Why Every Parents should Encourage their Kids to Read Harry Potter

The Harry Potter series basically sums up my entire child hood. My dad read the whole series to me and I read them on my own multiple times. Apart from the facts that Harry Potter has reached more people than any other book series in history and inspired an entire generation to read. I was not much of a reader as a young girl but after I read the series, it sparked my interest to read more. Harry Potter is a very relatable character for kids coming of age. Over the years he endured the usual adolescent maturation, relationship and teenage social conflicts. New research suggests that after the reading the series it has the potential to make us nicer people. For decades it has been known than an effective means of improving negative attitudes and prejudices towards people. This is because JK Rowling had many different characters in her series that all came from different backgrounds, or even different creatures for that matter. A New study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that reading the Harry Potter books in particular has similar effects  because Potter is continually in contact with stigmatized groups. The “muggles” get no resect in the wizarding  world as they lack magic ability. The “half-bloods” or “mud bloods”  where wizards and witches only descend from only one magical parent.

I believe there are many factors that shape our attitudes toward others, but research suggests that reading novels as a child and implying literary engagement with life’s social cultural and psychological complexities and can have positive impact on personality development and social skills.

Harry Potter taught me to never judge a book by its cover and accept everyone even if they are different from you. I think this was a great thing that I learned at a young age because sometimes it takes younger kids a bit while to mature. I have read the series multiple times and I pick up a new different concept every time I read them such as: light over darkness, good over evil, love conquers all and the importance of friendship and family.

The other day I walked by a book store and found the Harry potter series and it was in Spanish of 18155321_1415780198478038_1988844422_n.jpgcourse but I think I am going to start them and better my Spanish!




url-4.jpgA podcast is any digital medium that has any form of audio, video, text, PDF or ePub files that people can subscribe to for playback on portable media players and computers. Podcasting can be extremely beneficial for the field of education and by listening to podcasts can be another way of learning tool for professors and students. Podcasts are a very powerful tool for students who are auditory learners and there are various tool that can help teachers create and distribute podcasts some of which include:

Audacity: This is a free software that is used for recording and editing sound by using keyboard shortcuts. It is available for certain operating systems like Windows, Mac, GNU/LINUX and others.

MP3myMP3 Sound recorder: This is an audio recording software that is created by Digital liquid. It is a great toll for recording something quickly and efficiently. You are able to record a sample sound from streaming audio or video on the Internet, record Skype calls for business or create MP3s from Vinyl. For teaching purposes professors can record tutorials and later listen to them through a computer.

Podbean: This tool is easy and powerful. It allows users to create professional podcasts n just a few minutes without having any prior knowledge on programming. Anyone is able to upload and publish their work. Work can be shared with students, colleagues, friends, family and anyone else worth sharing.

PodOmatic: This is the largest independent podcaster in the world. You are able to search any area that you are interested to find work. This tool also allows users to easily make minicasts which is a combination of audio and images.

Vozme: This is an effective tools that converts a text into an audio file. By doing this you have to follow two steps. This process is copy and paste the text you want in the box provided on the website and click “create mp3” This generates a podcast for you to download right away.

Odiogo: This is similar to Vozme but has a few more benefits. This specific tool lets you turn blog posts into high quality and supporting broadcasts which can be an advantage for bloggers.

There are many other tools that are also great for podcasts. Ways in which you an integrate podcasts in the classroom are:

  1. students can interview professions of their potential career path and use audio for their questionnaire part.
  2. Students can research about different countries by asking recent travelers about their experiences. This could lead into a digital travel album that could almost be like a small itinerary.
  3. Teachers or professors can record their lecture or tutorials that students can listen to later on their own time or at home.
  4. Students can write and record stories and add background music or sound effects.
  5. Students can create advertising campaigns.

Overall Podcasting can be very beneficial to learning and it is a field that continues to growth among academia and other forms of teaching and learning.

Here is an example of a podcast that I did:

I used Audacity and uploaded it to Sound cloud

Political Campaigning with Social media

Social media platforms is changing the way people are doing political campaigning completely .In Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign we see how social media has became a crucial tool for political campaigning. Barack Obama was the first presidential candidate to effectively use social media as a major campaign strategy. When Obama first announced his presidency in 2007 Twitter had just started and the first iphone did not even come out yet. Four year later in the run up to the 2012 presidential election there was lots of speculation about the impact of social media around this time. Obama was the first social media president because he had the expertise on his team and Romeny and McCain did not achieve the traction the Democrats did with political campaigning with social media tools.

Obama dominated social media space because he understood how networks worked. For example, Obama logged twice as many Facebook “Likes” and nearly 20 times as many re-tweets a Romney. Here are some things that Obama’s campaign kept in mind while doing political campaigning:

  1. Consistency: Consistency does not mean to make sure you always post the same thing every time you use a social media outlet it means to post at the same frequency you usually do. If your campaign is always tweeting, blogging, posting, you want to keep up with its regular basis.
  2. Platform Lingo: Platforms all have a different lingo. A common mistake is people tend to post the same message across all social media handles. This is a misunderstanding because all people have different reasons why people use them. It is important to keep in mind when making a post to make sure you connect with your followers in a way that they will understand.
  3. Listen to your audience: Social media is a way to connect with your voters, donors, and supporters on a one to one basis. By setting up listening strategies you can help yourself and keep updated on what is being said by you and how you can help participate in conversations to direct your campaign strategy.
  4. Use social advertising to expand your reach: Social advertising had been prov9796986_orig.pngen to make or break an election. This is a way of drawing in an audience when you want them to take action. socialMedia.jpg

Guest Speaker: Anna Lopez

On Wednesday our Class had the pleasure of having another guest speaker Anna Lopez. She first told us a little bit about herself. She studied journalism and went to the other side of and starting working in PR at a communications agency. Then she worked for Estrella Damm which is the first brewery in Spain. Anna became the brand manager of Estrella and then she worked in the digital marketing group.

In 2009 Estrella Damm posted a 3 minute commercial. In this commercial the featured a swedish song that was unheard of.  After the commercial became successful this song became the most downloaded song in Spain and Estrella put this swedish band on the map. During this time, Anna told us that this was when Estrella did not own any sort of social media  which can be vital for a success of a company.

Anna’s first task while being in the digital marketing group was to create all of social media platforms. One interesting technique that I found that Estrella does is not posting pictures of Estrella beers but pictures of the Mediterranean. Estrella is considered “The Beer of the Mediterranean” and under their instagram info it says: Guide to unique wonderful places to enjoy life. This is a good marketing tool because it shows that you can have a good time in beautiful places and her adventures will be even more fun if you drink an Estrella Damm.

Anna then showed us another Estrella Damm commercial that they produced and came out in 2015. This commercial lasted 10 mins and even had a famous American actress, Dakota Johnson and famous Spanish actor Quim Gutiérrez. This video collected 6 million views and was awarded by youtube because the amount of views it had received. This video helped increase brand awareness in Spain and 30% of brand awareness in the UK.

The 2015 video really put Estrella Damm on the map compared to the 2009 video. By having two famous actors in the 2015 commercial this might of helped it gain more attention.

Another interesting marketing strategy that Estrella does is their Twitter feed. Their twitter feed is more like an agenda for Spain. It will post local venue hosting concerts from Barcelona all the way to Seville. Twitter is not really used as a huge promoter of Estrella but it tries to appeal to the Spanish people and how they enjoy their Estrella Damm. 

Overall I really enjoyed this guest speaker. I got to learn how important it is to grow digitally from restaurants to festivals in order to promote a brand. It is an interesting  technique that Estrella uses on instagram and twitter. They do marketing techniques that one would not suspect but as of now they seem to be working.  Anna Lopez gave us the insight of what it is like for someone to work in a digital marketing group and how a company can grow internationally just due to a youtube video.



My Favorite Viral Marketing Examples

Viral marketing is defined as some sort of marketing buzz that uses social networking sites in order to increase brand awareness. Viral marketing can be delivered by word or mouth or by the network effects of the web and mobile networks. A success way to spread company’s products or campaigns is through videos. A viral video is a mid of online media that becomes a sensation and by attaching a brand name name to a video is a great way for a company to expose itself to people who might not otherwise be interest in that brand. One issue to viral videos are that companies cannot always anticipate what will become a hit. A video only goes viral if many people are excited about a certain product or it resonates with a number of people. Successful viral videos are usually random in ways that are carefully linked to marketing campaigns.

I will list my two favorite viral marketing examples that I have seen in these past couple of years. The first  example of a clever and random viral video was in  ALS Ice bucket Challenge that went viral in 2014. This was a video challenge that had everyone film themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over a person’s head or self administered to promote awareness of the disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). So many people participated in this viral video challenge that it actually led to some ALS research breakthroughs. Even huge celebrities were participating in this challenge like Mike Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. This is a great example of challenge viral marketing and the fact that it had people actually acting participating an d creating viral content is what made it huge. (Here is one of my favorite Ice Bucket challenge videos that went was extremely popular)

Another example of a brand that has with one of the  advertising campaigns is Dos Equis. The iconic phrase “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do I prefer Does Equis” is said by the bearded man  who engages  in various world adventuress. The now Heineken brand has shot up 22% thanks in large part to the successful campaign of their commercials of the “Most Interesting Man in the World”. The main target segment  for Dos Equis were for young men who drink frequently.  One of the chief marketing officers of this campaign, Ken Kunze said it was controversial to cast and old guy in the commercial. The main inspiration was the uncle who never got married and was always traveling the world.


Both of the viral marketing campaigns presented by ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the Dos Equis (Most Interesting man in the World) are successful and memorable because they are both forms of entertainment that people already enjoy. For the ALS bucket challenge it was a hit because it had people participating and create viral content which ultimately helped raise more awareness to this disease. The Dos Equis was successful because the audience connected a successful world traveler man with a type of beer because of how catchy the advertisement was. This helped Dos Equis Sales shoot up to 20% because of how the viral marketing campaign came up with this advertisement. Overall, viral marketing is where content strategists design content that is easily engaging and that it is scared by many people. To me humorous videos are quite popular and really grab people’s attention generate many viewers and sharers. maxresdefault-1.jpg

Melon District Marina: The Right Residence Hall for You

When given the opportunity to study abroad in any city, international students have to make the decision where they want to gain the best all-round experience. Barcelona houses many people and is becoming one of the most popular places for Americans and international students to study and live for several months at a time. Barcelona recently surpassed the 7.5 million-tourist mark for the first time and according to goabroad.com Spain is currently home to 25,000 American ‘study abroad’ students. Barcelona is Spain’s second largest city with 1.5 million people in 10 districts. Most tourists like to stay in the most popular area which is downtown Barcelona. Another popular area to stay in is near the Barcelona beaches, which are in the Sant Marti district. Here many like to stay in beach neighborhoods called Vila Limpica, Poblenou or Diagonal Mar. This area is generally a mix of 19th century industrial neighborhoods currently being transformed into new modern residential areas with hi-tech business facilities. It is important for whoever may be the tourist visiting Barcelona, or an international student to find accommodation in which they will feel comfortable and safe in during their time in this incredible city.

A great option international student is the Melon District Marina. This is located near the Poblenou neighborhood and very close to the beach. It is the biggest residence in Barcelona and is a unique budget accommodation option for short or long trips to the city. Melon District Marina is utilized as a University Residence and hostel and it is located in Carrer de Sancho de Avila, 22 and it is 1.2 miles from the Plaça de Catalunya. Melon district marina also is only a five-minute walk from the metro red line stop and there are usually taxi cabs parked outside of the front of the building.

This Recidencia offers double and twin bed rooms for daily stays with a private bathroom, free Wi-Fi, and a shared cooking lounge. Each Room has a comfortable bed and every guest gets their own bathroom. The kitchen lounge is shared where people can socialize and relax and meet the rest of their hall mates. One of the hallmarks for the Melon District Marina are the common areas where they are friendly communal spaces and each are designed to encourage03-01-turista-marina-presentacion-galeria14.jpg new connections and friendships. A lot of international students are actually mixed in with local students who go to University in the city. The cooking lounge is an end of each hallway and is shared between 10 people living on the same floor. It is equipped with a fridge with separate compartments, a freezer, a stove, a flat screen TV and Wi-Fi. There are also 4 terraces on each of the four buildings of melon that overlook the beautiful views of Barcelona. During the summer months the pools are available to use. If a guest needs to get work done, Melon Marina also offers a meeting lounge located on the first floor of Building A. Melon has 4 buildings A, B, C, D and they all have a communal kitchen in each hallway and a terrace at the top of the building. Melon Marina also has a Melon Café, where you can enjoy self-service breakfast lunch or dinner. Melon café also has free Wi-Fi and has a take away service.

07-02-estudiante-marina-habitaciones-indgaleria07.jpg   melon-district-marina-cooking-lounge-2.jpg

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One of the most important qualities that Melon Marina offers is the reception staff. The reception staff has a superb reputation from many reviews online. The reception staff is on duty for 24 hours a day and let their guests check in at anytime after 3pm. If a guest arrives early in the morning, a luggage room is available for storage. One might think that a receptionist might have an easy job, but at the Melon District Marina it is a full time job and it can get quite complicated. There are some times where there is a rush hour of people trying to all check in at once, which can be very difficult for the Melon staff to deal with at one time.

Melon district has magnetic keys, which are distributed to all the guests for maximum safety. It can be very frustrating when a guest looses a key and has to go to the front desk and purchase another one. There are many skills required for a receptionist, and it is not an easy job of just answering the phone. At Melon Marina they have a reputable staff that has to deal with almost 500 guests at one time. The receptionists at Melon Marina have to: choose rooms hand out keys, make payments and prepare bills, answer questions dealing with special requests and complaints from guests. Melon Marina is such a cultural mix of people that sometimes problems arise when it comes to hospitality service due to some cultural differences. The receptionists at Melon Marina have to be able to deal with rude and unreasonable guests because maybe some of them are not patient and not used to a different cultural environment such as their own.  All of the receptionists at Melon have great customer service skills, a professional and friendly telephone manner, patience and the ability to stay calm under pressure and look after several things at once. Some of the receptionists at Melon Marina can speak up to 5 languages which is extremely impressive and it can be very useful when it comes to dealing with foreign guests. One of the biggest issues of being a receptionist at Melon Marina is the amount of people that check in at once. That can be very overwhelming and stressful to sign such a large amount of people in at once.

Another great aspect to living in Melon Marina is the high security that the Recedencia provides. There is always a security guard after 11 pm watching to see whom signs people in and out to make sure everyone is a guest. If someone is not staying is living in Melon Marina and brings home a guest, it is a required for that guest to sign in a hand in their license. This is to insure they are not a threat to the rest of the Melon District residences. Also Every Melon guest is administered a Melon card, which allows access to the room and all of the buildings. At the front of the Melon building entrance there are sliding doors that requires the key for easy access.


Overall, The Melon Marina district is a great option for international travelers and is very accommodating to US students studying abroad in Barcelona. The central location, great atmosphere and prestigious staff of receptionists will make one feel like Barcelona is their second home. Melon District residences provide a great combination of security and social life and have had guests from all over Spain and up to 50 other countries. This residence is recommended to travelers who are on a budget and to Americans who want to gain the fullest experience from studying abroad in Barcelona.


Valentí Sanjuan

14375066654242.jpgLast Wednesday on the 22nd , our class got to listen to a guest speaker named Valentí Sanjuan. He mostly talked to our class about all of the different careers he has had throughout the years and how through all of his different career paths he has made a living though digital journalism. He first asks our class what defines journalism. In the simplest terms he says, journalism is when you have a story to tell. He tells our class that he is infact his own boss as of now but has many other careers throughout the years. Valentí tells us he started his career doing mainstream journalism at a radio station titled “Vist i no vist” where he worked in the newsroom. This radio station had other ideas for the future so Valentí did not renew his contract and found another way of living.

Vantí decied  to start a show which by live streaming which as not a very popular way for using technology at this time. He was supposed by beer brands, (a promoter)  which was another type of boss he had to work for besides himself. The beer brands would give away free beers which helped gather a larger audience for the new show. His audience was a very relaxed crowd who drank beer and talked about the internet while Valentí was talking on the radio to the audience.

Valentí became so successful after his first few jobs because he took a normal show via the internet instead of the radio. He then got to the point because of its popularity to mix the show with a television show. This was more of a comedy television show and he had to be more interactive with the audience. The show did not do well at first so he came up with another idea and came up with another show called images-5.jpegVisto Lo Visto and this was almost a spanish stand up comedy show. This show had comedians, interviews with famous youtubers and musicians. This was different then his first original plan which was just himself and one camera where he did his own photo journalism.

Valentí also stated a personal Youtube account that has a big fan following. He is a very successful Ironman competitor and goes around the world with the intention of doing difficult sport competitions in each city he goes to.  His youtube account has videos of his Ironman successes which has a huge following because he films himself overcoming hard obstacles which represents some of the hard moments he has faced in his lifetime. The iron man videos show him dealing with the pain and overcoming his obstacles though perseverance.

url.jpgAfter hearing Valentí speak I found him very inspiring when it comes to choosing a career path. He is a very successful man but he had to explore different areas of work involving digital journalism before he found out what he truly loves to do for a profession. Valentí told us that journalism is a way of story telling and he uses his life journey as a way of expressing meaning to his viewers and this is how he gets such a large following. Overall he has sucessful been a influencer for many people because he takes advantage of social media and reach out to individuals and created a large fan base for whatever he is promoting.