Monday, December 5, 2011



I have been told that I am a fast typist but apparently I was not fast enough to get the position of an administrative assistant on  SPENT. Is the game biased? The jury is out on that.  I played the game twice and  worked as a waiter and a laborer and yay :) I survived through the month. The game is a lesson for anyone that cannot empathize with people going through tough times and it reminded me of how lucky I am to have the things I have.  Yes, the game format impacted knowledge presentation because you make a choice and then learn the consequences of your choice. The information provided by the games reinforced my knowledge on issues like homelessness and being a low-income earner
Is the game biased? As I mentioned earlier, the jury is out on that but I must note that the game is not realistic. For instance, in choosing a place to rent the difference between accommodations 50 miles form can afford $800 for accommodation. Still on the subject there was no public transportation- not all the low income earners have cars. Another thing I noticed was when  I got into an accident  had insurance,  I was the given the options of paying for the damages or asking a friend for help. I thought, I have insurance!
Lastly, life is not binary; there should be more options to choose from. Case in point is if my child does not want free lunch in school. I do not have to pay for full price lunch or risk my child going hungry; I could brown bag  lunch for my kid.
In this class, we learned about participatory government and budgeting in Brazil. A game can like this can help different groups understand where the other is coming from without necessarily  visiting individual sites like neighbors did in Brazil.
The game is full of good intentions but may not appeal to conservatives because it looks like a “liberal” agenda (I played this game with a conservative friend and statement above is reported speech)

10k solutions: Cent wise Dollar

My solution is borne out of my experience with ICE.
In a bid to shift provision of services online, government agencies should rethink how to fully utilize and balance personal staff communication with e-services because doing away telephone lines, customer services and using only automated services and internet may end up costing more. For instance staff can address and correct some issues via the phone. T When services are being streamlined, it would do government agencies well to really evaluate the costs of whatever action taken especially when it comes with going with the flow of providing all services online. Back to my experience. I made a payment on behalf of a prospective student to the US and the bank made an error. I was unable to correct the error via the phone and was directed to send a mail. I did sent a mail and got a response that the mail would be treated in 4- 5 days. Yesterday, I got a mail in my post office box with the wrong information sent to me even though I had sent a mail reporting the error. There was no one I could reach via the phone.
In summary, online provision of services is great but it should be in a way that does not impede efficiency and effectiveness.

The three solutions posted on the site that stood out to me are:
energy efficient homes: energy efficient homes solution appealed to me because of my recent interests in urban planning and affordable housing. I had listened to a presentation by a native American on the way they construct their homes and the importance of their cultural identity. The solution proposed a way by which two issues that face native Americans can be resolved- lack of affordable housing and incorporating culture into constructing sustainable housing.
rape defense: rape defense in Africa obviously appealed to me. The writer raises valid points on how to address the issue of rape for young girls in Congo. However, the issue goes beyond helping girls defend themselves against rape but also addressing values and mindsets. We need to teach women how to defend themselves but we also need to address the issue of speaking out.

standardized testing: the young ladies in the video address the problems of standardized tests. We all learn at different paces and understand things differently. Taking a standardized tests  is unfair for students and does not bring out the best in them. I am example of why there should be no standardized tests but it is not a discussion for this blog entry. Anyone who has watched "Blindside” would agree with me because Michael was not doing well in the written tests but when he explained his answers to the teacher, he did well. I believe that standardized tests encourage learning by rote which is no learning. As the ladies suggests, schools can provide test that cater to different students (for some it is visual, for others it is written).

Overall the website has a good layout and is easy to use.

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