Month of March : “In Print”

Month of March

Week 1

Cover Page :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Cover Story :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Week 2

Cover Page :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Cover Story :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Week 3

Cover Page :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Cover Story :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Week 4

Cover Page :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Cover Story :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Overwhelming joy of seeing my name IN PRINT.

Thank you MONTH OF MARCH.

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How smart is our cell phone habit? : my article in GULF TIMES

When decades ago, Nokia was introduced with its catchy tag line “connecting people”, who knew mobile phones would eventually become more than just a necessity? For years after the first mobile phone was introduced, it remained a luxury item, out of reach to most middle-class users. With the advancement in technology, the number of players in the market increased and mobile phones became more affordable, and therefore ubiquitous.

The first phones had just the bare minimum function of dialing or receiving a call. Later, there was a phenomenal growth of SMS or Short Message Service. With these two functions, the requirement of a “mobile telephone” was met. And today, ‘smartphones’ feature many different useful functions like alarm, calendar, portable camera, Internet connectivity, media players, video recorders, and even GPS units.

Lately, the mobile phone industry took a step forward to introduce smartphones. And like every new product in the market, it remained exclusive for the richer class of customer. In the last few years, however, even this trend has completely changed.

More than two dozen companies have now introduced affordable smartphones in the market. So how has this trend affected the recent generation of users?

Read more here :

http://www.gulf-times.com/technology/233/details/347049/how-smart-is-our-cell-phone-habit?

Please “like” , “share” and give your feedback on the article on the link above.. I would appreciate it 🙂

smartphones

Also an extensive list I prepared for this article :

Applications to check out

General (an app for everyone)

Wikiweb — a Wikipedia app that serves up the usual content crowd-sourced from willing bodies around the world and also visualises the connections between articles.

* * *

For young kids (age 5-10)

Eye Paint Animals — discovery tools aimed at energising kids to play, create, invent, explore and learn in enjoyable ways without the limitations of set parameters.

Native Numbers — provides a deeper understanding of number concepts and imperative math vocabulary; builds a strong foundation.

Red in Bed — teaches kids about the colours of the rainbow; each colour gets its own musical note, too.

Bee’s ABCs — singing along to the alphabet song, spelling simple words and learning about pronunciation.

I See Ewe — explore more than 50 shapes, colors, objects and animals; adjustable levels of difficulty, verbal prompts and four different languages included.

Preschool Jobs — learn and explore various professions such as a doctor, astronaut, rock star, police officer and a construction worker, see their work environments and examine the tools that they use each day.

* * *

For middle and high school students (age 11-16)

Tense Builder — teaching the tenses; includes the English words that do not follow the rule, otherwise known as irregular verbs.

MyHomeworkApp — keeps track of homework, projects, tests, and other assignments; set reminders for when things are due, set level of priority and keep track of schedule of classes.

TED Talks — customised quizzes, discussion guides, and other supporting materials to facilitate making a great lesson plan.

Ankidroid — perfect for exam cramming; helps students memorise anything through information flashcards which they can create themselves. Once loaded they can quiz themselves anywhere, anytime.

Wolfram Alpha — uses a vast database and various algorithms to answer to any questions of wide range like physics, chemistry, astronomy, maths, etc.

Khan Academy — over 2,500 free videos on everything from basic maths to venture capitalism

Languages — a fast offline translation dictionary app

* * *

For students appearing for tests (age 13+)

BenchPrep — choose your course (high school, higher education, graduate and professional), choose your device, and study independently or with friends.

SAT Vocab Cards — browse and quiz on 1,000 high-frequency SAT words for free, with 1,000 more available for purchase.

SATLadder — a competition-based question answering structure including over 2,000 SAT questions.

MCAT — features over 2,000 flashcards so you can study on the go.

GRE Word Boost — with 500 essential GRE words in its database, study and quiz anytime.

* * *

For teachers

ClassDojo — teachers can create a free account, add their students’ names and customise the behaviours they want to encourage. During class, positive behaviour is reinforced by dishing out feedback points to students; these feedback points automatically compiles the data into reports, letting teachers monitor progress, trends and share information with parents.

* * *

For parents

Famigo Sandbox — a brilliant and free way of making your Android device safe for your kids. It includes a free app of its own for kids to play as well as listing certified safe apps for parents to browse and choose from. There are no ads or in-app purchases and you get shown games and activities that are platform and child specific.

App Timer Mini (ATM) — simple tool to track user’s time on selected apps; the app timer can be set for all the apps, based on how much time should be spent on each which will be shown on the screen while you are using an app.

* * *

Other fun apps

Auryn Ink — digital watercolour-painting app; feels like real watercolour painting, right down to choosing between wet or dry canvases, and watching the paint dry on the page.

Tapestry — offers short stories from various authors, displayed full-screen rather than in e-book style layout; readers are encouraged to give feedback to the authors too.

Celeste — combines 3D graphics of the heavenly bodies with fun facts about astronomy; aim the device’s camera at the sky and see exactly where each object is located, day or night.

Famous Artists and Their Paintings — learn about more than 100 famous works of art from Michelangelo, Rembrandt, da Vinci and more and test your knowledge with a time-trial quiz.

Britannica Kids — encyclopaedias come alive on a range of topics; info presented alongside videos, games and quizzes.

Robots for iPad — learn about electronics and robotics through videos and interactive examples of more than 100 real life robots like Sony’s Aibo dog.

How it Works: Machines by Geek Kids — get an introduction to engineering and learn how various machines work by taking them apart and reassembling them.

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Reaching out through blogs : My article in the leading newspaper of Middle-East

Since I started working as a part-time free-lance writer for Gulf Times, life seems to have taken an exciting new turn..

After the article for working women in Qatar, I have now written about bloggers in Qatar. In this country, blogging is still not considered as a “cool” or beneficial way of social interaction and with my article I try to clear those myths and misconceptions.

Read it here –

http://www.gulf-times.com/technology/233/details/344940/reaching-out-through-blogs

Although Gulf Times did not include photos of all the amazing bloggers I got in touch with, I will attach their photos here as a token of thanks for their contribution.

Alex Klim Andre Snoxall Colleen Morgan Constance Citalan (2) Constance Citalan Dan Adams Gustav Hooriya Hussain Irena Nailya Bentley SteffAJERachelRaquel Citalan Photo by Alex Klim 1 Photo by Alex Klim 2 Photo by Alex Klim photo by Andre Snoxall 1 photo by Andre Snoxall 2 photo by Colleen Morgan 1 photo by Colleen Morgan 2 photo by Colleen Morgan photo by Constance Citalan photo by Dan Adams photo by Irena photo by Nailya Bentley Photo by Rachel - Lamps The Souq

# all photos belong to the rightful owners

Life b4 social networking

I worry.

At times, I worry a lot.

Most of the times, there is no solid reason to my worries.

Just the other day I was worrying, my kids will never know how life was without social networking!

So here is this post, for my future teenage son and daughter, how life used to be when I was a teenager.

  • We had real friends, and we used to “ hang out” by cycling or playing in garden or gathering at someone’s place for a game of carom/ludo/snakes and ladder.
  • Twitter was just the sound of birds!
  • To share photographs of someone’s marriage or function or birthday, we used to click the photo with a camera -> get them printed -> arrange them in photo albums -> show to others when there happens another family gathering! Not as simple as click -> tag -> share.
  • One was popular after an achievement in athletics or academics. Not getting nominated for an online contest started by a bunch of people. Or worse: best dressed, best smile, best hair competitions for people to feel better about themselves!
  • Sending a mail to someone was a BIG deal. School curriculum taught us how to draft an e-mail and for many years we stuck to that code.
  • One e-mail id was enough for one family. Later on (after a few more years) every application/forum/form required an alternate email id.
  • Blogging did not exist till late 1990s and till 2009 it was limited to only a small group of people.
  • Dating was generally face-to-face, not online.
  • Bosses were treated as bosses and Subordinates were treated as subordinates  They met socially only on special occasions and family gatherings, not every day over internet after work hours!
  • “Time pass” included reading newspapers (not e-newspapers), listening to radio, reading novels (not e-books), gardening etc. Ladies occasionally got together for buying vegetables or sharing recipes while their kids played. Men talked about politics or soccer games by actually physically sitting with other men.
  • Acronyms and abbreviations were logical – nt abt nythin v cn mak wid a propr wrd.
  • Long distance was tough! Colorful postcards, letters in envelopes and stamps of different countries/states were the trend.

There was no FB, no Twitter, no Gmail-YahooMail-Hotmail-RediffMail, No WordPress, No Instagram, No Tumblr, No Skype.

Basically, things were more REAL !!!