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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Facebook Essays (3/3)

So this is the last essay question I chose to write about to show Facebook that I wasn't napping during Rhetoric 105 in college.  Check it out . . . and let me know if my grammar is ok  :)


I am particularly passionate about K-12 education in the U.S., specifically the areas of learning and literacy.  It’s no secret that U.S. performance in the arena of education has declined by international standards over the last 15-20 years.  China and India have successfully equipped their young people and have graduated large numbers of engineers and computer scientists over the last two decades.  As a result of their solid educational foundation, many highly sought-after jobs are going to these graduates.

There is much room for improvement in this area for K-12 students in the U.S.  Changing our attitudes about how to deliver education to our students is a necessary step if we are to regain respect and credibility as a nation.  It is a very exciting time to be focused on this issue because we are at a critical turning point as citizens of the 21st century thanks to the Internet.  There is an important shift in the way information is being created, consumed, and distributed.  This analog to digital shift has been embraced and exploited to some extent by different industries globally, but by and large U.S. K-12 education has yet to experience the full effect of what’s helping to change and transform other industries.  Investing in the idea of Education 2.0 (web-enabled, active, community-based learning) is imperative if we are going to empower ourselves and our children to be key contributors in the 21st century.

This issue of K-12 education matters a lot to me because I’ve seen over and over the major implications that educational foundations (both solid and shaky) have had on people throughout their lives.  A good education is the foundation for so much in our daily activities.  From job opportunities to our social interactions, what we’ve gathered from our education informs our decision making and helps us put into context almost every situation that we find ourselves in.  If we accept this notion as true, how could we as a country not invest in educational infrastructure to stay at the cutting edge in this space?  We owe it to ourselves and our families, the opportunity to build the best educational foundation possible.

Overall, I believe we’ve failed to engage our K-12 students.  The activities that draw them in, such as video games, mobile devices, and social networking are not embraced as learning tools and therefore are not embedded into their curricula.  The old command-and-control approach still dominates in schools today.  The teacher dictates the content while the students listen (or daydream) and then the homework is assigned to determine whether the knowledge transfer was successful.  I liken this to riding a bicycle across the country in an age where airplanes are prevalent.  So much more could be done if we changed our content and delivery methods.

I am dedicated to contributing to the ‘new wave’ of curriculum design and educational content delivery which I think will become standardized once the technologies that are available today make their way into K-12 classrooms.  I get excited every day about being able to deliver better solutions via new technologies to students and educators all over the world.  There are interesting methods being researched at the moment that counter the conventions of our established and traditional educational framework.  Infusing gaming and competition into curriculum, using collaboration and community to deliver term papers, encouraging students to blog and publish online content, and using social networks for planning events and calendaring; these are all unconventional methods that are being rolled out at this very moment.  My sister invited me just this week to join her Ning social network as part of a homework assignment for one of her sociology classes.  These technologies are slowly but surely finding their way into classrooms all over the world.

Creating best practices and guidelines around this new wave of Education 2.0 ideas will help to standardize it in K-12 schools.  The end result will be an educational system and an experience that caters more to the culture and preference of this generation of learners thereby giving the students a richer and more valuable educational foundation.  This will translate into more job opportunities, better social interactions, and a wider lens with which to view the world as these individuals go about making their everyday decisions.  The issue of education matters so much to me because I truly believe that I can be a part of the solution that will translate into a much better experience for thousands upon thousands of kids who are becoming more and more apathetic towards their schooling and overall educational experience.  If my hypotheses are correct and I am able to realize my dreams in this area, I will be able to win back the attention and interests of these boys and girls.

this concludes my 3 part series relating to the Facebook Beta-tester position . . . 

good morning, good afternoon, and good night

Facebook Essays (2/3)


So I just got married February 14th, 2010.  I thought that I knew what women wanted in a relationship.  As it turns out, I knew what she thought she wanted in a relationship.  Let me explain the difference between what a woman wants and what a woman thinks she wants in a relationship.  Follow me.

It is a very interesting world that we live in these days.  The society that we're a part of is full of outside stimuli that guide our every thought and decision.  It's a gift and a curse for a woman because as you may or may not know, women like well designed, extravagant, expensive, cool and shiny things (e.g. the engagement ring that I gave her made her go bananas) and they also sometimes find it hard to come back down to earth once they begin to engage in these whimsical worlds revolve around the things they like (e.g. fashion and jewelry and reality tv and if I go on with this list I might not finish this question).

So when looking for a stable relationship women sometimes forget that they are actually a part of two distinct worlds.  One where reality is far far away, where things just work together, where they look 'hot' every hour of every day, where seemingly every day is their birthday and they can do no wrong.  The other world is the one that men live in where logic is king, sports is priority, and if you can't afford it then you probably shouldn't buy it.  Attempting to reconcile these two worlds day by day is what helps a relationship between a Martian and a Venusian to survive and thrive (check out Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus if you didn't get that reference).

So put simply what I thought women wanted initially were the basics: food, shelter, faithfulness, and fun.  What I've found is that women say they want these things but there are more things too. They let on that they would be truly happy if they could just get these simple things.  But I submit that that is a falsehood.  As a man, there is so much more that you must provide and if you fail to realize this then maybe you should take a twenty second timeout and think about what you're doing in your current relationship (disclaimer: if you're married you can't take that timeout, you don't have any left . . . just keep playing).

The thesis and bottom line to all of this is that women want your time and attention.  If you can't afford to give them that then the food, shelter, faithfulness and fun won't make one bit of difference.  I was very proud to provide these things and very baffled to find out that they didn't mean as much to her as I thought they would.  Venusians need lots of hugs and kisses, walks in the park and extended visits to organic grocery stores, and lastly lots of engaging and affirming conversation with eye contact included.  If you can provide this then you will be able to level up in the game of relationship, and if you can't then you'll end up starting the level over with woman after woman after woman.  So let the games begin.  God speed and good luck to my fellow men out there.

just one more part to go . . . part 3 coming right up


Facebook Essays (1/3)

So Facebook is looking for beta-testers for their new products and they want you to do some essays as a part of their screening process.  Here are some questions I answered . . . it was a very introspective afternoon for me actually :)


In light of the BP oil leak incident, a lot of questions about corporate and government responsibility have come up.  People want to know who is responsible for this and how this could have happened if the private business (BP) was paying attention to what was going on.  The answers to these questions amuse and sadden me at the same time because depending on who your news source is you will find 360 degrees of opinions.

It seems that if you have enough money, you can pay your way to putting yourself in a positive light.  In this money hungry world that we live in, greed trumps integrity (from what I've observed) which makes it impossible to believe 100% of what anyone  has to say about anything.  Since the sentiment about the news, which people take as absolute truth, varies from channel to channel people end up becoming puppets of whatever their favorite flavor of news media is.

So why should I believe you if money can make you call the truth a lie and vice versa?  It is no different with (some) corporations.   The idea that everyone is a puppet makes the idea of believing in a system of corporate responsibility laughable.  Believing what the big company tells you might not be the best idea, unless you do your research first and find that your facts match theirs.  But wait who did you go through to get your facts?  That's right another big corporation.  So who can you trust?  Read on.

On the other side of the spectrum that is why we have faith and hope.  Without at least a little of it everybody would be down in the dumps all the time.  We must do our part with honor and respect and then have faith in our world that other people are doing the same to make this place we inhabit a better place for years and years to come.  Ask good questions, do your research, and hope for the best.  That is all.

stay tuned for part 2 . . .

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

TicTacToeTen X PTA Convention

It is going to be epic.  The Tic Tac Toe Ten Project is traveling to Memphis, Tennessee to tell the Parents & Teachers Association chapters of America why educational, collaborative and social games (e.g. Tic Tac Toe Ten) need to be integrated into every child's K-12 curriculum.  We will talk with heads of educational policy, teachers, parents, fundraisers, students and educational companies to see where opportunities lie for us and for them.

In addition to making contacts, we will be celebrating the release of TicTacToeTen for iPhone/iPad/Android!!!  Our mobile application development will serve to complement the work that we are doing with the educational board games.  We will also unveil our newly designed website, our new t-shirt design, and our forthcoming puzzle books that will be targeted to 3rd-8th grade kids.

So if you're in Memphis this weekend, come on by the Convention Center to booth #425 and take a picture with the team (and Blanco below).  We'll be talking education, tech, and games all weekend long and we'd be honored if you'd come on out and join us.  We'll see you there.

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entrepreneur, writer, counselor, gamer, musician, hustler, bookworm, lyricist, engineer, salesman, friend, athlete, dreamer . . .