Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Photo Tour of BHS

B Street



Map of the Floors

Library Mural 1

Library Mural 1


AP Comp room and Web 2.0

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Apple's iPad 2

During Apple's keynote in San Fransico on Wensday, Steve Jobs anounced the iPad 2. The new iPad is 15% lighter and 33% thinner than the orignial comming in at 8.8mm as opposed to the original 13.3mm. It has two cameras, VGA front facing camera and a rear facing one capable of capturing 720p HD video. This now allows for FaceTime with anyother FaceTime enabled Apple device.

 Along with the external improvents the iPad 2 has a 1GHz dual core Apple A5 proccesor but will not consume any more power than the A4. Leaving it's battery time at 10 hours. With the improved proccesor, it is double the speed of the iPad 1 and boasts 9 times faster grapics. It outouts full 1080i HDMI video with the purchase of an AV adapter.

The iPad 2 goes on sale March 11th in the US wth wifi 16GB iPad 2 starting at $499 and 3G starting at $629 avalible for both AT&T and Verizon. The new Smart Cover helps protect and clean the screen. It also wakes the iPad when opened and puts it to sleep when its closed.

New iPad apps include iMovie and GarageBand for video and music editing each avalible on the iPad 2 launch date for $4.99 each. Of course there is still no Flash support.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Video Games in Modern Culture & D.I.C.E. 2011

This past week was the 10th Design Innovate Communicate Entertain summit held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Each year the worlds best developers of video games and interactive entertainment meet at D.I.C.E. to discuss their trade. They don't go to pitch their newest game or advertise, they go to talk about the gaming industry, learn about the newest technologies, and discuss the future of gaming and it's applications in other aspects of life. The keynote speech was replaced by a panel of industry leaders Mike Morhaime, Bruce Shelley, Mark Cerny, Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk all of whom have joined The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) Hall of fame. The winner of the this years Indie Game Challenge, a annual competition of the best independent game developer, was developer PlayDead, who received $100,000 in pize money, for their award winning puzzle platformer, LIMBO. Jane Mcgonigal, the writer of Reality is Broken, also gave a speech as to how gaming benefits gamers in the real world, providing boosts in confidence, improved problem solving skills, and being able to work better in a team. The leaps in technological advancements and gamings' increasing influence in the real world were also topics of discussion.

Are video games an art form? This is an often asked question. Many who grew up without video games dismiss them as trivial wastes of time. But the new Smithsonian Art of Video Games exhibition seems to dissagree. Even the law has sometimes come into conflict with video games as a form of free speech. In a recent case that has reached the Supreme Court, the state of California has made the sale of violent video games to minors illegal, fining stores who sell to minors as much as $1,000 per offense. Many have claimed this to be an unjust and unnecessary law as video games are categorized by, what many have claimed to be the most effective rating system, the ESRB. The Entertainment Software Ratings Board is responsible for the ratings of video games ranging from everyone to mature. Unlike explicit music and R rated movies, mature games are kept out of the hands of minors much more efficiently than any other form of media. While most movie theaters do not allow minors to view R rated films, it is not illegal and the movie theaters will not be fined. So how are video games any different? In a recent story by Fox News they claim that video games contribute to a growing rate of violent crimes, when in fact, the rate of crime has been decreasing over the past twenty years. That's not to say video games are responsible for either increase or decrease in crime. When confronted with the idea of video games as art, many people claim to not see the art in military shooters and the infamous Grand Theft Auto. First of all, not all games are good or inspirational just like not all movies are master pieces of cinema. Where is the art in films like "the Fast and the Furious"? Secondly, have any of those people ever played Grand Theft Auto? People think it just glorifies gang violence and drugs, when in fact it is about the sad story of an eastern European immigrant who is dragged into the world of crime to keep his family afloat and to achieve the "American Dream."

If asked "are video games art?" I not only say yes, I think they are sometimes the greatest art form. What other medium allows those who enjoy it to see the world as someone else? Or choose your own path through an interesting world of unlimited possibilities? Who could you identify more with, a character in a novel or film whose adventures you passively watch or a character who has helped you through countless obstacles and saved your "life" more times than you can count? Have you ever wanted to solve a murder, be a boxer, save the world from aliens, or simply live a life that isn't out of your control? Well all of this and more are possible through the interactive art form that is the world of video games.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Using Dropbox in Schools

Dropbox is an online application that allows users to save documents, upload them to the dropbox website, and download them to any computer with dropbox all for free. The article Dropbox Tips for Teachers explains in greater detail what it is and how to use it. I use dropbox everyday in my AP Computer Science class. It eliminates the need to keep a flash drive or emailing documents and projects to your self. I can also access it on any computer or mobile device. The best part is that documents are uploaded and downloaded automatically, so when I leave school, there are no extra steps to uploading documents. And when I turn on my PC at home all of my files are downloaded automatically. Dropbox is completly free and can be put on as many computers as you want which is great for group collaborations. Make a new dropbox account and give each member of the group the login information. So as the members edit the project the others see what changes were made.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

  1. What are your thoughts on this?
  2. What do you agree or disagree with?
  3.  What surprised you?

  1. I think this type of thinking is exactly what modern education should be based on. To find students strong points and build on them.
  2. I agree that the categorization of students is random and serves no purpose to aid their education.
  3. The only thing that suprises me is that this idea of education hasn't already been implemented in the education system today.