Scratch is an interactive programming tool that allows you to make program different animations and make them do what you want them to do. As an adult, for myself, I do not see myself using this program much if at all, but for the younger crowd, elementary and middle school age, I can see this being something fun to do while learning how to use programing tools.  With technology being to prevalent, it is important for the youth to be engaged in these types of tools and programs, which can only help them develop their technical minds for later projects.

The Stability of Information Technology and Digital Records

I believe it’s just as important to save and keep digital records of current historical events such as 9/11 and the Virginia Tech tragedies in recent American History.  Just in my lifetime I have witnessed an array of natural disasters and 9/11, with my own stories to tell about the events. Years from now people will look up these events to write papers and research on, and being able to see images from the eyes of regular people who witnessed the events is priceless. First hand source accounts of what happened, from many different sources, can paint the picture of what really happened in such events, not just what was covered by the media and government sources. I thought the Hurricane Katrina and Rita site was very powerful in gathering up and reading actual accounts of what happened to the people who were there.  Along with pictures, maps, and personal accounts, site like this will only serve as tools in persevering the recent past and retrieving it in a timely manner.

Data Mining and Text Mining

This weeks readings included sites which contained information on which words were used in different time periods.   Sites such as the Time Magazine Corpus compare which words used from 1923 to the present and its frequency.  I think it’s cool that there are agencies and corporation gathering data like this, because with tools like this, we are able to see how our language has developed and changed.  Historians and Sociologists can use these tools to track patterns and popular language trends.

The Visual Communication of Information

In Edward Tufte’s article “PowerPoint Is Evil”, he makes several points about Microsoft PowerPoint slides shows, exclaiming that “… PowerPoint presentations elevates formats over content, betraying an attitude of commercialism that turns everything into a sales pitch.”  He believes that because there is a limited space where words and charts can be displayed, the information is basically ‘dumbed’ down and overly simplified in order to grab the attention of its audience.  I can personally relate to the skepticism of using PowerPoint slides in certain arenas, such as church. I remember visiting a church in the early 2000’s that were using PowerPoint slides during the sermon.  Coming from a traditional Roman Catholic background, I found this to be very impersonal and at first had a hard time taking this particular institution religiously serious. I remember feeling like I was in a seminar vice Sunday congregation.  Since then I have come accustom to some churches using PowerPoint slides, understanding that times have changed and this is a way to get the key points out to the people, but it still doesn’t feel “right.”