Sunday, February 3, 2013

Special Blog Post #1

The Populations of the major countries as a percentage of the population of the entire world.

WolfranAlpha Comparative Searches

Once completing a search on the comparison of the populations of China, India, and The United States, I found that all of the United States would comprise of only about 25% of the population of China or India. The results show that China has a population of 1.35 billion, India a population of 1.21 billion and the United States has 309 million people. When you look at those numbers the population of the United States seems rather small in comparison to China or India.

As one of the searches I choose to do, I searched for the fraction of the population of the United States with Crohn's Disease versus Ulcerative Colitis. I chose this search because I have Crohn's Disease and it is a topic that I have a vested interested in. The results I found were that 1 in 710 people in the United States have Crohn's Disease while 1 in 1850 have Ulcerative Colitis. I believe the number of people with Crohn's Disease is higher due to the fact that it is an incurable disease, but its cousin, Ulcerative Colitis, is a curable disease. In my second search, I searched for a comparison of the top four religions in the United States. My search results concluded that 84% of United States practices Christianity, 1.9% Judaism, 1.6% Islam, and 0.91% Buddism. I was honestly rather surprised at the results of this search. Going into the search I was convinced that Judaism, Isalm, and Buddism would have higher percentages and Christianity practiced in the United States would not be as high. I thought this due to the fact that although the United States was founded on the practices of Christianity, an ever growing diversity of our population and growing influence of other religions.

WolframAlpha can be a useful tool in classroom research, because of its versatility. I personally misunderstood the statistics in the Did You Know? Video, but I also understand the importance of interpreting statistics correctly in order for them to be effective. There are numerous ways to use this resource in the classroom and integrate it into lesson plans. I played around on the website and did some research of my own and found that they have created resources specifically for teachers. They have an area where teachers can exchange lesson plans; as well as, a blog specifically for educators. WolframAlpha would be a website that I would go to for ideas for creative lesson plans. This website is unique because students enjoy using it to find random information out. Information such as how many points a word is worth in scrabble, what their name means, or what their phone number would need to be in order to spell out a message. When students enjoy learning and interacting with technology, they are more likely to be willing to learn more. WolframAlpha is a resource I look forward to using not only in my classroom, but also for research for my own life, especially for school.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count

The amount of social media that is used every minute is outrageous.
Using the information provided by Gary Hayes Social Media Count it is evident that the world around us is changing at an astronomical rate. Before viewing the social media count I honestly had not idea at the rate in which events occur around the world. These statistics did not necessarily surprise me, but more so they opened my eyes to the change that is occurring. If over 1.2 million new likes and comments occur in just one minute of time, then what else occurs in this time period. These statistics are important to keep in mind because as future teachers, our students our growing up in a world that is constantly changing. Our students will be apart and involved in these ever changing and growing statistics. These numbers represent a way of life and dependence on technology that our society has adopted.

Even the amount of newspapers read and movies watched at the box office that is very intersting.
The major impact that these statistics will have on teaching students that are growing up in these technological times is as teachers we will have to change the way we communicate with students. As Facebook becomes increasingly popular among the younger generations, I believe that having a classroom Facebook for communication will also be an important part of communication. Less people are calling and having face to face conversations and more are communicating through email, text messages, and even Skype. As a teacher I will make it a priority to learn the most effective way to communicate with my students and their parents. I will also take advantage of the abundant resources that are available through twitter and blogs. I have the opportunity to be a more effective teacher by using these resources. The technology is changing the way we live our lives, communicate and learn.

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