Saturday, March 24, 2007

My even newer blog

I would like you to tell you of my newest blog: that I have been using for quite awhile now. Here you can find out what I'm up to--if you my latest post hasn't been for awhile you'll know that I'm doing lots of different things.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

My new blog

As you can see, I haven't updated this blog for awhile. I haven't because the Honors seminar about ePortfolios and Blogs has ended! I've created a new blog that's about everything in my life, not just education and technology like this one has been about. I hope you'll take a look at it and maybe even visit it daily! Enjoy!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Comments on my ePortfolio

Hi! This is where you can type comments, suggestions, concerns, or questions you have about my ePortfolio. All you have to do to leave me a comment is:: *Read this post *Click on the link below that says 'Post A Comment' *Type your comment in the text window *Tell me your name by clicking 'Other' and typing your name in *Click 'Publish Your Comment' *You're done! Thank you so much for looking at my ePortfolio. If you would like to know go back to my ePortfolio, click here or you can go back to the other window you were just viewing. Also, since you are now looking at a blog post on my Honors Seminar about ePortfolios blog, if you want to check it out you can click here. Feel free to email me if you have any questions at cassie[at]dara-abrams[dot]com.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Who is looking at my blog!?

I'm really interested, who is looking at my blog!? I signed up on to get this little map towards the bottom of the left column on my blog and it figures out through IP addresses where people who visit my blog are from.. so, who is the person from somewhere in Canada? What about near Normay or somewhere around there? I'm assuming the California area is me, some classmates, and Scott, but who is on the east coast? I don't want to see egotistical or anything like that, but I'm just really interested in who's looking at my blog. Actually I'm interested at who's looking at anyone's blog, it's just neat to see all of the different places people are living in and reading the same blog!! So, hopefully, whoever has looked at my blog will speak up.. or it may just be some bot that goes through all the blogs on blogger or something.. I have no idea!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

As you can tell... I'm a total techie, in more ways than one!

Not only am I totally hooked by technology with computers, but I've been involved in the Tech Challenge at the Tech Museum (links to the Tech Challenge and the Tech Museum) in San Jose, CA since 5th grade (so 5th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade, 9th grade, and this year 10th grade). I started watching the Tech Challenges when I was still in a stroller since my brother started when he was in 5th grade too. Each year is a different challenge and then teams of 2 to 6 students. We have from Jan. to April to design some kind of device that can solve the problem that is given to us. At the end of April we go to the Challenge and use our (hopefully) completed devices and get judged on them and win prizes! What I really like about the challenge is that it's not that competitive and it's really fun to work on projects with my friends. So, my point for talking about the Tech Challenge is that a part of the challenge is to make a journal of how we go about making our device. For all the years my team and I have been doing this, we've noticed we aren't too good at keeping up the journal. We usually end up writing the journal AFTER we've done everything and we try to remember things.. But we have also noticed in previous challenges that the judges don't actually READ everything in the journal : ). This year I suggested we use a blog since the other girl in my team has a blog and I'm using these blogs all the time and the two guys in our group would follow along. So we started a blog and it's been going okay. I think our main problem with writing after what we do whether in a Word document or on a blog is that we talk and talk and build and have a great time brainstorming and then we have to go back and think about our 2 or 3 hour meeting again and write about it. I'm thinking that we need a scribe who just types all the time but then that person really wouldn't a team member. I was also thinking that we could record (either with video or just sound) our meetings but then we would still have to type up everything because we wouldn't want to always have to watch or listen through a 2 or 3 hour long recording just to find one good idea. Of course, I need to thank Scott and this seminar for helping me get this idea because I think it will in the end be a good part of what we present to the judges. Maybe the blog will only be one part of our journal and then we'll have some typed up and printed out parts like we've done in previous years... I think we've done pretty well considering that we've gotten some kind of prize (either 3rd place or Best Team Spirit) every year except our first!! I would love any ideas that you have about the challenge. We're actually pretty stuck and can't figure out how to go about solving this problem... if you like to look at the challenge just go to the link of the Tech Challenge above!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Annoying problem, weird solution. Help from Bob.

Photo courtesy of Cobalt Capital Okay, so I was going to post about something else but now since this really annoying problem that I've been trying to solve just got fixed I thought I would write about it! I've explained my problem to six different people already so I should be pretty good at describing it right now. I was trying to capture video into my computer through Final Cut Pro. And Final Cut Pro saw that there was a camera attached through the firewire port but didn't want to admit that it was there and actually capture the video I wanted! And Final Cut Express didn't work either.. (I had both on my computer). So I decided to uninstall both Express and Pro. Then I reinstalled Pro. Still didn't work! Went to the Apple store.. My mom and I walked up to the "Genius bar" (ok.. I don't mean to be mean but what a stupid name!) and asked them to help me with a problem with Final Cut Pro; big mistake! The guy said "oh no! We only do technical stuff, go over to "The Studio" (another stupid name) and they'll help you out since they're the creative ones (since of course their shirts says "Creative" on them)." But of course.. this wasn't a problem with me not knowing how to USE Final Cut, it's a problem with being not ABLE to use it! So we went to "The Studio" area and got some helpful guys (2) and they troubleshooted for awhile... got a little farther and narrowed down some things since iMovie worked and my camera worked on another computer so we knew it wasn't a problem with my camera and that my computer couldn't capture video (it just couldn't capture into Pro). Since my mom and I had to leave we set up an appointment for later so we could come back. We went back to the store and went to the Genius bar again... the SAME guy was there and I told him my problem and I made sure to say this is a TECHNICAL problem!! He of course didn't know anything about Final Cut and neither did the other so-called Genius.. (umm if they're geniuses they should know everything, right?) so he had us go to the "Guru" of Final Cut Pro (yes, he did say guru..) over at The Studio area... This guy was really helpful as well and showed us how to get into the underlying UNIX in my laptop and check my hard drive and everything... but still nothing seemed to work. So we decided that I would uninstall Pro, reinstall Express since I KNEW that Express had worked with the capturing (since I had never actually tried capturing with Pro yet). As you can tell, I was very annoyed that nothing was working.. and while I was talking to my brother on the phone I asked him if he had any ideas.. now this is the part where I don't totally remember because it was very late and I was very tired.. but I think my brother was searching on google and actually found a couple things that could help. Now, I need to ask him, but I think he may have found the thing that I found a little later that solved the problem.. What I found was in the discussions part of the support part of the Apple website. I typed in 'camera not seen' in the Final Cut Pro part of the discussion forums. And I found that lots of other people were having this problem as well!! And guess what, someone had a solution!! So I followed the directions from this guy and then... Pro worked!!! The problem somehow had to do with updating to Tiger (Mac OS 10.4) which updated Quicktime. And don't ask me how or why, but somehow Quicktime is related to capturing video into Pro and Express (but obviously not iMovie because that was working). So, I found my solution!! And not from the 4 guys at Apple, not from my friend who knows a whole lot about Final Cut Pro, I found my solution from some guy named Bob who I have never met before and probably will never run into because I have no idea where he lives. Now, why don't these guys at Apple know anything about this? And why is there this big problem that isn't fixed?? Tiger or Quicktime or whatever messed this up shouldn't have been given to the public since all the glitches obviously weren't fixed.. Yesterday my mom said something like, "hey, it's 2006, shouldn't all of these problems with computers be solved by now?" And she definitely knows problems with computers since she's been using computers for a looooong time and used and created parts of the internet. What I'm really interested with this and why I'm posting it on my blog is that why didn't the guys at Apple go straight to this discussion forum on THEIR support website? Why didn't I go straight to the web? My brother did go straight to the web and started finding so much information about how to fix my problem. And as I was talking on the phone with him I just automatically started surfing for ways to fix my problem as well. But I actually didn't think FIRST to go to the internet, I thought of getting help from the Apple people and from people I know. Maybe I should have remembered that maybe none of the people physically close to me know the solution, but maybe someone somewhere else in the world would know. This guy Bob who helped me find my solution is a person somewhere in the world. And if I think of the world as my community (and the internet as a way to reach my community) then Bob is someone who I can get help from. Now, I wouldn't want to invite my whole community (the world) to my house for my birthday party, but I would want to ask my whole community for advice about a computer problem since someone in the world would have to have had this problem as well. I guess this is all about mindset and what we think of as our community and who we think we can ask for help or advice. I was just thinking of when I was doing an exercise to help determine what I wanted to have my Girl Scout Gold Award project be about. One of the questions in this exercise was, "what do you think your community is?" This was a pretty weird question. My family? My school? My city? I wanted to include my friend in Germany and my family in Pennsylvania and Michigan so none of the groups that came to my mind really fit. Then I thought, well if I want to include all of these people I know all over the world, why not say the world is my community? So, that's what I put. And obviously, my community is definitely in my Gold Award project with youth from South Africa, Germany, Chicago, and California. I like how this fits together with how some people automatically go to their friends, their parents, or the internet for help or to learn something. I wonder if other people my age (16) or my brother's age (22) automatically go to the internet if they have a problem. Maybe this is something that should be added to what a digital native is. I think someone who always thinks of the internet as a major tool to helping and learning is definitely a digital native. These posts that I've been typing have definitely gone around and around and touched on many different topics, but I think the ideas and topics I'm bringing up are connected, I just need to make sure the connections can be seen!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Youth Philanthropy Worldwide (YPW) conference

check out YPW by clicking here Today I attended the Youth Philanthropy Worldwide Conference at Stanford. Not only was I a participant but I presented myself! I talked a little bit about my Girl Scout Gold Award project (Connecting Youth to Youth) and then showed everyone my 4 minute movie of the Publik Kreavity Drama Krew. The Drama Krew creates and performs skits, dances, and songs with the message of spreading AIDS awareness in their community (which is in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg, South Africa). So, I showed my movie, I was actually the last one all of the presenters for that day, and I really enjoyed going to this conference. Two years ago when I was in 8th grade (this conference is for high schoolers) I asked if I could go even though I wasn't in high school and YPW said sure! And now, two years later, I'm speaking at the conference (AND i'm in college.. hahah). In one of the workshops during the conference a group of about 5 or 6 and I were talking about how to fundraise for a project we would be working on (hypothetically). And we came up with all the normal ones like bake sales and a-thons (jog-, run-, walk-, read-, etc.). We also came up with these even cooler ideas like selling crafts from the country and culture you're working on a project for or have a dodgeball tournament and do something that teens would actually WANT to do on a Friday night. After we brainstormed fundraising ideas, the group leader asked how we would get the word out and advertise for a project or an event we're working on. I said word of mouth is really important but no one can just rely on that. Others said flyers, but lots of people don't even read the flyers and won't get interested enough to come. Then the leader asked about mass emails. I would definitely do that but this other girl said that adults think that teens use email all the time but really we're using myspace and connecting that way. then ANOTHER girl said, "if you contact 'Tom' (who's the 'founder' of Myspace), he'll add your event to this events listing.. and then people can type in their zip code and find what's in their area." Also, there are bulletiens that myspacers use all the time to tell something to all their friends. I think this is such a cool idea! Also, CraigsList is a great way as well to find neat events, but I'm not sure how many teens use it. Anyone who really wants to hook into the however many billion dollars teens spend per year needs to find what teens are using, like, and what the trends are and get in and spread whatever they want teens to know! If you get into something that's already "in" then whatever you want to tell them could be automatically "in" and "cool" too! Another thing I was thinking about is how all of these conferences I've been going to lately (C5, Girl Scouts conference (Lead the Way), and this one) are really really intense and exciting while you're there but then when you leave WHAT do you do!? I think there are two things that could make this feeling go away a little bit (the after the conference feeling): the first idea I had was to somehow have like online groups (like Myspace or a blog) where you can easily keep in touch and no one really has to work THAT hard to start a converstion with someone they thought was interesting, either a participant or a speaker. The other idea I had was something the YPW has done a great job doing during this conference today and the one 2 years ago that I attended was that one of the main purposes for this conference is to help these students START projects and to help them keep going and keep that good feeling in them after the conference. I know this YPW conference is a little different than other kinds of conferences, but there could still be a component of the conference with the purpose of continuing the connections people are making at these conferences. The way YPW did this was by giving great and easy examples of how to start things, like you just need to email YPW, tell them you were at the conference and say I want to do a project but I have no idea what it should be about! That's fine and it's so easy to do! Also, they gave a list of organizations that they are involved with and recommend. And what was really neat was that four young adult presenters (myself included) spoke about projects we're working on at the moment. Two of the projects were ones that started from conferences exactly like this one today since YPW gives these great ideas of projects to start. The other two projects (mine and FACEaids) aren't directly related to YPW (but I was definitely inspired by YPW to do this project) but still we're youth and we're doing these neat but realistic projects. I think these ideas relate well to this seminar because all of these components needed to make fundrasing, spreading the word about a project, and conferences better and easier can easily be things used in technology (like Myspace, blogs, online forums or groups). And also since so many teens and young adults use the internet and technology ALL the time in ways that adults wouldn't even think of, it's so easy to hook these teens into IMPORTANT causes and things that matter in our world. Teenagers in the US have access to billions of dollars and I believe that the money can be used in a great way if we just find ways to get the teens' attention. I've also added lots of links in the left column related to this post, check them out! [EDIT: 3/3/06 7:51PM] I'd also like to add something about something Benedicte said in a comment of hers on my blog awhile ago. She said that I've talked about many conferences that I've been to but not as much about me and my personal things (Benedicte, if I totally misread what you said, please tell me, and I don't mean to mean this in any mean way (ha, three 'means)). But at first I was thinking that yeah, I am talking an awful lot about conferences.. but now I'm understanding that these conferences and activities I'm doing really reflect what I enjoy doing and who I am. I love technology (the C5 conference), I'm a Girl Scout (the Girl Scout conference), I love leading (the Girl Scout conference, lead the way, again), and my interest in social activism (the YPW conference today). Also, these conferences reflect how I like to learn (talking, connecting, and collaborating with others). I love seeing what other people are doing and how I can get ideas with things I'm doing! So yes, just to tag this on, I think this little side note is connected enough with the YPW Conference today!