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  • Sander 10:31 on April 4, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: longcat,   

    U mad? 

    My problem is that my client needs a way to sell her goods (in this case, soap) in a manner other than dealing face to face.

  • Erik-Silver Toomere 08:02 on March 27, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: , longcat   

    Estonia’s E-election of twenty-Eleven 

    Estonia is probably, politically and technologically speaking, most well-known for our e-government. All the services that the government offers are readily available online and literally everywhere thanks to our vast WiFi and 3G range. Every citizen has acquired an ID-card which functions, like the name implies, as identification in day-to-day life and online.

    High-mark of this e-liberty is the fact that all citizens of over 18 in age can use their ID-cards to vote online in the e-elections, this however is not yet fully polished system and is prone to have a couple of problems.

    The first problem is the technology behind the e-elections.
    To vote one first had to go to an unsecured website, download a program and only then they could begin with the voting.
    The fact that the program had to be downloaded from an unsecure website could cause some highly malicious problems, for example somebody could attach a totally different program that is to be downloaded thus either giving way to manipulation in the voting system or stealing of private information.
    Secondly, the server seemed to be constantly down. It was near impossible to vote during the day since the program could not connect to the server, from what I have heard it had something to do with third-party services lacking the ability to handle hundreds and hundreds of requests.
    The third problem ties in with the area of impact.
    The results. The results were very undetailed to, at first glimpse, keep things simple and quick. But upon further investigation it turned out that it is nearly impossible to find detailed results or the amount of votes a candidate received. I for example went through about 5 different graphs and 3 webpages and I still could not find what I was looking for.

    Coming back to the topic of manipulation. Corruption seems to be inherent in politics; it has been so ever since the days of ancient Greek. However with the amount of technology used in e-election and the amount of people taking part of the e-elections the manipulations can get ugly real fast.
    One fear was that the e-election system would give the votes to some other candidate and the danger was there, however luckily that did not happen.
    Politicians still seem keen on purchasing votes in the old-school election stations and this brings me to my second point. E-elections could remove these purchases of votes forever.
    However only setting up e-elections will bring us to our third aspect of the triangle: senior citizens.

    With all the attached technology a huge problem will become the senior citizens who have voted by the means of pen and paper all their lives. They can not adjust to the new technology fast enough and thus a large proportion of votes will be left unheard.
    However this problem is only temporary seeing as the technology is slowly overtaking old ways and the new wave of senior citizens are already able around technology.

    In conclusion I truly believe in the e-system and I truly hope that the lasts chinks in armour will be ironed out and we all can enjoy the comfortable future of politics.

    • alex 10:54 on March 29, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The introduction was good because you pointed out Estonias level of technology and that we are a e-country. You also pointed out that everybody has an ID-card but that is not true. This is generalisation which should be avoided.
      Technology is explained quite well what were the problems. I think that the sentence where you said the results were very undetailed is a bit hazy in my opinion. You did say that it is impossible to find the number of votes a candidate got but maybe you should have suggested an improvement or what you expected from it. That would have made things more clearer and explained your expectations to since you were talking about personal experience.
      First of all the Greek comment is vague. I don’t study history but why did corruption start at Greek? This is not a huge problem though. The last sentence is written so that it leaves the writers waiting for you to explain it. And senior citizens are not an aspect of the ITGS triangle. You should have written some sentences more about the older generation because it may not be coherent for every reader.
      In the third part you started to talk about senior citizens now. In that case you could have left the last sentence out of the second paragraph. In all the other paragraphs you cover many issues or aspects but here you only talk about one and not very informatively. You should have written more here because this seems to be the weakest pragraph.
      The conclusion is short and straight to the point expressing your opinion which is good. I think this is suitable for the essay.

    • Sander 10:58 on March 29, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      A very fluent piece of writing, good job!
      Structure-wise, you could make it more of an essay. You could really do without the bolded paragraph titles. You could also write a longer conclusion. Otherwise, you have very good ideas, but you should spend more time explaining your points. Some of your points are explained in a somewhat shallow manner. This is a shame because the points themselves are interesting.In the case of the second body paragraph, use the PEE structure, instead of what seems to be the EEP. The language you used was very fluent, and semi formal as perscribed, good job.

  • Erik-Silver Toomere 10:50 on February 15, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: , longcat   

    Khan Academy 

    Why it’s going to be awesome:
    1. Video education means that students can learn at their own pace, teachers are there only to help students along if/when they get stuck
    2. It only costs as much as you pay for the Internet, so it is free
    3. Hopefully Khan University will be the harbinger of the future

    My personal opinion why it’s awesome:
    In my opinion Khan Academy will definitely be the stepping stone towards future in education.
    When I was a little boy one of my favourite movies was Starship Troopers, there I saw the amazing future where in the school the students did not have to lug around big bags filled with textbooks and workbooks, every classroom simply had a device similar to the iPad where all the school material resided in. Now, years later when everybody has an iPad or laptop, I can say with certainty that it is a future that we will soon have with the Khan Academy!
    They currently have around 2000 videos on maths and of course the interactive tasks you can do. And personally I like this very much because I suck at math. I will obviously begin using Khan Academy in my math studies and see how it goes. I can not give my full evaluation but what I have seen thusfar is amazing.
    So yeah… I think it is very awesome!

    Just awesome:
    The ITGS triangle and Khan Academy:
    IT systems: analyse the hardware and software necessary to implement Khan Academy as a learning tool in an average Estonian school
    In this matter there are three ways, there are the two cheap-ish ways and the big spender way. I am going to analyze all of them in order.
    First cheap-ish way, for this we have to turn our eyes South-West to Argentina where there is a government-led programme titled simply “Laptop per child”. The idea is very simple: cheap laptops with very basic operating systems are given to children for free for them to do their school-related things.
    I suspect that Ordi could accomplish this in Estonia if they really wanted to.
    The total cost would probably be around 20-60 Euros per laptop, multiplied by all the first graders in Estonia in 2011, which should be 13 992 and arrive at a total sum that is between 279 840 and 839 520 Euros. Cheap-ish.

    Second cheap-ish way is to put video projectors in every classroom, project Khan Academy and let students copy-paste things old school pen and paper way.
    If we take the 13 992 students again and divide by 30 students per classroom we will need to put projectors into 466 classrooms, cheap projectors cost around 100 Euros thus the total sum would be 46 600 Euros minus the cost of pens and papers. Rather cheap really.

    And then the big-spender way, give every child a personal computer or a tablet or furnish classrooms with Windows Surface-type of tables, apply some Firefox and Facebook or Google and Khan Academy will arrive at everyone’s fingertips. Literally. The total cost of this would be astronomical but it sure would look cool and like something from a science fiction movie.

    Area of impact: education: Evaluate the possibilities of Khan Academy changing something permanently in education
    This all depends on whether Khan Academy becomes ‘mainstream’ or not. By that I mean whether schools begin using Khan Academy or not. If yes then the education system will be changed permanently for years to come.
    Students can choose their own pace for studying and they can repeat things until they understand all of it thoroughly. Instead of just sitting, listening and noting down what the teacher says students can actually now take control and study themself for themselves.
    School as a concept will change as well. Schools will just become places where students gather if they really want to have contact with eachother for study groups or just group work and teachers will be there to give examples or assistance ‘old school’.

    Of course there are minus sides as well. What motivates the students to carry on studying if they can control when and how they study? If a student decides that he does not want to carry on studying then there is nothing to stop him from skipping ‘school’ and school work.

    For all of this to work Khan Academy has to first cover everything there is to cover in a curriculum and then find a way to make it favorable enough for the schools to adopt it.

    Social and ethical concerns: Identify and evaluate at least two social/ethical concerns related to implementing Khan Academy in Estonian schools
    I believe the ethical side is the language. Khan Academy is versatile enough to be implemented since Day 1 of school therefore what stops an Estonian youngster from choosing English to remain his or her primary language? What stops the Estonian language from dying out? On one hand it would be beneficial for Estonia to become a fluent English-speaking country, on the other hand what is the point of having a cultural country without the main cultural element: the language. It is great to think of an unified Europe speaking one country but ethically it is impossible to mix such diverse cultures.
    Though seeing as we already abolished one cultural element we had, the Estonian kroon, then abolishing the language sounds impossible unless it happens willingly and unknowingly, a very Orwellian topic indeed.

    The social side is the teachers. After setting up the Khan study system what stops the teachers from leaving? A lot of the teachers teach because they enjoy the contact with students. If all they do is stare at changing numbers on computer screens they will eventually get bored and move on to other things or only carry on doing the teaching thing as a part time job which might mean they check Khan only like once a week thus the point of Khan Academy being semi-real time disappears.

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