Sunday, 31 January 2016

Week 4- Curating Doesn’t Just Happen in Museums

This week I discovered I’m clearly not as ‘internet-savvy’ as I thought I was. Until this week’s lesson I had never heard of bookmarking tools and the only curating tool I had heard of (but never used) was Google Alerts!

The thing I like most about Diigo, the bookmarking tool I decided to try out, is that I can bookmark URLs from sites I had found at home for various school assignments and projects, and then access them anytime from any device by simply logging into my Diigo account. As a student, this is a really useful online tool to have. Especially if you’re like me and have accidentally lost or deleted various bookmarked pages that I keep saved in my own web browser.

This week I also set up two web curating tools: Storify and Google Alerts. Curating tools gather and organize online content about a certain topic. The reason I set up both of these is because when I was playing around with Storify and getting used to the layout, I realized that I didn’t really like it when being used in a more academic sense. I found Storify to be really fun to put together some magazine-looking information on a few of my general interests or hobbies, but setting up a Google Alert so that information on a certain topic comes straight to my e-mail inbox seems like the much more efficient way to do school-related research, at least from my perspective!

Both bookmarking and curating tools help me to further my journey in becoming a responsible digital citizen and gaining digital literacy because they help me with online organization as well as finding the most relevant, accurate information. An added bonus is that Diigo (the bookmarking tool I used) even lets you highlight and add sticky notes to your bookmarked pages! I found the sticky note tool really helpful because when I’m reading something, I almost always have ideas about where I can put the information to use, and then forget where I meant to use it. With the sticky notes, I can mark the information and never forget!

This week, I also learned about the TRASH test, which I found really useful to refresh my memory on how to spot the most accurate web results possible – something really important to a university student and a responsible digital citizen!

I've added a few more new tools to my PLE! Diigo is definitely an organizational tool, which was one of the areas I really wanted to find new resources in when I first created my PLE two weeks ago! Storify and Google alerts both fall under the research category in my PLE.

Merdzan, C. (CC) 2016.

This week’s interesting Feedly find…
This week when I opened up my Feedly reader, I saw a post that featured a fellow Goodman School of Business student. It speaks about how he is the first Brock University student to obtain a spot in Canada’s The Next 36 – a prestigious program that aims to support young entrepreneurs in all aspects from mentoring to raising capital. Reading this article made me super proud to be a part of the Goodman School, as it clearly demonstrates the great talent we have and the great name we are building for ourselves both province and nationwide. Give the article a quick read to learn a bit more! 

Merdzan, C. (CC) 2013.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Week 3- Reporting and reflecting on my brand new RSS feed!

In my previous post, I shared an article from my RSS feed called The Wisdom of Stupid Questions and a little bit of background information on it – it really is a great, short read!

This article informed my own learning in two ways: the first being that since I am a business student, this article was of great interest and relevance to me because it revolved around the concept of “buyer beware.” The second way is because it immediately demonstrated to me the value and benefits of an RSS feed – this post came straight to me, I did not spend hours searching for it.

RSS feed readers contribute a lot to my work in building knowledge about digital literacy, responsibility and citizenship. They certainly contribute to digital literacy in the sense that I learned a new way to make an online tool work for me since RSS feeds make information from various blogs and articles available by the simple click of an ‘add to reading list’ button!

As far as digital responsibility and citizenship are concerned, it is kind of cool to know that as I subscribe to and follow various blogs through my reader and learn about the things people have to say, people can also subscribe to my very own blog and hear from me as well! It can be seen as a sort of give and take environment – I learn and use information from others, and they learn and use information from me, in a digitally responsible way, of course!  

I would categorize RSS feed readers as very useful tools!! As part of my own personal PLE, which can be seen in my week 2 report and reflection post, I would add my new RSS feed, I use Feedly, to the ‘research’ category. I would add it here because as mentioned in an Educase 7 things you should know about RSS article, and RSS feed is the perfect way to organize and stream all of the content that exists on the internet. When researching a topic, it makes it so much easier to search for blogs or things to follow that are relevant to your topic, and then have all the information on that topic come straight to you in your feed!

Merdzan, C. (CC) 2016.

My Experience with RSS Feeds

This week – week 3  I discovered what an RSS feed is, and what a great tool it is for surfing the internet! After selecting some initial feeds to follow, an article from the Huffington Post caught my eye that I thought I would share. The article I read was called The Wisdom of Stupid Questions and it discusses a bit about how we don’t spend enough time questioning the details of things, including things we may be paying for, because we just don’t want to look stupid. 

As a business student I’ve heard the expression “buyer beware” time and time again, but in order to really understand what it is we should beware of, we must ask questions! It really is kind of terrible to think that we live in a world where we constantly have to look over our shoulder in order to avoid being taken advantage of, but the article provides some great ‘stupid’ questions to ask in order to see that this doesn't happen. Very interesting find, thanks to my RSS feeder!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Week 2 - PLE Report and Reflection

This week’s lesson was fun in the sense that it sparked some creativity as well as some thinking. I can honestly say I’d never heard about PLEs or PLNs until this week, much less given any real thought to the tools that I deemed to be a part of mine. A PLE, Personal Learning Environment, is all of the tools and connections that allow individuals to assist with and keep track of their own learning. I personally, found Clint Lalonde’s description of PLEs and PLNs to be really helpful in understanding the two.

In order to create an effective PLE there are some things that I must think about first. The first thing is ‘personal,’ envisioning where I want myself to be in five or 10 years. Right now, I am a student on the brink of finishing my undergraduate degree and the world is basically my oyster (or so I like to think!). Five to 10 years from now, I hope to have completed a second degree (right now, I’m thinking law school…), have a stable job that will allow me to advance in my career, be engaged or married to someone that I can definitely see myself being happy with for a very, very long time and maybe own my first home! I also hope to have travelled and have more travel plans laid out for the future.

The second thing to think about when creating a PLE is ‘learning.’ In order to get to where I want to be, I have an awful lot more learning ahead of me. In my opinion, learning is constant – something that is necessary to bettering yourself as you advance not only in school or a career, but in life as well! The skills/knowledge I will need to get to where I want to be are patience, problem solving, perseverance, all of the new knowledge that comes with a law degree as well as the practical knowledge that comes with the work experience I will encounter along the way. The categories of tools I have selected (organize, collaborate/connect, create and research) will be relevant to supporting each type of learning in its own, unique way.

The next thing to think about for creating a PLE is ‘environment.’ The ways I can better my environment around me to meet my learning needs are definitely by cutting out any and all distractions when I plan on trying to be productive. I will admit, I get distracted really easily. There is always something I’d rather be doing than homework, but most of the time, that other thing would not be what gets me closer to my goals. Focus is key!

The final thing to think about is ‘habits.’ One habit I need to form right now is getting the most possible out of my day. In university, especially in fourth year, class schedules can leave you with an awful lot of free time – it is up to you to use it wisely. I really need to learn to take my own advice and get up and start my day at a good time and be productive by going to the library to cut out all of those distractions I mentioned above.

In the readings this week, a post from Josh Bernoff’s blog was presented on Social Technographics. The post presents a ladder showing various stages of online activity. I was relatively surprised to see how low I scored – a joiner – and learned that there is still a lot for me to discover with regards to getting the most out of the internet and online tools. The more I learn, the more my PLE will grow!

Merdzan, C. (CC) 2016. 

This week, I turned my Week 1 Report and Reflection post into a word cloud! In a previous class, I was able to experiment with this tool to visually represent words and I find it much more interesting and expressive to look at compared to reading the actual words of the post itself. The most prominent words in my word cloud are digital, online, footprint and netiquette – all major topics I spoke about in my previous reflection post. I think a word cloud is a good way to summarize a post with a more creative spin and really make key words stand out.

Merdzan, C. (CC) 2016. 

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Week 1- Report and Reflection

This week I added the word 'Netiquette' to my ever-growing vocabulary. To me, Netiquette is important because it's basically a reminder that you are posting for and responding to real human beings - even if you can't actually see them. Just like in every day face-to-face conversations where certain basic social graces are expected, the same should be applied in an online setting. Blogging should be fun and expressive and opinionated, but there is no need to offend or bring down a fellow blogger!

Netiquette is super important when it comes to building a positive digital footprint. It's crazy to think that our digital footprint began before we were even born, as was really well demonstrated in this Digital Dossier video. The digital footprint that gets created before we have a chance to create it ourselves starts out positive. It is up to us to express opinions respectfully to others and not post offensive things or use things online, such as pictures, that are not ours to share in order to keep our footprint positive! It is so easy these days for anything to surface online from old e-mails to old tweets - keeping this in mind really helps me to 'think before I send' in order to maintain my positive digital footprint.

I definitely think I want a digital footprint, which is a good thing because I don't think I have much of a choice given the results of google searching my name! Having an online presence can be fun - some times I'll go back and read really old tweets from my very first few days as a new Twitter user. My Twitter account, for example, is definitely part of my digital footprint. So is my LinkedIn account, as another example, which really helps me to network myself in a more professional sense. More and more people are being recruited online so having a digital footprint that includes a LinkedIn account is beneficial for me.

Screenshot of Googling my name

I scored 19/20 on my Digital Driver's License Exam... so close to a perfect score! The one question I got wrong was of course one that had two answers that looked right - gets me every time! With these results, I will be focussing on the Digital Communication area over the next few weeks. However, just because I was able to get the majority of questions in this short exam correct does not mean I don't have more to learn in the other areas as well - and I look forward to doing so!

Through my explorations, there was one major connection with the material found in the Building Background section of this session that relates well to where I stand at this moment as a new blogger. Within the article Six reasons why kids should know how to blog, I connected well with the article's sixth reason of 'pride in their work' because since setting up my blog and writing my first post today I've already had 11 views! It's a cool feeling to write something that others may value or gain insights from, and I'm really looking forward to writing more posts and sharing them with others. 

Let the blogging journey begin!

I honestly cannot remember the last time I tried something so new, unfamiliar and out of my comfort zone! Yes, I'm referring to the concept of blogging. I like to write, but writing in a place that's so public is also new to me and I'm exciting to explore what it is like to have people read about my opinions and thoughts and my progression through this course.

To start with a little introduction, my name is Carolyne and I am a fourth year student. The purpose of my blog will be to explore learning in digital contexts through the online course that I am currently taking - ADED 1P32 - and hopefully have some discussions about some things that interest me. I hope to learn lots of things throughout the semester including what it is like to collaborate in an online setting. This is so important in today's work world since I may be asked to virtually work with people in all sorts of locations. Speaking of the 'work world,' I'm very excited to graduate from my Business Administration degree in just a few short weeks and hopefully find a job and become a part of it. I cannot believe how quickly these past 4 years have gone, and I am hoping to find myself back in school for my Master's after gaining some work experience.

Just a couple of quick little facts about me: I enjoy reading (when it's not a textbook), cooking, baking, shopping, and travelling. I also enjoy a variety of sports but tennis and skiing are definitely my favourites.
Merdzan, C. (CC) 2012. 
Merdzan, C. (CC) 2013.