Sunday, February 10, 2013

Special Blog Post #1

Communication Breakdown and WolframAlpha      

Communication Breakdown Comic
Some of us misinterpreted the last blog assignment.  The point of the assignment was to watch the video Did You Know? A Strange 2012 Version and make the connection that the United States has significantly less people than China and India.  Moreover, any comparison made in the video using numbers or fractions would not make sense unless we knew the populations.  I searched the populations of these countries on WolframAlpha.

-India 1.21 billion
-China 1.35 billion
-USA 309 million

working together
India and China have a whole bunch of people! As you can see, comparisons are just numbers unless we apply meaning and perspective.  Next, I searched the populations of Brazil, Costa Rica, and Egypt.  WolframAlpha brings up population and demographics such as population density, growth, life expectancy, and median age.  Finally, I searched for the populations of Massachusetts, Alabama, and North Carolina.  This is what I found.

-Brazil: 195 million
-Costa Rica: 4.64 million
-Egypt: 84.5 million

-Massachusetts: 6.5 million
-Alabama: 4.8 million
-North Carolina: 9.6 million

WolframAlpha is a a helpful tool to get a quick answers and perspective.  This knowledge engine could be helpful my students and myself to find out information or understand meaning of information.  This way, my students and I can analyze any data thrown our way.  As you can see, I have already benefitted from WolframAlpha.  Students need to learn how to find answers themselves, not simply memorize populations and facts.

In The Last Minute...
Social Media Counts

Gary Hayes Social Media Count is a page that counts social, mobile, games, and heritage.  For example, the numbers soar as this engine counts the number of likes and comments on Facebook and videos watched on Youtube.  Although this shows us how many people are doing these activities, I found it hard to believe that only 40,000 people were tuning into a radio station in the last hundred seconds.  This number seemed low to me. This site shows how fast technology is growing and changing.  Either way, this is a fun while providing perspective.

1 comment:

  1. I think your post is very informaive, I love all the pictures it keeps you interested in the blog. I don't really see any problems with your blog. The only thing I would change instead of saying,"my students and myslf, say my students and I".