In week 8 we learned to use more collaborative tools, as well as continuing to use and collaborate the ones we have already become familiar with. A wiki is a web site that allows any user to become a participant, which means they can create/edit the actual site contents on the site itself.
Just recently, my group and I did our Collaborative Google Docs Group Presentation on Digital Health and Wellness using Google Docs to put all our information together and create our final presentation. This was a helpful tool because we was able to add/change things in our presentation on Google Docs at any time. Unfortunately, that is also a flaw in itself. Because anyone can access the information and edit things at any time, your personal contributions can also be changed or removed without your permission.
The most famous example of a wiki is Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia with no “authors” but millions of contributors and editors. In terms of university assignments and papers, Wikipedia may not be the best place to turn for secondary sources because the information may not always be reliable. Although majority of the information is credible, some people may change or post information that they believe is true but may actually not be. Some people may even post untrue things on purpose. So, although it is a quick and easy source of information, post-secondary institutions will not accept it as a credible source…as far as I have experienced anyway. This makes Wikipedia rather useless in terms of school assignments, but I still use it all time for personal research.
Although I do not usually go out of my way to edit or add information to a wiki, or even use a wiki for that matter, Wikipedia is probably the one website I will always use to get information I need. It is just so useful since it has information on basically every topic you can possibly think of. I definitely still believe that Google Docs is one of the best wiki/collaborative tools to use simply because of the effectiveness of editing my group’s presentation whenever necessary. It made it easy to fix/edit any errors made by other partners, and allowed them to do the same. Personally, I find Evernote too complicated to use. Being in the work force, doing administrative work, I know Google Docs will come in hand especially since I have recently become involved in the staff meetings in which we discuss new ideas and changes to the work place.
And to end off…my feedly article of the week. This week I found an article called What I’m Wearing Now: March. This article is interesting to me because it showed me how quick and how often trends change in the clothing industry. For those that like to keep up with the trends and follow the clothing styles that are “in”, the internet is a great tool to keep up-to-date with it all. Feedly, and other tools just like it, are perfect for people with that interest because it will constantly update you so you will never fall behind.
This week’s focus was on learning to use Evernote and utilizing it for our group project. Evernote is an amazing tool because you can access your notes right away once you open your web browser, and they automatically save, which is a great feature because if your laptop dies or for whatever reason your browser closes, your information will not be lost and your hard work doesn’t go to waste. Another great feature is that files, photos, and other forms of media or information can be seized from the internet instantly in many different formats such as articles, simplified articles, full pages, bookmarks, and screenshots. In Evernote, you can search key words in the search bar to find something specific if you don’t see it in your notes immediately. And lastly, a very convenient feature of Evernote is that you can download the Evernote app on your Android or iPhone to access, and add to, the information that you already have in your notebooks.
I would add this tool into the Discovery & Collection of Information section of my PLE. Evernote would benefit my education, and my professional life in the future, because I would never lose a source of information or the information that I have already collected.
This week, through Feedly, I discovered an article called The Eisenhower Matrix – a Way to Set Priorities in a Too Demanding World. This article addresses a great way to prioritize your assignments and tasks to establish which ones are more important and/or urgent. It’s quite a helpful tip, so give it a read if you get a chance!
This week the focus was on Microblogging, also known as Personal Learning Network, and how we can utilize Twitter. Kate Klingensmith, another fellow blogger, defines Personal Learning Network as an “the entire collection of people with whom you engage and exchange information, usually online.” Kathleen Morris, an education blogger, describes Twitter as “a social networking and microblogging service that allows you to send out short messages called tweets. Tweets are limited to 140 characters but can also contain media like photos or videos.”
Personally, what I like about Twitter is that, like most other social networking services, it is easily accessible on my laptop, iPhone and iPad. It’s a great tool, because not only can it be used to reconnect with people but it can be used to connect with like minded people for personal and professional development. Morris continues to say “I find Twitter to be like a virtual staffroom where I can catch up with my PLN. It is a place where I can find advice, give advice, find great links, share my work and engage in general musings about education.”
I, myself, use Twitter and find it to be a great way to express my thoughts and connect with people who share the same interests as I do. But, my Twitter account is more of a personal outlet than an educational tool.
Digital literacy is a very significant aspect of attaining a digital citizenship because it allows you to attain knowledge on digital literacy issues, examples of inappropriate/appropriate digital literacy and understand the digital literacy keywords (Ribble, 2011, p. 27).
Through Feedly, I came across an article called Inspire Kindness Everyday that addresses an interesting and trending way of spreading kindness to the world. They mention that during the month of February the brand Minnetonka Moccasin inspired their followers on Instagram to conduct acts of kindness through their posts by posting one incredibly simple act of kindness each day. Personally, I think this is a neat idea because in the past few years many “challenges” or “nominations” have been spreading through the internet and social media virally, encouraging people to pay it forward or do things to raise awareness of certain issues, such as the recent Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for ALS. It is amazing to see social media can have a positive impact on humanity, and how quickly information can get around when users are interactive and feel they are part of a movement.
This week we learned what Diigo was and we were required to set up a Diigo online bookmark, as well as use an online curation tool such as Paper.Li to help us gather information for the rest of the course.
Personally, I think learning to use Diigo was very helpful in regards to not only the course, but in general as well because it is a great way to collect and keep track of data. With Diigo, you can take notes and highlight text information on web sites the same way you would if you were writing it down on paper. Then you can also bookmark and save this information for future use, as well as add tags to keep your information organized. You also have the option of sharing this bookmarked information with other people so that they also can access the web page, view your notes and even add their own comments. All of this information can be saved online and can be accessed by any computer, cell phones and any other digital tools. You can also take notes by using a sticky note and you can move it anywhere on the web so that you can access it at any time.
Content curation is perfect for self-directed learning as it is a device for storing knowledge and creating new understanding. It can help a self-directed learner by creating a method of filtering through that new information.
Learning about RSS feeds this week was very useful for me. For someone who thought they were quite up-to-date with technology and the internet, you would figure I would know how to use an RSS feed…or at least what it was. Now, being aware of how to use an RSS feed, I feel I will find myself constantly referring to the RSS I have set up. Not only does it provide me with updates on educational topics, but it also provides me with updates on personal topics that are of interest to me.
Educational posts that relate to my field of study would be very helpful in assisting me in learning more about children, youth, and new arising problems and solutions related to them in a legal, education, and emotional sense. It is always good to keep up-to-date with things that are always going to be apart of your life. For me, it is crucial to know if there has been any change in laws related to children and youth, or the education system, because I plan to be working with children and young adolescents. There was one such article that I read in my feed about children needing to learn how to control their own screen time (in regards to television and the internet). This was a great read for me since this is becoming a growing issue for children of this generation, and articles like this one help people like myself who are looking to work with children how to stray children away from spending all their spare time staring at a screen.
It is also interesting to receive updates from blogs/articles posted by members of the Brock University community because even though I am living at home and finishing school online, I still feel connected and can “stay in the loop”. There was a particular article that caught my attention about the former dean of Brock University helping graduates find jobs. Information like this will be useful to me when I finish this course and graduate as well, because the resources provided by an authority figure such as Marilyn Rose would be very useful and reliable.
Lastly, I very much enjoy receiving updates on blog/article posts on topics of personal interest to me, such as health and fashion. I have recently been trying to eat healthier and gain more weight and muscle. Posts that share what kind of foods to eat, or what kind of exercises to do, in order to stay healthy and fit are exactly the type of things I would be looking for. It is amazing to have them come to me now. The post on “Seriously Super Cereal” was perfect because I usually skip breakfast, and its hard to get all the nutrients and carbs you need first thing in the morning. This post gives a recipe, and some health tips, on how to add more to your breakfast (particularly cereal) in order to make it healthier and more filling.
In conclusion, I am glad I learned how to set up and use the RSS feed because it has been useful and I know I will continue to use it in the future.