Sunday, September 28, 2014

What's Apple Going To Do About BendGate?

People from all over the country went to get their new, thinner than ever, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus' this past week . I did not join in on the craze for the newest iPhone however, I know many people that did. When these people finished using their phones they put them in their back pocket. I would have done the same thing but after hearing that iPhones are now bending because people are sitting on them I would be scared to even have my phone in my front pocket. So what is Apple going to do about this defect that their costumers are experiencing?
Bent iPhone 6 Plus

If your phone is bending Apple is willing to replace it as long as it passes a "visual inspection." Apple is also saying that they do not believe that this can happen to the phone when it is used "regularly." I guess they don't believe that costumers putting their phones in their back pockets and sitting down is not normal. Well I would have to disagree with this. I find is very frustrating that Apple would say something like this trying to blame the consumer for a something that is the manufacturers fault.  I always put my iPhone 5s in my back pocket and it is flat. Why was it so necessary for them to make the phone so thin?

Apple says that they are looking into the problem with "insane amount of detail." I wonder what types of changes they will make after they look into it. They can't just tell their costumers not to sit on their phone; they need to come up with a solution that makes the phone stronger. Hopefully apple can come up with a solution quick because the more they wait the more iPhones they will have to replace.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Golden Arches Are Not So Golden

The world's largest restaurant company known for its "golden arches" isn't golden right now. For three consecutive months McDonalds has posted declines in global sales. It's believed that the problems McDonald's has had are due to the changing tastes of American consumers. McDonald's hasn't offered products with fresher ingredients and adventurous flavors. So what does this mean for the Golden Arches? CEO Don Thompson says "We're moving forward thoughtfully and with a sense of urgency." I have a feeling that McDonalds will be able to turn things around. They have come up with a three step plan to make things better. 

The first step is to improve operational execution. McDonald's is working on reducing wait times. One way they are trying to make this happen is by speeding up the payment process with digital options. McDonald's has announced that it will be working with Apple Pay to help make the process faster. They have also made things in the kitchen more accessible so that the kitchen moves quicker. I believe that Apple Pay will be very beneficial for McDonald's now that we have come into a time period where almost everyone is walking around with an iPhone in their back pocket. 

The second step is to make the food stand out. McDonald's is focusing on advertising what they know has worked. McDonald's is pushing new and limited-time products which they believe will help them grow."We're placing great emphasis on the balance between our core classics and the number of new products that are being introduced," Thompson said in July. "And this is to ensure that they can be delivered at the speed and convenience that customers expect from McDonald's." They are also trying to come up with healthier alternatives for McDonald's costumers. 

The third and final step is to boost branding efforts. Along with Apple Pay, McDonald's is testing things like customized burgers and loyalty programs in different parts of the world. The company is working to understand what the consumers want the most. Their goal is to bring back the McDonald's brand. What do you think? Will McDonald's be golden anytime soon?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

9/11 Tribute Shirt Banned From School

September 11th is a day that everyone in the US remembers those who lost their lives 13 years ago. That is exactly what a sixth-grader from Orangevale, California was trying to do. Every year her entire family wears the same 9/11 memorial shirt, but this year she couldn't because school officials said it violated their dress code. The school has a uniform that the children must wear and they felt that making one exception like this would make it hard to draw the line in the future.

T-Shirt The Family Wears Every Year
I do not agree with the schools reasoning as to why this young girl wasn't allowed to wear the t-shirt. I understand that the school has a strict dress code that they feel they must enforce, but on a day like 9/11 I believe that they could have made an exception. 9/11 has a significant meaning to this girl's family. Her stepfather has been a part of the military for 25 years so this day is very important for their family. School officials should have realized the significance when the stepfather called to see if his stepdaughter could wear the shirt. I don't think he would have made the call if it didn't mean a lot to him and his family.

If the school officials didn't want it to seem like they were making an exception for this girls family then they should have allowed all kids that day to wear clothing that represented America and/or 9/11. I don't think that the school did all that they could to allow this girl to wear the shirt. What do you think? Was the school right in their reasoning?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Pretesting Process

What if as you were leaving for school one morning your mom or dad said to you "Hope you fail your test today!" Something about that just doesn't sound right. Well it actually does. Studies are proving that if you take a pretest before each unit and fail that test you will be more successful on the final exam. You will now be able to use the pretest as a base for the entire unit. It can prepare you for what's about to come. You learn to understand the pretest. 
At U.C.L.A. psychologist Elizabeth Ligon Bjork and Nicholas Soderstrom tested this theory in a live classroom. They gave a pretest to each of their students prior to teaching a lesson. Most students failed the pretest as expected. The students received the correct answers for that test in a reasonable amount of time after they've taken them. This is because studies show that the most improvement is when students aren't waiting too long to be given the right answers. Bjork and Soderstrom created the final exam by combining it with questions that were related to the questions on the pretests and questions that were not. The results: students scored 10 percent higher on questions that they were familiar with than on questions they weren't. 

Growing up I was taught that failing a test is something that you don't want to happen to you. I was taught to strive for an A that is why failing a test is something that doesn't sit well with me. However, if teachers giving pretests with the intention of students failing becomes a popular way of teaching I have to wonder if I would be okay with failing my pretest? I would only be okay with failing under one circumstance: if the pretest did not count towards my final grade in the class. This is something that was not covered in the article I read, and it leaves me questioning why they did not talk about it. Was it because it is not something that you must or you must not do in order for this process to work? Was it because it depends on the individual teacher? All I know is that if I were in a class using this pretesting process I would hope that it did not affect my final grade. I feel that by having this process implemented into schools without having it affect final grades would benefit everyone’s learning. As Benedict Carey of The New York Times says 'We fail, but we fail forward'.