For my final project, I chose to improve the timeline in a technical manner. My original group was in charge of finding dates that belong in the Print & Predecessors section and some of those dates were in B.C. and the timeline program was not originally written to accept those B.C. dates. Consequently, our group had to place all of these dates on 100 A.D. for the time being. Eventually a fix was discovered and for my project, I thought I should work with the division of digital learning and technologies to move all of those dates to there proper place in B.C. I ran into some complications because at first, it would only move the dates with four digits so dates like 270 B.C. and 15,000 would not show up on the timeline. I worked with one of the members and we were able to fix the issue with the 3-digit dates, but were not able to fix the dates with five digits. I was able to move all the those dates, but the four that were five digits are still on 100 A.D. because we were not able to find a fix. I thought this was a good project because it would help improve the accuracy of the timeline regarding the print and predecessors entries.
I really enjoyed this week’s readings and thought they related well to what we talked about for the entire semester. They both dealt with the internet and means of communication, but in different ways, and the most interesting I think was the second article. Here, a survey was conducted to test different age group’s proficiency with internet tasks such as finding a tax form, or events in the community. For me, it confirmed one of our class suspicions throughout the semester regarding the age and skill of people who could complete a task on the internet. The younger the person, the more successful they were in completing the task which I thought would always be the case. Also, those in the 30-40 age range were quite successful which makes sense because they are most likely to be in the working world. One suprising fact, however, was that those who were in college were less successful than those in graduate school. The article claims it is because those in graduate school are more focused, which was strange to me because I feel like college students are just as likely to find information easily on the internet. The final interesting note is that one of the questions asked the surveyers to find two candidates views on a topic and they struggled. This shows that when doing a basic search for things on the internet, most people struggle when they are asked to find and compare two different things. This relates to a discussion we had one day, where now, when people do not immediately find someting on the internet, they assume it is not there which is obviously not the case. I enjoyed this article because it confirmed most of the questions regarding internet usage our class had during the semester.
For our final project, we have to find some way to update the timeline that we started at the beginning of the semester. This has developed a lot over the semester and just needs a few touch ups to be complete. I was in the timeline group that was in charge of finding dates for the topic of print and its predecessors and this involved many dates in the B.C. period. When I originally put these dates on the timeline, I was unable to put them in the B.C. period, due to technical issues. For my final timeline improvement project, I chose to move all of those dates into B.C. times because these technical issues have been fixed. This is an important fix to the timeline because, originally, all of the B.C. dates were on the year 100. This issue of accuracy is incredibly important in the timeline and it will help make this project more credible.
So, I have made my first documentary. I thought this was a fun, new and interesting project to do. Being history majors, we never do things like this and it was god to look at history from a different perspective and seeing how certain things have changed over time due to technological developments. The project was more time-consuming than I had originally anticipated and I think that was mainly due to the editing. That took the most time and was difficult for some who were not very technologically savvy. I think if there was a way to have a similar project with not as much technological knowledge need, it could have been more effective. It was different gathering information for this project because we were forced to look at it differently and almost put our on spin on it while we were filming the movie. This project was fun, new and different and could be even more effective for future students if the reliance on technology could be dwindled.
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This weeek, we nailed down all our ideas for our documentary and began filming. We are just about done with that process and will then move onto the editing. We chose to write out a basic script and then stick to that as closely as we could while filming. While writing, I was amazed about the dire financial state of the postal service. I knew things were bad, but I did not know how many billions of dollars in the red they are and despite this, not much seems to be getting done about cost cutting! We had a great interview with a friend of Patrick’s who has worked for the postal service for 26 years and he really shed some light on the struggles as well as how the service is struggling to keep up with new forms of electronic communication. He realizes the advantages of these quicker forms of communication and that the postal service needs drastic changes. Doing the research for this project has been incredibly interesting and I had no idea the postal service was doing this poorly and based of this, I do not think they will be able to survive.
Our group has decided to change our project from the rise of smart-phones to a topic more accessible; the postal service. As many of us have seen the postal service has been struggling in the last few years and we are going to look at these struggles and then compare them to much easier forms of communication like e-mail. This sounds like a very interesting topic to us because it is something we deal with constantly. We often send e-mails, use our smart phones for accessing information and the postal service is not as integral of a part as it was in our parents lives. For our documentary, we are going to interview a postal worker and see what he thinks about the struggles as well as some of our parents to see their views on these new means of communicatoin and what it was like when they were growing up. We hope these two different perspectives about the postal service will be effective in showing its struggles.
As I was looking over some techy news I came across a avery interesting article about car chargers for your phone. There is a new product called a Ray solar charger which you can attach to pretty much anything. It can be put on a car window, an airplane window, or outside on a table. As long as It is out in the sun, and your phone is plugged in it will charge it. This sounded absolutely amazing and could totally change the way we think of charging devices. We are always so reliant on having a plug to charge our phones and this could totally change that. This could make access to charging our phones more accessible and change some of our electrical dependancy and I think it has some real potential.
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