Exploring the Digital Divide?

  1. The internet is one of the most powerful tools out there for information and media sharing, business, and social infrastructure. With how great it is, it can be easy to forget that accessibility is still a very relevant and important thing for web development. The Digital Divide is a term used to represent the problems in accessibility that the internet has and how these problems function. For an in-depth description of what the digital divide actually is, see the link below.
  2. As you can probably guess, this poses a number of problems for many individuals around the world. For example, with many businesses going online, it is becoming harder for those without internet to receive a service that may historically did not exist in the digital realm, such as banking. Thankfully, there are organizations out there working to make the internet a more accessible place, such as Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
  3. So the question is, what can you as an individual do to make the best use of accessibility? The biggest thing to consider is who your target audience is. For example, if you mean to address an older community, ensure that the text is large enough for them to read and the menus are simple to navigate. Also, try and make all your content available in both PC and mobile format. For a more detailed list of accessibility recommendations, see the link below.
  4. And there you have it. I hope this article has been informative and useful. After having ready this information, what do you think the next big innovation to online accessibly will be?
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Having Presence Within the Digital Globe

  1. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as internet gps to help you navigate this crazy new world, but hat doesn’t mean you have to stay lost in the vast networks of connections and interconnections. There are plenty of things the average person can do to leave there mark in this newly developing social sphere. Before we begin, lets take a look at one interpretation of the modern internet.
  2. As you can plainly see, the world wide web is a pretty big place, and like any big place, it is full of change. Since its creation, the world wide web has been a place of evolution, increasing in functionality to suit the needs and wants of those who use it. The modern version of the world wide web is called Web 2.0. Here’s a video explaining it.
  3. Due to these things, those with internet have access to a social sphere in which their voice can be heard and can influence change. This change can take any number of forms, from political activism to a discussion about music and movies. Regardless of the subject matter, the internet allows the speed of content and idea generation to increase to faster than it has ever been in history. 
  4. So in a world where the lifespan of content is limited and there are millions of voices all competing to be heard, it is plain to understand how someone could feel overwhelmed. Which brings to us to the meat and potatoes of this article: How does one actually have an effect in the online social sphere? For that, we turn to the writing of social and online analytic scientist, Michael Wu.
  5. Hopefully this article has been informative, and I wish you the best of luck in your future online endeavors. If you’d like some food for thought, please leave a comment telling me what inter-connectivity means to you, and if you think online networking is the right direction for society to head.

    Thanks for reading!
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Making Life: A Comment on ‘Playing God in Frankenstein’s Footsteps: Synthetic Biology and the Meaning of Life’ by Henk van den Belt (2009)

The Article

This article is building upon a foundation laid by Henk van den Belt, which in turn builds upon the literary classic, Frankenstein. The author discusses the implications of what it means to “Play God” within the context of Frankenstein. In other words, what does it mean to have control over life and creation. Classic literary text seem to point towards evidence that when someone has enough hubris, thinking of themselves as having the power of god, they meet an inevitable and unfortunate end. He also discusses what the theological implications of this are, and the struggle between science and theology when it comes to creating new life and “that God’s prerogative is being usurped.” (Ball, 1).

My Opinion

While the author is speaking about something that is considered worth of study, this information seems far to outdated to be in any article written in 2009. The article relies to heavily on social and religious principles from when Frankenstein was actually written, most of which are not relevant to the modern day and age.

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ReacTickles Global: Can mobile technologies encourage playful social interaction?

The Article

This article explores what are the play potentials of the mobile medium. ReacTickles aims to expand upon the current capabilities of mobile technologies to create a social space that is enforced through play. They argue that when play is involved properly, it is easy to create an in depth social space. There is heavy emphasis on the base design process, and they claim that, “The project will draw upon the experiences and outcomes of Reactive Colours, which developed on the basis of a flexible and agile design methodology that included the ideas and experiences of the target population throughout the design process,” (Keay-Bright, 1). By focusing heavily on the design process, ReacTickles are able to create inventive mobile technologies that engage users in a social space.

My Opinion

Focusing on the design elements as the key strategy for developing a mobile technology is an excellent idea. If the initial design is like the gateway to the social space. If the gate is ugly and not presented in a proper fashion, people will keep moving on until they find a gate that looks nicer. This design strategy is useful for getting people in the door, after which the quality of the product will take care of the rest.

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Changing the World Through Meaningful Play: Report on the 2010 ISAGA Conference

The Article

This article is basically documentation of the ISAGA (International Simulation and Gaming Association) conference that took place in 2010. This conference showcases how gaming technology can be used accross a variety of feilds. “Papers at the conference came from many fields: medicine, military strategy, criminal justice, business, entrepreneurship, land management, change management, computer sciences, mathematics, language acquisition, culture, entertainment-focused games, toys, simulation/game design, and assessment. Many of the sessions were run as interactive workshops or game play sessions,” (Murff, 1).

My Opinion

This article is for the most part, a waste of time. It doesn’t expand at all on the potential of the technologies this conference is embracing, and only documents what actually took place. This is more of a reference document, and only really has uses in examining the conference itself, not the technology itself.

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Philosophy and Simulation

The Article

The article argues that the simulation can be furthered by analyzing it using philosophical tools of analysis. Since simulation is a digital/physical representation of they way our mind will perceive and event, it falls within the realm of mind, and thus, the study of philosophy  By analyzing simulation using the philosophical method, there is much about the design and implementation of simulation that can be gained.

My Opinion

While I believe that understanding the way the simulation interacts with our cognitive space is very important, I think it is more important to deal with the physical elements of simulation. For example, in a basic video game, you are given either a mouse and keyboard, or a controller, in order to interface with the game. There could be extensive physiological analysis to figure out how to design the game, but in the end, it will still fall short as a simulation purely because of its physical controls.

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The Long History of Gaming in Military Training

The Article

Gaming has a long standing history of military use, particularly in the area of tactical training and combat simulation. “This has taken the form of sand tables, miniatures, board games, and computer games. The current tension between entertainment and military applications over games is just the return of similar concerns that have surrounded gaming tools and technologies in previous generations,” (Smith, 1). The original uses of gaming was kept fairly exclusive the the high up commanders, since gaming’s uses were fairly limited to the tactical. However, with new advances in technology, gaming can be useful to even the common soldier. Simulation technology has advanced to the point of near realism, making it a powerful training tool for pilots, gunners, medics, and vehicle drivers. Gaming is now has military applications even beyond the military itself. Gaming is a powerful propaganda tool for recruiting more militants. An example of this medium is the popular game America’s Army, created solely by the United States military. In conclusion, gaming has become a powerful medium for the military, and will continue to grow as it has throughout history.

My Opinion

Having had first hand experience with America’s Army and other military simulation software, I was fairly familiar with this topic before reading the article. It makes several good points for the benefits of simulation, though at this point in time for society, I think it is fairly common place for simulation software to be used in almost every field of profession. Even something like a fast food chain often uses simulation technology to teach their staff the ins and outs of the job. Thus, the article is relevant to modern society, but raises a point that has been fairly understood for several years.

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