Final Exam Comp 1020

 Before enrolling in this course the only writing background I had experience in was strictly school related. Like I said in my midterm I have never had to write anything that wasn’t being graded other than Facebook or Twitter updates. I did get the opportunity to participate in a multicultural journalism workshop that was held at the University of Alabama’s main campus in Tuscaloosa just a few short months after the devastating tornadoes came ripping through the city and other’s that were surrounding just a few months prior. Since I have graduated high school in general I feel as though I construct my ideas and formulate sentence structure in an entirely different manor than I had done previously. This course in particular has helped me greatly on my final draft’s flow of ideas and paragraphs, although I still feel that I could use more practice at it. I have been exposed to material and alternate ideas on how to construct a well-written essay that I never knew existed before this past January.

The hardest aspect of this course that I had trouble with was the blackboard menus and navigating the wordpress site. After a couple weeks of practice with it though and gaining familiarity with the operating system it was an easy obstacle to overcome. As far as the amount of success I had overcoming the challenges I have just stated, it was immense. Obviously I was able to access all of the information I needed in order to accomplish completing all my assigned tasks and other assignments, so it couldn’t have been all that bad.

The only goals I recall from the midterm that I said I wanted to improve on were sentence/paragraph structure and word choice. As far as my choice of words is concerned, I feel as though I just needed to understand how to use a larger vocabulary to transmit my ideas from my writing to they’re understanding, while still maintaining the intended idea from start to finish. Now for sentence/paragraph structure, I still think I could use help. As far as meeting both of my goals I gave myself in my midterm assignment, I feel as though I have made considerable changes from my old methods. I always see room for improvement in any aspect of life, and academic writing, or writing at all for that matter, is no different. No one is perfect, and even if they were I can promise you that it wouldn’t be myself.

For my future goals I want to accomplish throughout life I ultimately plan on becoming a registered physical therapist, certified nutritionist, and certified personal trainer. I came to this conclusion shortly after I had enrolled in this class. I have personally felt the difference between before and after comparisons. I know how much I valued proving, not just every one around me who was filled with doubt wrong, but myself included. When the only competition you have to value is your own brother, or better yet yourself, one can feel a jumping sense of undiluted power and determination just start to boil in your veins. If having that sense of hulk power running through your body isn’t enough to get the job done, then it is time for you to visit your family’s primary care physician.

Other than having to draft up patient care reports about once a week and other office paper work, putting someone’s new diet on a spreadsheet, or printing out a specific workout for a group of clients, there is always a way to make money doing what you love. You just have to determine for yourself if all the trouble you are going to have to face will be worth the fight or not. I only came to this institution to learn and grow not only physically as an individual, but mentally as well. In today’s society it seems like everyone and their mother has the same physical ability to keep up with the kind of work you are willing to do, and that is why businesses across the nation are opting for potential employees who have valuable experience in the position they are applying for. This dog eat dog world in the classroom has turned into a whole new atmosphere for individuals to overcome in their search for a meaningful position of employment. That means the employers see these people as a more valuable asset to their company simply because they are saving valuable time and money by not training the “new” hiree in relation with if they had to hire a new member of America’s workforce. In this course I have learned about all the new method potential employers have been using to pick who they accept for their available positions, as well as how society in general is reacting to these new trends. I have honestly learned more about the world that is working around me while in this course than I have learned about English in general over the past three years. This course helped me understand how to construct a valid argument with solid evidence to back it up, while having me see the world for what it really is at the same time.

The most important part of this final assignment to me personally is the addressing of new goals for myself beyond this course. I decided to register for this particular course simply because I knew the technological aspect of today’s society is constantly growing, and I thought it would be interesting to see how it would impact a English composition course. I had no idea that what I would be exposed to would be things that I would have never known about otherwise. Sure this course taught me how to write a better persuasive argumentative essay than I had been able to produce previously, but I am taking away from it more things than I would have ever imagined. This course allowed me, for the first time in almost seven years, to learn things in a classroom setting that I felt were pertinent to my daily life’s function in society. I never really knew or understood just how connected we all were and how that connection has grown to be so valuable to us. I would have never thought that the only reason we like to multitask is because we get a better sense of accomplishment from the menial amount of work we got done compared to what we are capable of by splitting the tasks up. I know I would have never known about the extent college debt can really get to if it wasn’t for this course, because I honestly wouldn’t have thought to look into it otherwise. This course has given me something that I feel no other course has, and that’s the power to not only construct a more valid argument, but it’s the power to be aware of what is going on around me and process it for what it really is. This course has helped me understand that no matter where I go or what I do in life, I’ll be able to notice things that I would have otherwise overlooked. I have actually learned something in this course that I feel I can use for the rest of my life, instead of learning a set amount of material in order to pass a test. I feel like I sort of got carried away with this last section, but the goal I want to make for myself beyond this classroom or campus is to understand how to interpret my surroundings and establish my own viewpoint, and back it up with valid information. This course has allowed me to be more prepared for that than any other I have ever been involved with, and I can’t be more appreciative. Thank you.

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Aside

So, College Really Worth the Hassle?

College graduation in today’s society seems to be the new high school graduation. A Student is considered to be full-time when enrolled in at least 12 credit hours worth of classes in both the fall and spring semesters; for each of these hours the student is estimated to have at least 2 hours of work to do outside of class per week. So a student with 12 enrolled credit hours takes on 36 hours worth of class work per week. Many majors and programs offer require more than 12 credit hours per semester in order to graduate in a timely manner. On top of having this time investment, the national average for monetary debt reaches $29,400 per student graduating with a bachelor’s degree according to CNNMoney. There are many different ways for a student to get in debt, and it can happen fast. However, there are a few ways for students to make money while in school. After a student graduates from college, their specific major chosen has a major impact on the potential income they can make with their degree. The needs for certain positions in society have also changed in today’s modern society than they were in the previous decades and generations. On top of all of these aspects of college debt and income potentials, should the individual institutions be held responsible for informing their students on how they can accomplish obtaining their degree debt free?

 

1.)  29,400 of anything sounds like a lot, but when it is $29,400 worth of debt piled up over a period of 4-5 years and gets dumped on a jobless student all at once it can be terribly overwhelming. According to the Birmingham Business Journal, Alabama as an individual state averages $26,450 worth of debt for a bachelors degree graduate. For comparison, that places Alabama at number 24 out of 50 states. The lower the ranking means the state averages a lower average debt amount. New Mexico is number one in the nation averaging $17,994 while Delaware brings up the rear of the pack with $33,649.

2.)  Obviously there are students across the nation getting trapped in debt, but how are they doing it? There are four main ways to gather money for school, some are free and some cost a pretty penny. The first of the four is work-studies; what these are is basically a job given to a student by an institution that is purposed to help the student working pay for school. The next is grants; they’re basically awarded to students who don’t have the means to both live and pay for school. Grants are generally awarded to those well below the poverty level, and they tend to be hard to get due to the circumstances an individual has to face in day-to-day life. There is another way to get free money for college whether you are dirt poor or filthy rich, and that is by scholarships. They’re awarded to those who have outstanding talents both in the classroom and on the field. Students can also apply for privately funded scholarships awarded by many businesses and other groups. The last avenue for school funding is by getting student loans. These loans can be rather risky in the end though; it can be hard to really understand at 18 years old that you are officially in debt to someone for thousands of dollars. Even with new regulations and less restrictive loan requirements it’s still a challenge to borrow all of the money that you actually need for school every semester. Many face a remaining balance left over that student loans accompanied with all they other forms of borrowing they have elected to receive simply didn’t pay for.

3.)  School isn’t just an investment in a monetary sense but, greater in a time sense. All around the world there are schools filled with students as young as three years old enrolled in a plethora of institutions. In the United States students are likely to become involved with learning in a school or classroom setting around the age of 5 in kindergarten. After this time period the young children will go through the whole public education system that is in place for general education of American citizens, taking approximately twelve years to complete. Beyond these twelve years of education is when the students get into the realm of private education provided by private and public colleges and universities. Once an individual student applies and is accepted into their chosen university they start a journey on expensive further education. An individual can gain anything from a technical certification to a doctorate degree in a specialized area of study. A technical certification can be gained in around two years and has a generally open job market upon completion. A doctorate degree can take upwards of twelve years to achieve from the first semester of college education to walking across the stage at graduation, depending on the desired degree. There obviously are a variety of other avenues a student can take on their journey of academic success. School takes more commitment and involvement than almost any other thing we come across or partake in during our lives. It is detrimental for the person considering making the jump into higher education to really think about if the time will be worth it to them.

4.)  Any form of education beyond public education is going to be expensive. According to collegecalc.com online colleges start out at $720 for a year’s worth of courses. The highest total cost of attendance in the nation is Sarah Lawrence in New York State, with a price tag of $61,836 per year. On top of paying for school after graduation after their stay, the average student will find many other expenses become important while still in school. If they don’t have enough money from the loans or scholarships to cover expenses like gas and food then they have to find another form of income while they go to class full time. If they decide to move out of their parents home in order to go to school they have a greater variety of potential expenses they need to cover in order just to live; including rent, electricity, groceries, gas, and other household bills. Some have to spend their summers working and saving what they make in order to pay it, while others spend valuable time during the semesters of class working part-time, or even in some cases, full-time jobs in order to make ends meet.

There are 168 hours in a week; if a student has class 16 of those for semester hours then that leaves 152. Let’s say that they have two hours worth of homework for every semester hour they are enrolled for, so 32 hours worth of homework on top of the 16 in class, leaving 120. But in order to accomplish paying all of their bills they have to work 35 hours a week on average, leaving 85. If they have a half-hour commute to and from campus everyday of class they are left with about 81 hours. Take away 8 hours of sleep a night (if they’re lucky) and that leaves 25. If they are committed to staying fit despite all the temptations around them, they can spend upwards of two hours a day in the gym, cutting 25 down to 11. Many students tend to go back to visit home on the weekends, spending a few hours on the trip there and back. Just the drive home cuts 11 down to five. At the end of the week the student has from 11-5 hours a week to battle the stresses of having to pay their bills and still manage to stay on top of schoolwork, and this is ignoring the fact that some students have other major responsibilities in their life such as having children among other things. According to Bankrate, Inc, on average 57% of full time college students are also maintaining full time jobs to battle the growing costs of school of going to school and living. If these students were able to focus solely on school or solely on work, their performance in both would rise dramatically. Leo Widrich explains in an article he posted online a couple years ago that people are really terrible multitaskers. He explains how people aren’t ever really getting more work done, but “that they feel better about what they do accomplish” due to the fact that they have so much going on at once. If people are forced to multitask with the demands of higher education and working a fulltime job to make ends meet, there is no way that they are accomplishing either one of them to the best of their ability.

           

5.)  Aside from college or other forms of education being such a large investment in both time and money, many employers are seeking those with more experience over those with more educational qualifications. Since times are changing so drastically, employers are realizing that they have the ability to give someone the means to go to class or achieve a technical degree but they cannot give the employee valuable experience in the work environment they are faced with. Employers understand that higher education isn’t as valuable as it was in years past due to the fact that it’s so wide spread now. Many people see college as a necessity instead of a valuable post high school option. According to payscale.com, the average degree holder with one year of experience or less brings home around $44k a year, whereas someone who holds the exact same position but has say, 17 years of experience in that position can make upwards of $21k more a year at $65k. The only way to gain experience in a certain field is to have someone give you a chance to work and gain it. If employers around the world see experience as a more valuable attribute for an employee to have than education then what sense does it make to even go to college? Although many college programs offer things such as work-studies and internships, many are hard to be accepted into due to the student population’s demand for the positions that are there to be had. No one really looks at a diploma the same way as they have in years past. In the modern era job market, an individual really have to sit down and evaluate what is more valuable to them personally. They have to consider if taking the risk of getting early experience is worth the potential of never making it through to complete a full college degree.

6.)  Universities have a connection with the students who go there that is unlike any other. They have the best chance to help the students understand how much going to school is really costing them and could potentially help them understand how to manage the debt they’re accumulating while in school. Many could argue that the universities across the nation have a responsibility to help the students come to terms with this. If they are in charge of making sure the students are well educated in arithmetic, grammar, and articulating ideas, why are they not offering education in various facets of life that the graduating students will go through post graduation? If the students were better educated on the borrowing process and how to manage school expenses then surely they average graduate’s debt of $29,400 according to CNNMONEY would decrease. If it didn’t decrease the student borrowing the money would have a better understanding about what they are actually doing. Going to school and exceeding in the various courses available to be taken is hard enough, let alone the fact that the majority of students enrolled in the courses aren’t exactly aware of what all is happening behind the scenes that is allowing them to be there. Sure that one course could cost the student more in the short term in the sense of that semester’s tuition bill, but it has the potential to pay off more than the course itself over the time the student is in school and helps them better understand how to pay off their debt entirely.

With all the complications of life in today’s society there is really only one way to decide if going to school is going to be worth it or not, and that is so sit down and consider it for yourself. No one can make someone else want anything, and that includes a college degree. Going to school and getting the degree can be one of the hardest things an individual can accomplish in life, but the time spent working for it will only be rewarded. There are obviously other ways to make money in life that don’t require a college degree, but over time the degree can only be beneficial. In order for an individual to go to school, they need to understand a few different things: First is that college or tech school is probably unlike any other kind of free education they have ever been offered. Second is that in order to have the drive to stay in school you need to understand why you are in school and what you are working for. Third is that you have to understand how to make money with your degree. Just because you have a piece of paper with your name on it hanging on a wall doesn’t give you anything over anyone else in today’s job market. Nobody gets handouts in the real world; you have to work for everything you get whether it is in the classroom or in the work force. College is ultimately worth the trouble if the end result is worth the troubled journey to get there. Nothing worth having comes easy.

 

Bibliography

 

“Is College Worth It?” Pew Research Centers Social Demographic Trends Project RSS. Pew Research Centers, n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. <http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2011/05/15/is-college-worth-it/&gt;.

 

“Types of Aid.” Home. US Government, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. <http://studentaid.ed.gov/types#federal-aid&gt;.

 

“State by State: Student Loan Debt.” CNNMoney. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. <http://money.cnn.com/interactive/pf/college/student-debt-map-2012/?iid=EL&gt;.

 

“How Much Does College Actually Cost?” CNNMoney. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2014. <http://money.cnn.com/101/college-101/college-cost.moneymag/index.htm&gt;.

 

“Alabama near the Middle in Average Student Debt.” Widgets RSS. Birmingham Business Journal, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. <http://www.bizjournals.com/birmingham/news/2013/12/09/alabama-near-the-middle-in-average.html&gt;.

 

“Simply Salary.” College Graduate Salaries. Simply Hired, Inc, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. <http://www.simplyhired.com/salaries-k-college-graduate-jobs.html&gt;.

 

Casil, Amy Sterling. “Job Salary for College Graduates vs. Non-graduates.” EHow. Demand Media, 05 Sept. 2011. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. <http://www.ehow.com/info_12033867_job-salary-college-graduates-vs-nongraduates.html&gt;.

 

“Newsroom.” Census Bureau Releases Data Showing Relationship Between Education and Earnings. US Government, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb09-66.html&gt;.

 

“More Students Juggling Work and Higher Education.” Bankrate, Inc, n.d. Web. 05 May 2014. <http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/more-students-juggling-work-and-higher-education.aspx&gt;.

 

Widrich, Leo. “What Multitasking Does to Our Brains.” Buffer Blog. Buffer, 26 June 2012. Web. 05 Mar. 2014. <http://blog.bufferapp.com/what-multitasking-does-to-our-brains&gt;.

 

 

Assignment 3

So, College Really Worth the Trouble?

 

 

1.)  The question I am answering with my final assignment is, is college really worth the total investment? College takes up so much of an individual’s time and a large sum of their money that throughout the student’s journey through the process of actually going to school one can feel is they are working for nothing. Personally I have already felt this and I haven’t been in the college setting for more than 2 semesters. College is seen by many as a necessary route after high school but for many that may very well not be the case at all.

2.)  I feel like this topic matters because of the fact that there are so many different choices an individual can make after graduating high school. I have seen the need for skilled workers and laborers sky rocket in Alabama through the campaigns done with certain celebrities and other well known people. The topic is so important now because there are so many people striving to be doctors or lawyers or pursue other prestigious means of status that there is a lack of people to build underneath them. There aren’t as many people in the “work” force as there used to be and I see that as a major factor in what we as a nation can achieve compared to what we have so far. Times change just as fast as people do and these times are more complex than ever before simply due to the fact there are so many choices people can make that effect those around them.

3.)  Throughout my research done so far I have found that the average college graduate does make more than the average high school graduate. I am still trying to find evidence that would suggest that someone who chose to go through a technical degree or certification program makes more or less than a bachelors degree holder on average. I plan on looking into the military aspect of wages in this research assignment as well. I want to explore as many avenues of potential available income a college-educated individual is likely to get compared to someone of lower education. I am also going to compare different kinds of degrees and the levels on income available to them.

4.)  My thesis for this assignment is that the answer to my question is strictly answered on an individual level. Education at any level, including college, is only worth to someone as much as they value it. As far as gaining a certain status or certification for a wanted professional position, if the person wants it bad enough they should be willing to invest the time and money needed to accomplish it. As far as he relationship between my thesis and research, I haven’t yet found a source that uses the personal aspect when determining if college is worth the hassle, but I’m not done looking.

5.)  I plan on arguing my thesis based on individual needs versus the income levels available to people with various accomplishments. I will use my research to back up certain aspects of information I will later use to back up my argument. I will use information I have compiled from various government resources such as the census and other government websites and sources, as well as income levels from other official online sources.

Reading Response 3/25

 

 

This TED talk really hits close to home doesn’t it? Sherry Turkle seems to say what has been on the mind of many for quite a while now. People in modern society truly seem to be more connected than ever before while remaining in a sense more distant at the same time. Even in a typical public place you can find people glued to their handheld devices instead of partaking in what used to be normal everyday interaction with other actual human beings.

 

Turkle used a question asked to her by Conan O’brian as part of an explanation for her argument. “Don’t all these tweets and other little sips of online interaction between people add up to one big gulp of conversation?” Turkle’s response is that it simply doesn’t. if anything these minor interactions are destructive to how people would communicate before the technology boom. People today are more willing to put faith in technology before they will in another person.

 

There is a common feeling that we get when we share something with others, especially on an online platform. As Turkle says, we get a feeling of “I share, therefore I am.” The more people share with others the greater the feeling of connection we have, while at the same time we are allowing ourselves to become more disconnected from actual society by having such a need for technology in communication.

 

The reasoning behind the trust in technology is because of how it functions. Technology can be controlled more so than any living individual. People are leaning towards communication through text messaging than talking on the phone simply because they have the opportunity to control exactly what they say. They have a chance to edit their words in order to make them fit the exact meaning they intend for them to carry. There has been a huge increase in the amount of people willing to live online instead of day to day in real life.

 

People are now using technology as far as to be able to consider it as a companion. There is a sense of a want for companionship with someone or something without the stresses of the demands that accompany a normal friendship. We are using technology more as a crutch than an enabling resource when it comes down to personal needs and communication. There’s a great demand for people in workplaces who have developed great people skills because ever since the technology boom, people skills aren’t as important to a lot of society. Looking someone in the eyes while talking to them is now considered a skill.

 

Turkle ends her talk with a suggestion, “we need to use technology in a way that leads us back to our real lives.” We need to understand the importance of personal relations and the ability to communicate face to face. If we don’t we are more likely to undermine the importance of the sense of individuals and associate real people more with their online avatars instead of their real physical features.

Midterm Essay

Where I have been so far in my writing career will only be a solid base for me to progress further off of. I feel as though throughout my life that writing has been a big part in helping me develop intellectually into the person I am today. Writing has been a big part in understanding how to think on my own and articulate original ideas.

The only part of my life that really has anything to do with writing is in an academic setting. Although I do participate in social media, I haven’t ever just sat down one day to write a short story or record the day’s events in a personal journal. Even though my exposure to writing was so focused on schoolwork I can tell how it has helped in other aspects of life.

Even since the beginning of this semester I feel like I have expanded on my understanding of forming an argument and validating it with evidence found through research. I see a noticeable difference in my thought process before starting this course to now.  I feel much more confident in my ability to form an argument because I feel as though my thoughts are more organized than before.

My primary goals are to expand on what I have been learning so far. This class has opened my eyes to things such as the methods in the textbooks and other social issues more than any other has. I would like to focus specifically on becoming even more effective at connecting other’s arguments and articles together in order to back up an argument of my own. I found that a real weakness in other assignments in high school and still do in college.

As far as how writing will effect my career, I’m really not sure yet. I’ve yet to declare a major so far even though there are a few things that interests me. In high school I played around with the idea of pursuing a career in journalism, but since then I’ve had cold feet on the issue. If I did decide to choose that career path then writing would most certainly have a big impact on what I did. I feel like I would learn so many new ways to write and form ideas that the work would really kind of do itself. I feel like after a while of writing everyday that it would eventually become second nature. Another path I have been thinking about is pursuing a career in the area of kinesiology. Exercise science and physical therapy have always been a bit interesting to me. If I choose this I’m sure I will have to fill out piles of paperwork, journal listings, and other things of that nature. It wouldn’t be very personal writing, but it would have its own purpose.

In conclusion, I feel like I have a solid base to work off of in writing. The majority of my experience is educational and that has helped me mentally in many other aspects of life. This semester in itself is helping me noticeably progress. It is evident to me now that no matter what career I should choose that writing would be a part of it in one way or another.

No Cursing, No Backtalk, No PHONES

Typical rules for an academic atmosphere, both in public education and higher levels I have learned.  Where does the sense of privacy come into play in this whole set up?  Where does the boundary between personal freedom and mandated regulations on use of this newly available equipment fall? Technology is advancing so quickly that our society doesn’t have enough time to really process what is being made or how to use it ethically.  Sure there are a million upsides to all of the technological advancements, but when can society, myself included, come up with a set off rules for how to use them and minimize the downsides?  Obviously there have been many great uses for technology in the academic setting, but what about the setbacks that technology also brings with the perks? How can we welcome new guidelines for use of available technology while still allowing the users of it maintain their basic rights?  Surely there should be a sense of what a student can and cannot do.

Well once upon a time, I had a run in with the issue of privacy in an academic setting.  To keep a long story short, an instructor got under my skin.  The first thing I could think to do was send a tweet from my “private” account to get my immediate anger out.  Seemed harmless enough, what can a few non-violent words filled with pure anger towards someone really do? I mean my account was private anyways, who would even find out about it?  Well, let’s just say that words travel fast, and they can get you suspended during finals week. They can cause a lot more trouble than they’re worth.  It was hard to fathom as a teenager in this growing world that things online could affect my everyday school life.

My experience was concrete evidence that there is a social lag from technology advancing so quickly.  How can a large group of people really adapt to something that literally changes everyday?  There is a large group of individuals that maintain a need for a newspaper while another group of people might only come into contact with a newspaper for an arts and crafts project.  There is such a large gap in needs for different people that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.  Besides, maybe sometimes the old fashioned way is the best way to get some specific tasks done.  No matter how far technology manages to advance, there will always be people with their focus where it shouldn’t be.  That being said, online privacy is a whole different ballgame than when compared to life before the Internet.

Once you press send, you’re on your way to sharing whatever you constructed to anyone who can get their hands on it. And those people are out there.  Students aren’t the only ones who should be worried about the issue of online privacy in academic settings.  An article published on cbsnews.com gives an account of a female high school teacher who was asked to either voluntarily resign or be suspended due to a perfectly legal post on her personal facebook account.  This post, more specifically picture, had nothing to connect it with the school system, the specific school itself, or the educational system at all.  How can someone be denied the right to provide someone with a valuable education because of a specific piece of online documentation of an event?  Online privacy is more widespread than just affecting students directly, but also indirectly in the school staff and other positions.

Any social networking sites have a loose sense of privacy built into them.  Stefan Straub and Michael Nentwich wrote an article in an academic journal on this very issue.  They explain how the growth of social media multiplies the intensity of conflicts with the privacy of account holders. Privacy is really just the idea that the owner of certain information or material can control who does and does not have access to it.  “It is the right to control the information we consider private.”  By sending a tweet or posting a status to facebook, we as users give up our right to online privacy because in a sense it simply does not exist.  Straub and Nentwich’s article explains how often without user consent the information they are sending and receiving via social networking can be seen by anyone.  I cannot agree more with them.  Even with all of the security settings activated my tweet managed to get around the school whether I wanted it to or not.  Straub and Nentwich continue to explain how the increased use of social networking sites calls for a need to have “privacy-by-design & awareness-raising mechanisms to improve informational self determination.”  These devices could be useful in helping everyday users more aware of what posts are and aren’t exactly share worthy.

I cannot agree more with Straub and Nentwich.  I believe they truly hit the nail on the head.  They give hope still to the idea that privacy can remain in an online world.  They put emphasis on the idea of necessary user-awareness in unison with privacy-by-design platforms.  All of these ideas sound solid, but until they are executed properly there really isn’t a way to know if they would fail or succeed.  User-awareness has the biggest impact in all of this.  If that high school teacher had known that a harmless picture could have caused all that trouble then chances are that she wouldn’t have shared it.

But should her right to express herself and share an experience with friends be eclipsed by the social expectations of her position?  Do the social lives of students and staff at a place of learning really affect a school’s ability to teach enough to disregard all sense of an individual’s privacy? There will be social stigmas and taboos on certain social activities simply because there has been for so long. What one young person, say a student, doesn’t think anything of could be very troubling to another older person, say a parent. What it boils down to is that not everyone really sees eye-to-eye on anything, academic policies included.

Everything being considered though, I believe that schools should respect both the students and the faculty’s privacy, but to an extent.  They should only intervene when necessary, and that is when someone is in danger of getting hurt or worse.  Schools across the nation have counselors who are bound by law to keep personal information and conversations private, unless there are thoughts or plan for harm to one’s self or another individual.  If a student uses social media as a form of expression to vent or stress relief in a non-violent way, then why not let them use it?  In today’s fast paced, deadline filled world there really isn’t an opportunity for a lot of people to express themselves, especially some teens who are growing as individuals while at the same time handling the stresses of school and family life.

Strauß, Stefan, and Michael Nentwich. “Social Network Sites, Privacy And The Blurring Boundary Between Public And Private Spaces.” Science & Public Policy (SPP) 40.6 (2013): 724-732. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.

“Did the Internet Kill Privacy?” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. <http://www.cbsnews.com/news/did-the-internet-kill-privacy/&gt;.

Don’t Trust What You Aren’t Sure Of.

final

In today’s modernized technologically advanced society the need and use of information is critical in most of our everyday decisions and activities. The easiest method we use everyday to answer questions of all shapes and sizes is the Internet. It is a beautiful thing; this one form of communication connects people from all over the world, and does so more easily than anything else.

With there being such ease of connection and communication then, what is there stopping someone from using the Internet is a negative or untruthful way? For example, a popular online encyclopedia catches criticism periodically for its validity. Wikipedia is in theory an excellent source of information. A non-profit, free, online encyclopedia that anyone can edit seems great right? Of course, until you factor in that some people like to have a good laugh.

Mr. Lance Ulanoff wrote an article on this very subject matter. In this selection he describes Wikipedia as “a lot like a prepubescent child.” Ulanoff has ground to stand on behind this comment. While he wrote this story he recounts how “a man wrote a fake biography of a John Seigenthaler, connecting him to the JFK assassination.” He also gives an account of a personal story recalling how “after he created his own Wikipedia page, someone went behind him and added a plethora on information about him that he didn’t even know about himself. “

Ulanoff then continues to analyze the website’s content validity by challenging the individual authors point of view as an obstacle in article accuracy. He gives the example of the Microsoft article vs. the Apple article. Both companies are described as “American Multinational Corporation(s)” while the articles differ in the author’s personal viewpoint on the subject matter. The author of the Microsoft article seemed to explain the company’s “monopolistic practices and troubles with the US and UK government” more than the company’s actual history or advancements in technology, whereas the author of the Apple Wikipedia page focused almost solely on facts regarding the company including the history and achievements.

Ulanoff really makes a good argument. In some ways I agree in others I don’t. Wikipedia is most certainly “light years away from 100% accuracy” simply because there will always be people who find humor in altering existing articles with faulty information. As far as the accuracy of articles, I’ve never personally had an issue with a faulty piece of information while using Wikipedia as a resource. One who chooses to use Wikipedia should be help responsible for validating the articles they want to use before using information in them. It is only the researchers fault for having a bad source.

The big issue with Wikipedia seems to be the ease of plagiarism. While anyone can alter the information displayed, nothing is holding him or her back from stealing what is true and leaving total crap.

Jim Sleeper wrote an article about plagiarism but in a form of media much more respected than a free online encyclopedia. He wrote about another famous journalist by the name of Fareed Zakaria. Zakaria, a well-known journalist, holds a leading position as a leading editor for time magazine. He is also a Washington Post columnist, and he has been hailed as the most influential foreign policy advisor in this generation. Zakaria graduated from Harvard University and then later on from Yale.

In Sleeper’s article he displays how Zakaria blatantly plagiarized Jill Lepore, another well-known journalist’s work, practically re-circulating her original writing as his own. For punishment of this ridiculously heinous intellectual crime Zakaria received a brief suspension from both TIME and CNN.

The fact of the matter is that the punishment Zakaria received has little to do with the big scheme of things. If Zakaria, one who holds all of these prestigious titles, diplomas, and certifications can plagiarize in publications as large as they ones he works for then how hard would it be to steal this intellectual property of others from anywhere?

This is where Ulanoff and Sleeper both have relative articles. Ulanoff makes a good argument by showing that Wikipedia, a large source of information for many people, is too easily altered. Sleeper shows how possible it is to commit plagiarism even in the highest places of publication such as TIME and other large outlets. The fact that today’s society has such a hold on the need for information, the need for the information to be original and valid is becoming just as important. What good can Wikipedia do if you honestly have no idea who published anything on it? What good is any source on the Internet if you have to question its validity? How can you trust a source from which you do not know its origin of information?

All this talk of plagiarism and inaccuracy might test many people’s opinion of the web and what you should and shouldn’t use it for. The Internet is one thing in this world that comes with an implied warning label. Just like any other resource you can use, you must use it with vigilance and maintain responsibility for the information that you choose to use from it.

What matters most in a network of individuals is that each one understands the power they have on the majority. If anyone and everyone can alter a piece of writing, whether it be a word or a paragraph, then others need to be aware of it. Everyone should have a sense of responsibility online just as they do on the roads. With every resource that becomes available for people to use comes with it even more and greater responsibilities that need to be maintained and held. More people see the words you craft than you would ever imagine, especially in today’s modernized technologically advanced society.

 

Sleeper, Jim. “Fareed Zakaria’s Plagiarism: Even Worse Than It Looks.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 10 Aug. 2012. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.

Ulanoff, Lance. “Wikipedia: You Still Can’t Trust It.” PCMAG. Ziff Davis, n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2014. <http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0%2C2817%2C2375754%2C00.asp&gt;.

Don’t Trust What You Aren’t Sure Of.

Michael Mumpower

Professor Havard

English 1020

11 February 2014

In today’s modernized technologically advanced society the need and use of information is critical in most of our everyday decisions and activities. The easiest method we use everyday to answer questions of all shapes and sizes is the Internet. It is a beautiful thing; this one form of communication connects people from all over the world, and does so more easily than anything else.

With there being such ease of connection and communication then, what is there stopping someone from using the Internet is a negative or untruthful way?

For example, a popular online encyclopedia catches criticism periodically for its validity. Wikipedia is in theory an excellent source of information. A non-profit, free, online encyclopedia that anyone can edit seems great right? Of course, until you factor in that some people like to have a good laugh.

Mr Lance Ulanoff wrote an article on this very subject matter. In this selection he describes Wikipedia as “a lot like a prepubescent child.”

Ulanoff has ground to stand on behind this comment. While he wrote this story he recounts how “a man wrote a fake biography of a John Seigenthaler, connecting him to the JFK assassination.” He also gives an account of a personal story recalling how “after he created his own Wikipedia page, someone went behind him and added a plethora on information about him that he didn’t even know about himself. “

Ulanoff then continues to exploit the website by challenging the individual authors point of view as an obstacle in article accuracy. He gives the example of the Microsoft article vs. the Apple article. Both companies are described as “American Multinational Corporation(s)” while the articles differ in the author’s personal viewpoint on the subject matter.

The author of the Microsoft article seemed to explain the company’s “monopolistic practices and troubles with the US and UK government” more than the company’s actual history or advancements in technology, whereas the author of the Apple Wikipedia page focused almost solely on facts regarding the company including the history and achievements.

Ulanoff really makes a good argument. In some ways I agree in others I don’t. Wikipedia is most certainly “light years away from 100% accuracy” simply because there will always be people who find humor in altering existing articles with faulty information. As far as the accuracy of articles, I’ve never personally had an issue with a faulty article while using Wikipedia as a resource. One who chooses to use Wikipedia should be help responsible for validating the articles they want to use before using information in them. It is only the researchers fault for having a bad source.

A big issue with Wikipedia seems to be the ease of plagiarism. While anyone can alter the information displayed, nothing is holding him or her back from stealing what is true and leaving total crap.

Jim Sleeper wrote an article about plagiarism but in a form of media much more respected than a free online encyclopedia. He wrote about another famous journalist by the name of Fareed Zakaria.

Zakaria is a well-known journalist. He holds a leading position as a the leading editor for time magazine, he’s a Washington Post columnist, and he has been hailed as the most influential foreign policy advisor in this generation. Zakaria graduated from Harvard University and then from Yale.

In Sleeper’s article he shows how Zakaria blatantly plagiarized Jill Lepore, another well-known journalist’s work, practically re-circulating her original writing as his own. For punishment of this ridiculously heinous intellectual crime Zakaria received a brief suspension from both TIME and CNN.

The fact of the matter is, the punishment Zakaria received has little to do with the big scheme of things. If Zakaria, one who holds all of the prestigious titles, diplomas, and certifications can plagiarize in publications as large as they ones he works for then how hard would it be to steal this intellectual property of others from anywhere?

This is where Ulanoff makes a good argument. The fact that today’s society has such a hold on the need for information, the need for the information to be original and valid is becoming just as important. What good can Wikipedia do if you honestly have no idea who published anything on it? What good is any source on the Internet if you have to question its validity? How can you trust a source from which you do not know its origin of information?

All this talk of plagiarism and inaccuracy might test many people’s opinion of the web and what you should and shouldn’t use it for. The Internet is one thing in this world that comes with an implied warning label. Just like any other resource you can use, you must use it with vigilance and maintain responsibility for the information that you choose to use from it.

What matters most in a network of individuals is that each one understands the power they have on the majority. If anyone and everyone can alter a piece of writing, whether it be a word or a paragraph, then others need to be aware of it. Everyone should have a sense of responsibility online just as they do on the roads. With every resource that becomes available for people to use comes with it even more and greater responsibilities that need to be maintained and held. More people see the words you craft than you would ever imagine, especially in today’s modernized technologically advanced society.