Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Special Blog Post #1

Searching WolframAlpha

When I searched WolframAplha to “Compare the Population of India, China, and the United States” I found that India and China have even more of a lead on the U.S. than I had previously thought. China has the largest population with 1.35 billion people. India isn’t far behind China with 1.21 billion people. The United States only has 309 million people. We don’t even have half a billion people, and China almost has one and a half billion! That’s incredible. WolframAlpha also showed the life expectancy of each country. I found it really interesting. The people of India are only expected to live to be 69.9, and China’s life expectancy is 73.5. What I found the most interesting is that although the U.S. has the smallest population, the life expectancy is the highest with 78.1. I’m not sure what this says about these countries, I just found it cool.

I continued to use India, China and the United States for my second and third comparative searches. For my second search, I compared the number of students in each of these countries. WolframAlpha gave way more information than I ever expected. I not only found the number of students total in each country, I also found the number of students specifically in elementary school and high school and college. I was also told the number of teachers for elementary and high schools and also the student-to-teacher ratio. In total, India has the most students with 251.3 million people in school. China follows with 233.3 million people. Again, the U.S. is last with 67.62 million. But again, we must consider the population. By doing some math, I found that this means, 20.8% of India’s population is considered a student; 17.3% of China’s population is considered a student; and 21.9% of the U.S. population is considered a student. So it may appear that we have the least amount of students, but the U.S. has the highest percent of the population in school right now. I think that’s pretty cool!

For my third comparative search, I compared the number of internet users in India, China and the United States. Again WolframAlpha blew me away with information. In one second I knew how many people in 3 countries across the globe were paying for internet. I also was able to know the number of people in each country which were using all different types of technology. For example, cell phone plans, television/cable users, even newspaper subscriptions. China has the highest number of internet users – 516.1 million (that’s more than the entire population of the United States!) 243.8 million people use the internet in the United States. Only 125 million people use the internet in India. Another thing I thought was cool about WolframAlpha was that it also gives you graphs and charts so that visual people can understand it easier and more information can be shared. For example, I learned that although China has the most internet users, this huge spike only occurred in the last four years.

I feel that WolframAlpha could be used greatly in a classroom. This site has information on anything you could possibly imagine! Which means it is great for personal use and learning, and also for students. I was already somewhat familiar with WolframAlpha, because this is the site used by Apple’s Siri. There have been many questions my friends and I have asked Siri, and a WolframAlpha search pops up as her response. This site is great for students of all ages. It is very easy to use and holds a ton of information. Kids could easily and quickly use this site to find information for themselves or for school projects.

Social Media Changing the World Forever… and FAST
millions upon millions of social media is being used daily. this shows exactly how much is being used in one minute.

Social Media Count is a website which shows in real time the number of all sorts of social, mobile, gaming, and heritage things happening around the world. Above, I’ve included a screenshot of how many things happened in one minute on all different social websites. Going to the site and watching how fast the numbers change kind of made me dizzy! But it’s interesting to see. In ONE MINUTE, there were 2,237,038 likes and comments made on Facebook!!! I can’t even wrap my mind around that. Social media is taking over the world! And it’s not something we can stop. Instead, we have to go along with it and find ways to include these things in our classroom in an educational way. Honestly, this stresses me out a little bit to think about.

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