Monday, September 9, 2013

How has Google changed education?

Do you remember a world way back then, when you had to find a piece of information you went to the library? Sat all night searching? And still didn’t find it?
And then came Google…

All of us can argue unanimously that Google has revolutionized access to information as we know it. Its impact on education is so vast that it is still being fully researched as we speak. It has changed the way people think of research and assimilate data, which means that a change of framework has took place. These days, a whole generation is approaching education in a different, exciting new way

In days before Google, a student faced an assignment with thoughts of visits to the library and the thought of that he may have to talk to adults or mentors for specific subject expertise. Today, more often than not, the first stop for a history paper or a science experiment is Google. The notion that a search string can lead to targeted sites has completely cut out the random search for information.
Google has made the process of education a lot more focused and has truly democratized the process. So, essentially a child in a developing community in rural Oklahoma has the same access to information as a child in an upwardly mobile community in Manhattan. Wherever there is Internet access Google offers well sorted and pertinent information that truly makes the quest for knowledge a piece of cake.
The flip side to this, as far as teachers and schools are concerned, is that students can get overly-confident about their research capabilities. They sometimes completely miss out on the idea of researching with books and talking to librarians about reference books. There is also the danger that students do not understand that not all published information is equally valuable. Students need to learn this kind of skill as part of their education if they are going to rely on the Internet and Google for all their information.

What do you think? Was education better or worse before the mighty search engine? 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The best or worst new parenting inventions

We're not sure whether we should cringe at this sign of our times or be thrilled that someone finally put this idea into production, but either way, technology has arrived into our everyday lives and we're pretty sure it's here to stay.

Truth be told, it is not only kids today that cannot imagine their life without technology- parents as well are affected by the constant change and the benefits it brought.

Like everything in life- there are pros and cons to the incredible dependent on technology. The question is how are going to harness the benefits in our favour while ditching the (VERY) bad aspects.

In this post, like always, we are going to focus on the cool and positive, while showing you some of the most awesome devices out there for kids.
Let's start!

   1. Interactive Pajamas- yes, you have read it correctly, an interactive PJ's does exist! Smart PJs, as they're called, have a special, scannable pattern printed on them from which an app can pull up bedtime stories onto any compatible mobile device. The dots on the pajamas represent a code and once you pull up the app, you can scan any pattern on the child's jammies and the coding embedded in the design will pull up a mobile-based storybook, lullaby or picture of animals, depending.
   2. The iPotty- unveiled at the CES, the iPotty is a child's potty with a built-in iPad stand. Its makers say it can be used "for entertainment", or to help children toilet train.
There are no specially-designed apps for the iPotty just yet, but New York-based manufacturer CTA Digital say they are looking at producing some in the future.
     3. Mind controlled helicopter- A year ago, this freaky/cool kickstarter campaign managed to fully fund his goal. This gadget by NeuroSky is called Puzzlebox, and it is bringing us a helicopter we can fly around with our brain waves and a headset.
   4.  Interactive game play- Lego and plastic play are a thing of the past according to Sifteo. This innovative company wants to reinvent Lego with its high tech cubes which can moved around and create structures. The cubes can connect wirelessly and "speak" which each other to create a wholesome game set that can be taken apart.

So what do you say- cringe or be thrilled? And what’s your favorite gadget?