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AOW- Textbooks Becoming Dust March 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — prushton101 @ 4:13 am


Stop! Think right now how you are reading this. Is it on a computer or smart device? If so, then you are improving your literacy. EVERY time you read or write, you are improving. Many people chose not to read, but when they see a smart device it changes their perspective. I think that technology has gotten people interested in reading by allowing them to touch and hold these new devices. The smart devices are getting better and better. You can select almost any book. If you do not like a book, it is easy to try another one with little effort. Many people, who do not enjoy reading, think that holding an iPad is more fun and easy than a big book.

Some people prefer a book over an iPad and that is ok. Books are still around for them. The smart devices, like an iPad, are great for some people, especially for those people who might not pick up a regular book. This is a gain for the population’s literacy in general, because it not only allows book lovers to continue reading normally, it also encourages new groups of people to want to read. This is not a loss, it is a gain.

Another plus of electronic books on Kindles, Nooks, smart phones, tablets, etc is the advantages mentioned in the article, “Textbooks becoming history, vapor, dust…” is the ability to look up other information while reading. As the article pointed out, if you need to look up a definition or need an animated example or a tutorial, it is right there at the moment you need it. Textbooks are always up to date and so much cheaper, lighter and always with you. You can even highlight your electronic book and someone else can highlight something different in their copy on the same device. Even someone who likes to curl up with a paper book has to appreciate all that additional information.


Holocaust Questions March 21, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — prushton101 @ 5:37 am

Why should student learn about the Holocaust?

Students should learn about the Holocaust because if they do not know about this part of history, then they might repeat the actions of this tragedy.  Many of the people involved did not know how bad the actions were.  They just went along with the idea, thinking that people might lose some rights but did not know that they were being tortured and killed.  Little actions that do not respect the rights of people and discrimination and hatred can grow until terrible things are happening.  If students learn about the Holocaust then they can help stop the hate before it grows too large to control.


What contemporary issue would you be interested to learn more about and take action in?

I am interested in the issue of bullying and how to stop it.  Bullying is a current problem that is growing.  Like in the Holocaust, there are more people just standing by and tolerating it, than are really actively participating in it.  If all of the people, who are not bullies, would speak up and stop the bullies then I think the problem could be solved. Some people are just too busy or do not understand how serious this problem is.  I would like to know how to get all of the good people who are not involved to get involved and stop the bullies.


Book Discussion- Reflection March 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — prushton101 @ 5:38 pm

1. One thing that stuck out to you or was meaningful to you. Why?

I thought our discussion was very interesting and I learned a lot, but the one thing that stood out to me was about how in the holocaust, the mistreatment of the Jewish people was so hidden. In my book it tells about how the nazi’s made a movie showing how “wonderful” the concentration camp was. It stuck out, because it was probably the biggest part of the holocaust. As it showed me a specific detail of how horrible it was, it also made me think about the whole event in a different perspective.

2. How the book you read demonstrated people overcoming challenges?

In my book, Terezin, Jews overcame the challenge of being mistreated as much as was physically possible. Even though the Nazis controlled their freedom, it did not control their minds. Many continued to be kind. Many were able to remain creative and artistic even as their art was used to lie about the town. They coped with the situation to make the best of it and overcame the Nazis’ attempt to dehumanize them.

3. Issue that is personally relevant to you today. Why?

An issue that is personally relevant to me is the academic over scheduling of teenagers. With the demands of school, day and night, there is not enough time to participate in artistic and social activities. School work should be limited to the school day just like work should be limited to the work day. Time away from school and work should be free to volunteer, relax, read for fun and to do artistic and creative thing that are personally interesting. Teens could eat better and get enough sleep. If school was kept in the school day, then teens would be better rested, healthier and happier. Some people probably think teens would not use their time wisely but I feel that they would make good choices – resting when they need rest and being active in activities that would help them develop their talents.


AOW-Effects of Texting

Filed under: Uncategorized — prushton101 @ 1:43 pm

Have you ever sent a text without any abbreviations or emoticons? Many people think that abbreviations and emoticons mean that you cannot communicate in formal language or that you have a small vocabulary. I do not think this is true. I believe that texting can have both positive and negative effects on a person’s vocabulary. Texting can affect your ability to communicate in other forms, but it does not have to. If you are doing other things that improve your vocabulary like reading and writing other places, you will be fine.



If you only use text to communicate, you will likely have a negative effect on your vocabulary. Like the article, “Texting Affects Ability to Interpret Words,” says, people who text all of the time get used to a smaller list of words.  (University of Calgary 2012, February 16  ScienceDaily. ) This is not surprising, because in order to communicate in a small number of characters, everyone uses short, abbreviated words or textwords.  This consistency makes the text readable.  You are not likely to use a bunch of words to describe how wonderful something is.  You are more likely to use symbols such as emoticons. One of the things the article also pointed out is that people who text do not easily accept made up words.  Maybe this is not so bad.  Maybe the made up words are not very valuable to them.  Knowing new words that actually connect to something you are learning or experiencing is important, but I do not think it is very important to be able to accept new made up words that are random.



A good part of texting is that people are communicating.  If someone is not writing at all, then at least they are writing something and often they are communicating their feelings which are hard for many people to do.  An emoticon could be a small step on the way to communicating how someone feels.  This may not be good for their writing, but it could be good for their happiness.  Another possible plus of texting that the article could be not considering is all of the people and ideas that you are exposed to when you text.  While you will probably not expand your vocabulary by reading a text that tells you a friend liked a movie or book, if you did not have that way to communicate quickly, they might not ever mention it.  Many small things that people experience are shared though texting. Today if you get a text and the person is at an interesting place, you can say, let’s facetime, and they can show you where they are.  With technology getting more powerful every day, it is easy to see how a text could involve you in a whole new experience.  Those experiences will expand your knowledge and your vocabulary. This author seemed to worry that texting was going to damage people’s ability to have a good vocabulary.  I do not think this is true.  People can read many books and also text all of the time.



I agree that if you only text and never read a book, you will have a problem, but you will also have a problem if you never talk to someone face to face or only watch television. I think this article had a tone that is too worrisome for what really will happen. Technology is already making text messages become more connected to other ways to communicate. There might be some way that texting could have these negative effects if it was your only way of communication, but no one I know is only communicating with text.


AOW- Too Much Practice? March 5, 2012

Filed under: Article of the Week — prushton101 @ 6:13 am

Do you limit yourself to how much you study or ever feel like you are over practicing? Typically an ordinary person would stop once they felt like they had accomplished their goal.  This might look like playing the song perfectly once or shooting 5 baskets in a row.  Actually, they are far from a master at this point.  Practicing after you “have it” is what makes you really master a skill.

They say practice makes perfect but there really is no such thing as over practicing.  Three simple steps to turning feeling confident into doing great, are getting used to the amount of energy you use, creating muscle memory and decreasing the amount of energy and thought you use in the process.  Once you have mastered your task, continued practice will let you reach a level where you can watch your opponent closer or track what the judges are watching and how they are responding.  If your brain is still working on processing your tasks, even if you are performing at a high level, you have not reached your potential.

Getting used to the amount of energy you use, means performing at a competitive or performance level when practicing.  If you practice “full out, ” you will be conditioned to the level of intensity required by the real event.  Your body will be ready physically and mentally.  This is more than just general physical conditioning that is important to being capable of doing the task.  Practicing at the level of your highest ability, also trains your brain to go to that level without needing reminders.  It is automatic that your body and brain are working at your potential.

Muscle memory is creating a path in your brain through repetition, so that you do not have to think about what you are doing.  This gives you the ability to focus on other things like small details and your surroundings.  If your brain knows what it is to do without concentration then you can adapt to what is unique in the environment.

Research shows that with overpracticing, you will use less energy not only for your body but for your brain.  Any energy saved or used efficiently can be used to make your physical and mental performance even better. You can think of other things that give you a competitive advantage.  You can focus on details that allow you to have better musicality or understand the mood of other individuals.  You as an individual have so much brain power  and so much physical strength and energy at any moment.  The more efficiently you use what you have, the better your performance will be.

Those who practice after it appears that they have mastered a task are labeled as overpracticing.  This is probably not a good term because it does not sound positive.  Overpracticing does have a positive effect.  Through repeating practice after mastering the task, and by practicing at a high level every time, you can get used to the amount of energy needed, create muscle memory and decrease the amount of energy used for the physical and mental task, freeing your mind for even more improvement.