Category Archives: Technology

Technology related posts

Update 1/5/11


I’m writing a quick post of recent happenings that have been going on…

The first was a national honor. The great people over at National 4-H Council wrote an article on what I have been doing in 4-H with GIS! You can read that HERE. I also heard from them today, that they may be interested in my story for The Revolution of Responsiblity, which would make it go even MORE national!

Speaking of national, I also heard today that I was selected, along with 8 other 4-H youth, to be on the National 4-H Council’s Strategy Focus Group. I don’t have much more information, except it sounds as if we will help refocus and strategize Council’s priorities. Will share more about this later, as the information becomes public.

The fourth is that I’m SUPER busy! I’m currently coordinating the construction of a website that is funded by Reach Out Iowa and ran by the Iowa 4-H Tech Team. I have put many hours into this project, and we haven’t even hired a coder! Some may say that a website is EASY to build, but in reality, a GOOD website takes MANY weeks and maybe even months to build! Hoping to have the site ready for beta at the time that the Iowa 4-H Leader’s Retreat is held, February 11th and 12th. I am hoping to launch this site around April 1st!

Speaking of the Leaders Retreat, I’m on the planning committee for that TOO! I’m gonna help take pictures, be tech support, AND another presentation! I’m presenting on Technology in the 4-H Club meeting. So if you have any ideas, feel free to share them with me – david at runneals dot com

I can’t forget school! I’m going to be starting another ISU class on Monday in Computer Science learning about algorithms and Visual Basic… I imagine this will be MUCH funner then the class I took last year, which I learned MS Office in, what a DRAG! I’m currently looking at taking an online GIS class this summer, which will count as one of the 5 classes required to get a Certificate (I’m hoping, and kinda aiming to get all those classes done by the time I’m a senior in High School, and HOPEFULLY I can get my certificate either right after graduation OR  right around the time I start college!

Some of you are thinking, “REALLY?!? And your HOW OLD?!?!?” – I hear ya! I’ve been REALLY busy trying to keep up myself! Will be REALLY glad when school gets done in a few months, so I can do EVEN MORE with the wonderful 4-H I’ve grown up to LOVE and other projects!!!! (And that answer to that question you asked me, “Yes, Really! And I’m 16 & a Sophomore!”)

I think that is all for now! Hope I haven’t bored you too much. Until next time, D.

Homework and other thoughts…

I don’t get my homework. I don’t.
I want to know why you teachers assign it to us. I think it is torture, especially out of a stupid book. I think teachers need to broaden their horizons, and use more online resources. I have this assignment that is due tomorrow that requires us to go online to the US FWS website, and find endangered and threatened species. I think more teachers need to do this. I think this is a start. I believe that teachers are scared to do this sort of assignment, because most students don’t have internet at home. That is WHY there is something called a PUBLIC LIBRARY! Our public library has BOTH wifi AND computers. My math teacher is taking the lead, by assigning projects for each chapter in the book. The last chapter, she required us to use some sort of technology (animoto/google docs/etc) to show a problem solving problem. More teachers need to be like her. (although she has a laptop cart in the classroom, a Promethean whiteboard, and since her room is the ICN, an ELMO sort of thing (using a celling mounted camera). Another teacher using it is my Natural Resources Teacher. He so far has used his GPS units. He also required us to do a project, and a few did theirs in powerpoint. Last of all is my world history teacher. He has us complete a few inclass assignments, where we go down to our IMC, and visit… this is the ONLY site that he uses, which I think is kinda annoying. I say give the students questions, and let the kids go find the answers (using different sources), and then record the sources.

Those are my thoughts… I still have some BORING book work tonite to complete, so bye!


I just thought of an idea, thanks to my grandma being in the hospital, and VERY ill. My idea is to get laptops into hospitals that have internet. They would be strictly for Skyping long distance family members. I think that seeing you loved ones face when they are EXTREMELY ill would be a nice touch. I’m gonna look into funding for this project. (Maybe Pepsi Refresh? Maybe the Hospitals?) But, there is a catch that the hospitals MUST have decent internet to stream video and they must have a WAP (Wireless Access Point). I would be incharge of managing the laptop(s), which would significantly reduce the cost. I’m also considering partnering with a local store (or our school) to obtain a few laptops to pilot my idea. I think this would be a VERY nice idea, like we could use it to skype with my grandma, who is VERY ill, instead of wasting precious minutes driving (Driving up to see her takes 3 hours. Who KNOWS what could happen in that time frame… 3 hours could mean the difference between life and death.
Thats it for now. It would be EXTREMELY nice if you could keep my Grandma and our family in your thoughts and prayers! -d (More later)

Exciting map@syst project

I have been asked by eXtension map@syst to help pilot a project. I have a feeling the project is going to become something like a Ning group, but on the eXtension platform. I think this will be VERY nice, so youth in geospatial can ask the professionals when they need help, and also help each other out. They just asked me last night to do this, so I don’t know much more then that, not even what it looks like! I will be posting more as I know it here. I KNOW there will be some issue with confirming that the people who sign up are ACTUALLY youth. We had this issue when I was working to help plan out, the now dying, ACCESS 4-H. Although I LOVE how Iowa 4-H has done their Ning group, where they fwd requests to area personal, who can contact the counties to confirm membership.

Women in Technology

The facts about women in Technology is amazing.
57% of 2008 undergrad degree recipients were women. This is an amazing percent! Women take over the men in undergrad degrees!! This shows a few things, 1) Women are getting more educated then men, 2) If women were to continue on the path of education at this rate, more women would be more educated to take on higher jobs in the workforce. This means that, potentially, women have a chance to take men over in the work place. They could also push more people into the Science, Engineering, and Technology sector, which has been dominated by men for a while now.
18% of 2008 computer and info sciences undergrad recipients were women. This percent is a good percent to be at, but it needs to grow. I, personally, would like to see this percent to grow to be higher and more even. Women need to work harder to make this field grow!
56 % of AP test takers are female. This too, is also an amazing percent. Women are on top of men again!
51% of AP Calc test takers are female. This is a great percent to be at! This shows that women are advanced in the Math field. After the Math field, comes the Tech field. The percentage here is a good number, but it would be nice to see it rise. 17% of AP Computer Science test takers were female. This is a start women! You still have to keep on trucking! If the 17% graduate, this will add to the Tech field, which is a great sight to see!
28% of Computer Scientists (2008) were female. This is an AMAZING percent. Women hold almost 1/3 of the Computer Scientist positions! It would be extremely nice to see this number climb to 40 and 50% in the future.
Technology is a growing and very demanding field. I think that these statistics show that we ALL under estimated the number of women in the STEM fields. I would like to thank Sarah Cofer ( for providing the facts from NCWIT Summit on Women and IT (

Tedx Des Moines

Today was Amazing! I talked with some amazing people! Social connections is the KEY! I talked with Charlie Wittmack (Friend of my Cousin’s). He climbed Mount Everest. I guess he is going to be doing a world triathelon now! Another I talked to is the superintendent of Van Meter Schools, John Carver. They have implemented 1:1 laptop program that is going well. We hope to get one of those going here in Nevada as well. The first two were speakers. I also talked more with Leigh Zeitz. Leigh is an Associate Professor of the Instructional Technology Division – Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction at UNI. I also met up with a High School Junior from Cedar Rapids. Tanner is interested in futuristic technology where humans interact MORE with each other (face-to-face) with technology. I’m hoping to get Tanner a tour over at ISU’s VRAC and HCI. I think that Tedx and Ignite are GREAT ways to get your social network built up and interact with other’s who carry the same interest as you do! See my brief notes here. I’m hoping to rewrite the notes. I’m also planning to add in notes from twitter tweets.

Tedx Des Moines

2:18 pm: mike from raygun starts off tedxdesmoines
2:24 pm: John carver
– teachers are facilitators
– wikis, blogs, ning
– moved from consumer of info to creator of info
– quiet kids are
– direction came from the SCHOOL BOARD!
– challenged to become a GLOBAL school!
– every child is looked on individually
– laptops are like a chorus…
– 15 current school
– 30 schools next year
– sigourney has business classes that lend $2500 out to students to have start ups!
– 1 of 4 schools on the PLANET! ( 1:1 laptops and virtual reality)
– NOT Turning out teachers with tech stuff
– need to do a tech project to graduate!
– Setting up times next fall for visits
– we are creating a tech ready workforce
– used 1cent sales tax money or plant and something levy…
– lease so you can get most current tech
– students are in contact w/ engineers at mechdyne, Rockwell collins, universities
3:05 pm: Christian workplace 2020
(from his eldest daughter Emma – 8 born on same day as iPod)
– different looking plants
– flying cars
– different food
– blur monkeys
– different creatures
– digital natives & imigrants are going to be in the workforce (issues)
– by 2020, 76 m boomers will be retiring
– by 2020, 60 m new workers
– 16+ m. Jobs?
– challenges
– in 2020, 52% of workers will be older than 45
– nearly 13% of all us workers will be self employed
– health care – #1
– finance and it – #2
– science and tech – #1
– digital natives and immigrants
– skype, wave, Twitter
– tech will help
– humans work best face to face
– diversity
– skill set (set)
5:15 pm: the third space
– we spend so much time trying to find happy people
– graphs…..