsolete by the time you get it figured out?  The exciting thing about technology to a young adult is that it is constantly changing, improving, and evolving - the exact points of frustration to an aging baby boomer.  But why not keep trying to make something better, faster, cooler?  Perhaps, because grandparents (and even parents) are getting near the point of combustible frustration...

     In the reading, "Social Response to Technological Change," it mentions how difficult it is to define technological literacy.  The reading defines it as having an above average ability or understanding of a bulleted list of elements.  Does it truly take knowledge, awareness, confidence, control, and insight to be considered technologically literate?
     The term digital divide refers to an unequal technological use, distribution, or knowledge from an economical standpoint.  Some people do not have a choice, and simply live without because of their location or financial state.  Our world, however, is evolving and relying more on technology as a means of communication and day-to-day living.  It is imperative that people everywhere understand the basics of today's technology if they wish to survive in our digital world.

     Not only is the older generation falling further and further behind, but it also seems that the younger generation is demanding and embracing more knowledge and skills with each technological advancement.  Toddlers exposed to present-day technology know how to correctly operate the "Paint" app or camera on an iPad.  It does not seem unusual or scary or difficult.  In fact, an iPhone is interesting enough to hold a child's focus and attention as he/she instinctively navigates around a responsive screen.    

Of the six response modes mentioned in the reading (article), which do you see yourself exhibiting most often when it comes to technology?
In your opinion, what is a simple definition for technological literacy?
What qualifies a person to be technologically literate?
Do you think that the pace of technological advancement is beneficial for society or creating an ever-widening gap between the tech savvy and the tech sorry?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

De-extinction - TEDTalks

"Extinction is a different kind of death - it is bigger..."

This TEDTalks is all about recreating extinct species and even ecosystems.  Stewart Brand talks about people like Ben Novak, a young scientist pioneering "de-extinction." He is attempting to bring back the Passenger pigeon with the use of ancient DNA found in the bird's toe pad (only one of these birds remain on the earth today).  Why are these mammals disappearing?  What possibilities arise from the employment of "de-extinction?"

In between handfuls of popcorn, consider the following questions:

Could this kind of scientific experiment interrupt the delicate balance of predator and prey?
Do scientists run the risk of compromising an ecosystem by reintroducing weaker species?
Is extinction a bad thing when a species can no longer naturally survive without artificial support?

How Green Can You Go?

The ever popular Earth Day is fast approaching, as I'm sure you are all aware (heavy on the sarcasm).  The first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970, and now in 2013, it continues to encourage Americans to "green-ify" their lives.  Climate change and other environmental topics are very controversial issues in today's world.  Is recycling worth the time and effort? Why should I choose paper over plastic? and Where do I begin? are some common questions involved with "going green."

There are many ways to be a "green" human being:
  • eat local
  • be wary of how products are transported
  • support products with energy-efficient production methods
  • recycle
  • avoid plastic
 With all these options, one has to wonder if, in the end, the cost of going green is higher than the environmental benefits.  As we smugly drop our trash into the properly colored bins, we might need to reconsider our green efforts. "Curbside recycling requires a larger fleet of trucks to pick up the same amount of waste, meaning more iron ore and coal mining, more steel and rubber manufacturing, more petroleum for fuel, and more air pollution." (Get real on going 'green' - The Washington Times) It is a personal opinion and choice to be environmentally friendly, but what happens when we are required to be by law?  Should the government charge more for plastic bags at grocery stores?  Do you see solar panels in your future home plans?  Most everyone has a car, but how often do you use it?  What if you could only drive it a certain amount of miles every day?

What efforts are you making to be "green?" Do you believe that going "green" is worth your time?
Do you think government regulations will soon be a part of environmental issues?