Friday, 3 April 2015

Final Blog Post - Week 12

Throughout this course, the main theme has always centered upon positive Digital Citizenship. Throughout various assignments and resource exploration, that idea has constantly been raised. So what have I learned?

Well, for one, building a positive Digital Footprint begins the moment you go online. When I googled myself, I found assignments that were done online from high school that I had completely forgotten about! Fortunately I've always been cautious about what I post online, perhaps more out of shyness or reservedness rather than thinking about a positive footprint, so nothing bad came up. But it just goes to show that once it's online, it's there to stay! But if you have posted stuff you regret, it's never too late to start making a positive difference to the online community! And if you do it enough, the good will outweigh the bad!

The internet can be an awful place. We've all seen it. Cyber bullying looks like the new pandemic of this generation. So what can we do to change that? Well, for starters, we have to realise that it's up to all of us to take a stand to make the online world a better place. It's not enough to just not create a negative presence. You have to actively stand up for people, and reinforce that a positive footprint relies upon how much you help your fellow online community members.

Whatever sites your a part of, don't get drawn into "flame" wars, or insulting conversations. Hold yourself accountable, and keep to a high standard of behaviour. But even more, add to the information and resources that are out there. Make people aware of the great information you've uncovered. Present it in a proper and well thought out manner so that people will think your credible. We can transform the internet into what it was made to be; that is, an incredible information sharing center where everyone adds and learns from each other!

I've found many good tools throughout this course, and I'm going to share these with others so that they can benefit too. The information I come across will not be kept to myself, but I plan on actively promoting the good while cutting out the bad. Positive Digital Citizenship starts with me, so here's to developing that footprint into having a better and deeper impact each time I go online!

ADED 1P32 Session #11- Weekly Report & Reflection

As we enter into the last few weeks of the course, it only made sense to learn another new tool that I had not used before. This time it was podcasts. I have listened to the odd podcast before, so the concept of what others use it for was familiar to me. But as far as actually creating one, well, this was brand new territory for me.

Just as a quick side note here. On the theme of podcasts, if you are at all interested in crime and mystery, or even just fantastic storytelling, I highly recommend a podcast series called Serial! In 1999, a young teenage girl was murdered, her boyfriend arrested, tried, and convicted, and he is currently serving a life sentence in jail. The kicker is this; so much of the evidence, the witnesses' stories, and just the entire setting around the case is so convoluted, sketchy, and just downright confusing. Was the wrong man sent to prison? Who was the real murderer? What really happened that afternoon? That's what Serial tries to find out, as Sarah Koenig interviews and investigates the many, many different stories and tales from just about everyone who was involved. Check it out here: . Trust me, you will get so hooked and will be drive yourself crazy trying to figure out the case!

Anyways, back to educational stuff. I checked out the various sites that were offered, and I settled on Soundcloud. And I must say that it was the best constructed site I have come across in this class. Everything was so simple and accessible. It took just seconds to sign up, and without any tutorial or instruction, I was able to record my podcast and embed it to my blog. Hassle free in every sense. Whoever designed that site deserves a pat on the back. I was really impressed!

I'm going to add Soundcloud to my PLE on the Academic side. I can't say I really see myself ever recording podcasts for public consumption, so it won't make it on to my personal side of the PLE. But I definitely see some great potential for studying. Having Soundcloud open and recording while I study will allow me to play my notes back to me in a fresh way, perhaps revealing some information that I just wasn't picking off the paper. One of my teachers always talked about learning via visual, audio, reading, and practical ways, so this definitely covers the audio part. Even when I'm just getting ready or something, to be able to play the notes in the background will put it somewhere in my head, and hopefully my recall will improve. Exams are only a week away, so it will get put to the test soon!

On to Feedly. Last week I mentioned that the Iran nuclear deal was running into a wall, and I posed the question about whether or not Obama would be able to get it back on track. Well, he did it! A deal was reached, and while Israel isn't pleased, most of the world seems to be in agreement that this is a moment of progress. While I do hope that Iran now turns a corner and enters into the modern age of peaceful diplomacy and basic human rights, I have my doubts that this deal will be a catalyst for major change within the country. But I've been wrong before, and I certainly hope for the sake of the Iranian people, and indeed citizens throughout the Middle East, that this is a signal for change and progress in the region. Read it here:



So this was definitely the first time I have ever recorded myself for a podcast. It was a little weird, even for the brief amount of time that the assignment took, and I think I confirmed that I will never be cut out for a radio or podcast career!

I used Soundcloud, and I was extremely impressed with how streamlined and easy it was to both setup an account, and to record my podcast. Since I have a Google account through Gmail, I was able to sign up through that source, and literally within seconds I was in and ready to record. Recording and then saving the podcast was incredibly simple too. Very user-friendly, and even as someone who has never recorded anything before, I was able to a test recording and then the actual podcast without any tutorial or further instructions from the site. After a few minutes of uploading, I easily found the embedding code, and voila, first podcast complete!

So how does a podcast add to Digital Citizenship? Well, it literally gives you a voice online. As much as blogging and tweeting allows you to get your opinion out there, it's refreshing to hear a real human voice instead of reading off the screen. A podcast allows you to present emotion and personality easily, and does so in a way that is almost impossible for typed words to match (unless you're an incredible author - but for the rest of us, a podcast helps!).

I'm going to add Soundcloud to my PLE, as I can see myself using it to study. Reading my notes aloud into Soundcloud, and then have the recording played back to me as I continue to study may help uncover some things that I would miss if I was simply reading in my head!

Sunday, 29 March 2015

ADED 1P32 Session #10- Weekly Report & Reflection

This week introduced us to Animoto, a kind of movie/slideshow presentation tool. As you would see in my other posting this week, I gave a less than glowing review of this resource. I can say one thing for sure; Animoto is not making its way on to my PLE. I won't go into huge detail here again, but I found it very cumbersome and far behind other presentation tools that we have available to use.

I have worked with Prezi in the past, and there seems to be a trend happening where it slowly overtakes PowerPoint as the primary presentation tool. It just has this professional looking element to it, with a more modern and "flowing" theme to it. I highly recommend working with Prezi a little bit to get a feel for it. More and more it will be the norm in both the business and academic world.

The main theme of this week was Copyright. Copyright has always seemed like a bit of a tricky thing in my mind. As a student, I have always assumed that so long as I cite where I retrieved the information from, and use it only for academic and non-commercial reasons, any and all information or images on the internet is available. Media Dates (n.d.) somewhat confirmed this, and listed the six legitimate uses of copyrighted material: research, private study, criticism/review, new reporting, parody/satire, and education. However, is it ok to use images posted on the internet without asking permission from the owner, when they explicitly request that you ask first?

While I think that, so long as it is for one of those six reasons, legally you are safe to use the content without permission, part of being a responsible Digital Citizen is respect. If someone requests that you seek permission first, we should honour that, and respect their decision if the answer is no. Although I love the phrase "it's easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission", it's not the motto we should live by as an online community. Respect the wishes of other Digital Citizens. Besides, I imagine most of the time they would have no problem with you using their content, so long as you acknowledge where it came from.

From Feedly this week, one of Obama's big goals for this term appears to be slipping away. The Obama administration has veered sharply from his predecessor when it comes to dealing with Iran. Where the US has traditionally tried to keep a tight lid on Iran's nuclear ambitions, Obama has gone for negotiation and reconciliation. Although opposed by the Republicans and Israel, Obama has led the charge of the 5+1 nations attempting to strike a nuclear deal that will end Iran as a nuclear threat in exchange for sanctions lifting. However, as the deadline gets closer, the odds of that deal happening appear to be slipping away. Iranian officials announced that they would not agree to a key aspect of the deal, namely that they would not sell their stocks of atomic fuel out of the country. The purpose of this was to guarantee that it could not be militarized, and Iran had supposedly been going along with this until now. Will Obama be able to get the deal back on track? Or will the Republicans be the ones with the last laugh? Check out the article here:

My Slideshow

In this class we've discovered a lot of new tools, and almost all of them have been useful and well crafted. Unfortunately this weeks tool, Animoto, falls well short of the mark. I found Animoto very clunky, unyielding, and just straight up annoying to use. While I'm sure much of this comes from using the "free" version (a number of ads recommended paying to upgrade to Pro), it doesn't hide the fact that this version has a number of severe limitations.

Right off the bat I noticed that placing text on a screen was limited to less than 50 characters! While this might be helpful for those tempted to write essays on their slides, it was highly restrictive for what I could put on the slides. So as you can see, the above slides are very simple. This doesn't leave any room for a Reference Slide, so my references are pasted below.

Also, the watermark that they place on every slide is really distracting. Again, this could be solved by paying for the full version, but this trial run left me so frustrated that there is not a chance I pay for the full product! Microsoft Powerpoint or Google Docs is a much cleaner and powerful tool, so I'll stick with them when it comes to slideshows.

As far as learning about copyright, this assignment did teach me some valuable tips about acceptable uses of copyrighted material. Being free to use resources is important, and while giving credit is also important, these six "free" uses of content allow us as a society to remain informed, educated, and resourceful, without fear of legal troubles and company harassment.

Slide 4: theunquietlibrarian. (2015, March 29). 21st Century Research Tools (Online Image). Retrieved from

Slide 6: Helen Beetham. (2015, March 29). Digital Students (Online Image). Retrieved from

Slide 8: Spongy444. (2015, March 29). Spongebob Movie Review (Online Image). Retrieved from

Slide 10: Canadian Light Source Inc. (2015, March 29). Peter Mansbridge (Online Image). Retrieved from

Slide 12: Bago Games. (2015, March 29). Stephen Colbert (Online Image). Retrieved from

Slide 14: Hans. (2015, March 29). Lecture (Online Image). Retrieved from

Sunday, 22 March 2015

ADED 1P32 Session #9- Weekly Report & Reflection

This week had an underlying theme of Digital Responsibility while introducing us to Voice Thread and Poll Daddy at the same time. Polls are very common across the internet, so this wasn't anything too new, but I had not encountered Voice Thread before.

Poll Daddy is just like any other polls, but with one significant difference to most. It had a comment section under the poll results, so it was interesting to see people engaged in discussion about Digital Responsibility, rather than just she the straight numbers.

Voice Thread was like an interactive slide show. Questions and statements were posted, and then everyone had the opportunity to respond and post comments to the slides. A significant feature of the site was the option to leave audio messages instead of just a typed note. I could see this tool being very useful to facilitate online discussion in a course such as this, as it substitutes the seminar setting for an online discussion "chat" room of sorts.

So those were the tools we were introduced, but the content itself focused on the important topic of Digital Responsibility. This course has been opening my eyes to a lot of new stuff on this topic, but I think the most important aspect that I've recently become aware of is the amount of onus that is on you to understand what's right and what's wrong online. Ignorance is not innocence, and everyone is accountable for their actions, just like laws in the "physical" world. What jumped out at me on one of the resources was the fact that a 14 year was arrested for fraud for violating some online Digital Responsibility when it came to discussing stocks (Starr, 2003). This is a prime example of thinking that being online doesn't have the same rules as being offline, but now his life has been turned upside down.

Some news to talk about now. Russia continues to up the rhetoric when it comes to European stability, this time choosing to target Denmark. It infuriates me that Putin uses Russia as his personal property instead of looking out for the best interests of Russians, Europeans, and the rest of the world. There was so much hope of democracy and freedom for it's citizens coming out of the Cold War, and now just a few decades later they are mired in the same mud, with Putin serving the same role as his Communist predecessors. Either Russians are too afraid, brainwashed, or simply unwilling to challenge the regime, and it is just plain sad.

What has this to do with Denmark? Well, Russia has decided that if Denmark continues to go ahead with a plan to join with a Scandinavian missile defence project, that it will become a target of Russia's vast nuclear arsenal. The fact that any country in the 21st century would threaten nuclear destruction is insufferable. Putin has truly turned back the clock with this one. If Russia wants to isolate themselves from the rest of the world, their doing a fine job of it. Read more about it here: .


Voice Thread is another collaborative tool that teachers can take advantage of to encourage discussion and interaction online between students. I think it has particular use among online courses, as it creates a seminar like setting online where input and discussion on core topics can be discussed. On my PLE it would go on the Professional/Academic side, and I could see using this as a brainstorming tool for group projects. It operates similar to other tools we've used, but it's interaction is incredibly simple, and the actual audio component opens up a lot of extra options as well. Again, I see the most use in an online course like this, as it allows for more human interaction with people you otherwise would not see.