Hannah Swartwood- Interactive Media Blog/ Portfolio

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Motorola Xoom Tablet Review

I have been using my Motorola Xoom Android Tablet for about a year. After a year of use, it still works just as good as when it was brand new. It is a very well made product from what I can see. For the most part, it is very fast and easy to use. It connects to wifi very quickly and even offers an option to connect automatically in the future. After connected to wifi, the internet browser loads very quickly and does its job very well. Since it’s an Android, it runs off of the Google Play store for apps and app updates. I had never used the Google Play Store before purchasing this tablet, but I have to say, it works pretty nicely. This doesn’t have much to do with the tablet itself, but one thing I have noticed about the Google Play store, is that they are usually behind the App Store’s products. For instance, when Instagram first became popular, it took months to be available to download from the Google Play Store. This isn’t really a complaint about the tablet itself, but just something to think about when making a big purchase like this. One upside to using a Google-based product is the fact that your Google account can be used as a platform for everything on your tablet. Your Gmail, Google+, and YouTube accounts can all be accessed right from the main screen and through the shortcut screens of the tablet. Another upside to this is that if you should happen to get locked out of your tablet (If you forget the lock code you set,) you can use your Google account instead. A screen will come up asking if you forgot and if you would like to access your Google account to log you back into your tablet. This came especially in handy for me, when I got locked out. So much easier than having to reset the whole system (and possibly lose all of your stuff!)
In terms of deciding on an Android tablet to actually purchase, I’d say I made a good choice with the Motorola Xoom. It works very well for me and the reasons why I’d use it. It’s easy to navigate, has crisp, sharp screen quality, and loads rather quickly. There are more options now than when I made this purchase about a year ago, however. So check out this easy-to-understand video review by Tech Radar comparing the leading Android tablets. It shows the up and downsides to each Android tablet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHwubW4abTw

Another helpful review done by HardwareSecrets.com, (who are known for “uncomplicating the complicated”) gives you a step by step guide through purchasing and getting started with this tablet.  Including pictures, it gives you a play-by-play of the whole experience. Very, very useful when deciding whether or not to make this big purchase! All in all, this has been a great purchase for me. I find it very practical and useful. I’d recommend this tablet to anyone looking for a device to surf the internet, download apps, take pictures, and access online accounts like Google and Youtube.


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Voter Turnout

Many people register to vote every year, but how many of them actually vote? Each election, statistics are gathered for the VAP (voting age population). This statistic shows the number of people that a) are of legal voting age, b) are registered to vote, and c) actually voted.
The election between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy took place in 1960. 109,672,000 Americans were eligible to vote, while 68,838,204 Americans actually voted. In 1996, Bill Clinton ran against Bob Dole, and 196,511,000 people were eligible to vote. 96,456,345 people actually voted, which was around 49.08% of the VAP. When comparing these voting statistics to the 2008 election between Barack Obama and John McCain, you will find a large jump in voting. In 2008, 133,944,538 people showed up to vote. According to http://www.idea.int , that was 57.47% of the VAP. This shows me that more people are voting now than ever before. Social media may play a part in this, but more than anything, I think that modern technology in general has played a large part in it. Communication is better than ever before, and I think that the ability to better communicate your thoughts and ideas gives incentive to be a part of your society’s decisions and vote. With so many people that have opinions about the elections and the candidates, everyone wants their say in the decision. I think that modern day technology holds much of the responsibility for that.

With this technology and means of communication, I think my generation has the capability of actually making a difference in elections. If enough of us saw the election standpoints and could understand the candidates points of view, I think we could make a difference. Social media is definitely going to play a part in this, however. If enough people discuss it online, it could interest my generation. It might even encourage us to use our right to vote to play a part in our nation’s decisions. But I guess all of that is to be determined. We will have to wait and see.

Generation Y Survey

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The findings of my survey showed that most people that took my survey were pretty honest. They admitted to sometimes being lazy. The majority also admitted that they were atleast an 8 on a scale of 1-10 when it came to how smart they were. Which, some people would see as an over estimation, and some people would think vice versa. That’s all about your opinion. Surprisingly, they also said that their grandparents’ generation was the overall “greatest.” I expected them to say that their own generation was the best. Based on the video panel, so did they. I think that my survey showed that not everything that was stated in the video was necessarily true. I think this survey went very well. I had a great turn out of responses.

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Chapter 1-3 Summary

“Word of Mouth meets WORLD of Mouth”

Just a few years ago, you’d hear about a product from a friend, you’d pass that on to another friend, who passed it on to their friend, and then that particular company had a few new customers. In recent years however, that all changed. Now, if you have a good experience with a company, your first instinct is to tweet about it, or post a Facebook status about it. Let alone, if you have a bad experience with a company! Post one unhappy Facebook status about something and all of your Facebook friends will see it. This can be both a good and a bad thing for businesses. The upside? Word of mouth spreads so much quicker. The downside? Word of mouth spreads so much quicker. It’s a 50/50 chance. Have a bad experience with a customer? A large number of their other customers will most likely hear about it. Have a great experience? A large number of customers will hear about that too!

What about in your personal life? How your day is going, what’s happening in your life, and even local and national news are all at people’s fingertips. Word spreads so much faster, thanks to social media. The whole world runs on this. Making the phrase “Word of Mouth” change to “WORLD of Mouth.” Our world is now revolving around social media.


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One Day Without Technology.

My one day without technology did not go as planned.

I decided to do it yesterday. I woke up that morning around 9, and almost went to check my phone (but didn’t.) I got a shower, got ready, and went to my boyfriend’s house, all without using my iphone. I hung out for a few hours, and surprisingly, I didn’t use my phone then either. Then, I took a trip to starbucks to keep me busy and off of my phone. Around the time that I got back to my boyfriend’s house, my mom texted me and asked what I was doing (even though she know about my ODWT challenge.) I resisted the urge to reply. After that, my friend Tammy texted me, and then I started getting Facebook notifications. At that point, I gave up. I replied to my messages, checked my Facebook, and even browsed through my Twitter feed. It makes you feel so “out of the loop” to not have your cell phone all day.

I’m not surprised I didn’t last the whole day, I didn’t really expect to. But I gave it my best effort, and came up short. I guess it really is harder than it seems. Being disconnected from everyone is definitely a challenge. If I had the chance to do it again, I probably would, but I still don’t know if I could last.

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Hardest 24 hours of my life? Most likely.

A whole day without technology… how’s this going to go? I use social media and other means of communication all day every day. Going a whole day without it is going to be very difficult. I think I’m going to do it on a school day, so some of my day is already occupied by school work, friends, teachers, and of course, lunch. But every day, as soon as school ends and I get to my truck, I check Facebook, Twitter, and my texts before I leave. So, I think that will be the hardest part for me. I wait all day to check them! (Because I never check them in school. haha) When I get home, though, I’ll do homework, eat dinner and then go to practice. Hopefully I won’t even miss it.

I’m going to leave my phone on while I’m home (in case of emergency) but I’m going on full will power to not use it. I hope I can actually go the full twenty four hours, just so I can say I did it! But, I’m not 100% confident in myself. Optimism is the best quality to have, however, so I’m not completely doubting myself quite yet.

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Social Media + Me

-When did you first join a social media site and what was it?

The first social media site I ever joined was Facebook. I got an account in the 8th grade when my parents bought me my first laptop.

-How often do you use social media on a daily basis?

I use social media a lot throughout my day. It’s a big part of my life and my way to connect with friends and family.

-Do you believe the trend in social media growth and youth participation is just a fad or is it here to stay? Why or why not?

I think that the growth of social media is here to stay. Social media has come so far in recent years and I think that with the way young people cling to it now, there is nowhere for it to go but up.

-Do you feel social media should play a role in education? How so?

I think that, when it comes to social media, young people understand it and enjoy it. If it was a part of education and schools, students would be more interested and more dedicated to their work. If teachers had Facebook pages or Twitter accounts that they posted their assignments and reminders on, more kids would pay attention to it. Since the students are already on those sites, why shouldn’t the teachers follow them there and be a part of it too?

-What expectations do you have for this class?

I expect to learn more about the social media sites that I use every day. I hope to get a better understanding of the sites and how they work and what everyone uses them for.