Thursday, February 7, 2013

Special Blog Post #1

Wolfram Alpha

Populations of China, India, and the United States
According to WolframAlpha, the populations of India and China are each around 4 times higher than the population of the United States. As seen in the figure to the left, China has the highest current population of the three countries. In the blog post Many Students Misinterpreted the Data in Did You Know?, Dr. Strange states that 18 million Chinese can speak English now, and there are 300 million Chinese learning English. The population of the United States in 2010, according to WolframAlpha, was just 309 million. In other words, there's more people in China speaking and learning English than the entire population of the United States!

While I was on WolframAlpha, I searched "Compare Apple and Microsoft". I found that Apple has a revenue of about $164.7 billion, and Microsoft has a revenue of about $72.93 billion. Apple's revenue is over twice that of Microsoft's! However, Microsoft has 94,000 employees, whereas Apple employs 72,800 people. I also chose to search "Compare Facebook and Twitter", since those are two popular social networking sites. According to WolframAlpha, Facebook has 12 billion daily page views, while Twitter has only 710 million daily page views. Facebook is listed as having 640 daily visitors, while Twitter has 120 million daily visitors. That's a lot of people sending tweets and posting status updates!

As a mathematics major, WolframAlpha has been extremely useful for helping me solve difficult math problems. If I ever get stuck on a problem and don't know how to solve it, I go to WolframAlpha and type in the equation, and it solves it instantly! When I begin my career as a math teacher, I will most definitely continue to use it, and I'll urge my students to use it as a resource, as well! I plan on first giving them an extensive tour of the site and showing them everything it can do, and I'll likely give them a few assignments based on the website that teaches them how to use it effectively.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count

Numbers detailing social media usage in one day
It's difficult to really grasp just how much information is added to the internet every day. Gary Hayes' Social Media Count gives an estimate of comments added to Facebook, tweets posted to Twitter, and videos uploaded to YouTube, among other things, from the past day, week, month, and even year! By just looking at the mass amount of data being added to social networking sites, it's plain to see how much of an impact the internet and technology have on our daily lives. Every day, more and more people all over the world are joining social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter. The beautiful thing about the internet is that it can bring together people from all over the world!

This worldwide unity is very useful for educators. Not only can we meet new people and make friends from all over, we can also learn about other cultures and other teaching methods that are used in other countries and cultures. The fact that our technological knowledge is advancing at an impressive rate is also a fun and interesting thing for educators to think about. Who knows what our classrooms will be like 5 or even 10 years from now. We could be teaching children who live in other countries by using webcams or technology that hasn't even been invented yet! I need to keep myself up to date on news about new technology so I can prepare myself for my future classroom. I can't wait to see what the future has in store for educators!

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