Phones, IT tools not best solutions

THE Education Ministry has plans to allow handphones and IT gadgets in schools. Have they thoroughly considered the matter?

Why can’t a child be free of yet another technological device for at least six hours a day, especially if it is just a phone?

How many emergencies can one family have in a year that they would need to call their child at school?

We adults hate it when the phone rings in the middle of a meeting.

Can you imagine a teacher having to put up with phones ringing during lessons?

It is tough enough as it is to get students to pay full attention in class.

Another cause for concern is the Evidence (Amendment) (No 2) Act 2012, whereby Internet users can be held liable for any content posted through their registered networks or data processing device.

This may be far-fetched, but if a student posts a remark in a social network without realising its impact, who is responsible?

The child, the parent or the school administration?

After all, the IP address is the school.

Some may argue that we are living in a world of technology and should embrace it.

I say we do not need to arm our children with handphones and other IT gadgets.

We just need to equip schools with good IT labs.

After all, how many subjects in our school curriculum relate to IT?

Teachers can teach and check on students’ work online without our children carrying IT gadgets to school.

Students can get the website address from the teacher and do their homework at home online.

No problem. No need for tablets, laptops etc.

This can be done if the education policy requires students to study via the Internet.

However, there are many places in Malaysia where the Internet is not available.

Therefore, we need to have the infrastructure in place before relaxing the rules; otherwise it’s like buying the furniture before getting the house.

Some say laptops and tablets will solve the heavy school bag problem.

The heavy bag problem can be solved by having lockers in classrooms.

Parents can pay a nominal rental fee for the lockers.

Embracing technology is good. We need to remember that the language of technology is
English.

Embracing technology for Maths and Science is essential.

I have said it before and will say it again: We need to plan and should not just make changes or decisions due to pressure from a small group.

Otherwise, we will be making flip-flop decisions.

Let us first get our curriculum in place to cater for technology, and then decide how the technology can be used to enhance learning.

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My new mobile phone : Samsung Wonder

After using Sony Ericsson for quite some time, I finally decided to switch to Samsung as I found out that this company has introduced a variety of smart phones that become the envy of its rivals. After my Sony Experia Mini gave me a terrible headache with its ‘jumping’ icons and constant hang, I came to a conclusion that Sony does not produce good android phones. Yes, they did manufacture user-friendly java phones, but in the android market, they lost to Samsung and other companies.

So, last Thursday, after coming back from school, I did some window shopping in Tanah Merah town and finally found the lowest price of my dream phone, Samsung Galaxy W (Wonder) for RM888 at Courts Mammoth. This model features 1.4GHz Processor, 4GB Built-in Memory and 3.7″ TFT LCD Screen. It is powered with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and available in black and white. One good thing about this phone is that it has a dual camera. Hence, I can snap my self-portrait photos easily.

As for now, I am trying to familiarize myself with my new mobile phone and I find it user friendly. A few friends of mine in Facebook also own this model so I strongly feel that I have made a wise decision.

BERHATI2 SEMASA BELI HP…

Untuk mengetahui status keaslian buatan telefon bimbit anda

► sila taip *#06#
► akan keluar IMEI [International Mobile Equipment Identity]
► semak nombor IMEI telefon anda di kedudukan 7 dan 8
… Contoh : 358671017470473
… Kedudukan ke 7 dan 8 ialah 01

02 atau 20 : dari China = KUALITI RENDAH
08 atau 80: dari Germany = KUALITI SEDERHANA
01 atau 10: dari Finland = TERBAIK
00 atau 03 atau 04: dari kilang asal = SANGAT TERBAIK
13 : dari Azerbaijan = SANGAT KURANG KUALITI & MERBAHAYA

Never alone with mobile technology

Our love-hate relationship with smartphones

LIKE Datuk Seri Najib Razak, I, too, have a Twitter account. But unlike the prime minister who has 418,461 followers, I have only 100.

While he has posted more than 2,000 tweets, mine number 672. Somehow, I prefer to update my status on Facebook instead, where I find it much easier to handle the traffic.

You need not have our phone numbers to connect to us.

You can follow our tweets, which can also be connected to our Facebook accounts.

As William Powers writes in his book Hamlet’s BlackBerry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age, we live in a world where everyone is connected to everyone else all the time.

I believe that being connected in whatever form is important in this day and age although my friends have sarcastically reminded me that I have hardly done any calling or texting.

In fact, I was the last among my friends to embrace mobile technology back in the late 1980s.

As a mobile phone user, there will never be a time when you’re not alone. Even if your phone may be switched off at certain times, you are still considered connected somewhat!

Some friends like that very much. There are those who prefer to fly Emirates, which not only offers competitive fares compared with other airlines, but also allows passengers to use their hand phones once the plane reaches cruising altitude.

“Today, we’re always just a few taps away from millions of other people, from endless information and stimulation. Family and friends, work and play, news and ideas — sometimes it seems everything we care about has moved to the digital room. So we spend our days there, living in this new ultra-connected way,” writes Powers.

The connectedness makes us all busier. The emails, texts and voice mails; the pokes, prods, and tweets; the alerts and comments; the links, tags, and posts; the photos and videos; the blogs and vlogs; the searches, downloads, uploads, files and folders; feeds and filters; walls and widgets; tags and clouds; the usernames, pass codes and access keys; pop-ups and banners; ringtones and vibrations.

And, he adds, “By the time you read this, there will be completely new modes of connecting that are all the rage. Our tools are fertile, constantly multiplying”.

Powers says we need to revisit our relationship to screens and mobile technologies.

He talks about having a conversation on the phone with his mother and the “unexpected surge of emotion” after the phone call, as well as the brief solitude he found when he fell off his boat, “killing” his hand phone at the same time.

I recall an interview I had with former prime minister Tun (then Datuk Seri) Dr Mahathir Mohamad for the first issue of the now-defunct Nuance on Jan 5, 2003, where he talked about what technology had taken away from us.

He had referred to Tun (then Datin Seri) Dr Siti Hasmah’s penchant for SMS-ing using the mobile phone.

“My wife does that. She doesn’t talk to me any more. In the car, when we should be busy talking to each other, she would be busy SMS-ing the children. She doesn’t hear what I say or see the scenery outside the car,” he had said.

But here’s the flip-side of it all.

Screens and mobile technologies give me that sense of connectedness to people: my own brother (we don’t talk all that often but he prompts me on Facebook to help him build his ‘city’, we tag each other’s photos and other stuff and SMS if we need something from each other), cousins whom I meet once a year during Raya, nieces and nephews who are all over the country and friends, from school and those I know through work here and abroad.

My close friends know I’m an SMS, BBM or WhatsApp away from them, any time of the day.

I agree somewhat with Powers that there is no depth in the relationship via the screens and mobile technologies compared with a face-to-face interaction.

You still need that physical contact (over coffee or tea, lunch or dinner), but when people are too busy to meet up, you have no other alternative but to depend on the screens and mobile technologies.

I’ve held long conversations with friends via Facebook and Google chats, SMSes and BBMs and given them virtual hugs and blew them those virtual kisses.

At the end of the day, it’s all about how we manage ourselves.

Also, there is this little red indicator on the hand phones and gadgets, some of which come with a symbol of a vertical line in a circle. It’s called the On/Off power switch.

It shuts down hand phones and gadgets and puts computers on sleep or hibernation mode.

You have the option of using it.

Brinno Digital Peep Hole Viewer

The Brinno Digital Peep Hole Viewer is designed to replace the traditional peep hole on your front door, so you can see who is calling before you let them in.

It features an LCD display, and a tiny camera that is placed where a standard peep hole goes on the other side of your door.

The Brinno Digital Peep Hole Viewer features a button on the front that to press to reveal who is at the door, and according to the manufacturer two AA batteries will give you 1,700 peeps, and each one last for 10 seconds, the unit then switches itself off to save battery power.

The Brinno Digital Peep Hole Viewer will retail for about $138, it looks like it is only available in Australia at the moment, there is no word on when we might see it in the US and Europe.

My new mobile phone: Nokia E52

Frankly speaking, I hate changing mobile phone too often as my current one was merely bought in December 2009. However, this Sony Ericsson G900 gave me a lot of problems as its touch screen was faulty so I had no other choice other than buying a new mobile phone as repairing it would mean I had to fork out RM180 from my pocket!
So, on Friday night, 26 February 2010, I asked my nephew to accompany me to KB Mall together with my two elder daughters. We left for KB at 8 pm and the trip took about one hour as the road was fairly congested due to night shopping and dining out. At first, I went to First Touch Telecommunication to ask the shopkeeper if he could repair my phone. Much to my dismay, the warranty card did not cover the touch screen. I was mad at the shop assistant but I finally gave up as I did not want another chaos take place in the shopping mall.
Then, I went to another phone kiosk to look for a new mobile phone. This time I would not buy a SE unit anymore but instead I planned to get a Nokia model. Enough is enough! I spotted a thin Nokia phone and asked the salesgirl to take it out so I could have a look. It was really love at first sight! My eyes were glued to Nokia E52 and I asked the salesgirl about its price. It’s RM814 including a memory card. To get a GPS software named Garmin installed in my new hand phone, I had to add additional RM50. On top of that, this model also has other special features such as wifi, e-mail application, 3.5G and camera. Well, money can be earned, right? But how about satisfaction? So I grabbed the phone and paid by cash.
On the way back to Machang, I stopped by McDonald outlet in Wakaf Che Yeh. It’s my first being there only to be greeted by my three former students! Yes, a popular teacher like me has ex students wherever I go. After having our supper, we went home and arrived at 11.45 pm. What a long journey! But I was so glad that I only dozed off at 2 am.

Now You Can Send Free SMS Worldwide!

Think of this situation. You want to text your friend, but it seems that your mobile phone credit is running low and you don’t have any money to buy a top up card. To make it even worse, it is in the middle of the night and of course you don’t want to go out at that time just to buy a prepaid card at the 7-11 store. So what are you supposed to do?
If this situation occurs, simply go to this website, http://for-ever.us to send abundant text messages (SMSes) to your loved ones. This service is free and you can as many texts as you like. So enjoy yourselves now! This website is the largest free sms service in the States, which allows sms to be sent to any cell phone carrier worldwide via the web at no cost.