Sunday, 25 January 2015

ADED 1P32 Session #2- Weekly Report & Reflection

Well, week number two again introduced me to a brand new concept; Personal Learning Environment (PLE). It was a little foggy to me at first what it actually meant (with a lot of similar yet different definitions), but eventually I found a definition from the resources which worked best for me. PLE can be described as “the tools, artifacts, processes, and physical connections that allow learners to control and manage their learning” (Lalonde, 2012). I would add, being that we live in such a technological world, that an emphasis should be made on the "digital" aspect of the tools at our disposal. The examples of PLE's that were given provided a diverse range of styles, with some detailed and intricate, while others favoured a more general approach. When I created my own, I went with a simple format, mainly because I find I don't use nearly as many online tools as my peers. I split my PLE into two halves, with one focusing on use for personal matters and the other focusing on my professional/academic life. I'm a pretty simple and linear person, so it makes sense that my PLE represents that.
van Bolhuis, M. (CC) 2015.
At the end of the lesson we were asked to think pretty seriously about how our PLE will effect us in the future. Thinking about the future can be tough, as so often I just want everything to slow down and live for a little bit in the now. But here's my best shot.

In 5 to 10 years I want to begin to settle into a steady position somewhere in the sport industry. In the preceding years I will have been getting my feet wet, working in the trenches, and just steadily building that experience base. But at this point I want that work to begin to payoff. I'm not too fussy about where this is taking place, but I think I'm leaning towards the non-profit or public sector, running a city's youth sport league or some similar sport program. From a personal stand point, I want to be involved in my community and be the part of something bigger than just me. The biggest difference between now and then is fairly obvious. It's simply a different life stage. There's a big journey in between now and then.

How do I get there then? Well, as I touched on before, it's about building up that experience. You have to start somewhere, and that probably means at the bottom, doing a lot of grunt work. Besides just the basic skills required of any position, I will work on honing organizational and networking skills. These will be key to attaining that future vision.

My current environment revolves around a lot of academic things. This will have to be tweaked eventually to better suit the change of setting after school. For networking, adding a LinkedIn account could definitely be a positive step, but just looking for other networking sites and tools will not only help in the search for a starting position but will also be invaluable down the line as well.

Habits is the final thing. I really want to work on getting out and volunteering more. This helps build that network, gives real experience, and should give me a better idea of what exactly I want to do. There just doesn't seem like a lot of time to do this right now, so working on creating that time is something I have to seriously consider.

I can see where my PLE is now, but just thinking about the future makes me realise how much it will have to evolve down the line. I think a lot of the change will be natural, but some will also require some determination and concentrated effort on my part.

Finally, the word cloud. I'm a straight forward thinker, with a linear approach to learning. You might go as far as saying that I lack creativity. So an activity like this usually has me scratching my head. But what I thought was kind of cool was the fact that despite only having the major words, you got a sense of the main point of the piece of writing. Only the main concepts are needed to get a basic comprehension of what the writer is trying to convey. So that was interesting.

van Bolhuis, M. (CC) 2015.

I guess I'll end on this point. I found this week to be more structured in how we had to construct the blog post. I'm hoping that there will be more flexibility in the weeks to come! But I guess we'll see next week. 

- Matt

Sunday, 18 January 2015

ADED 1P32 Session #1- Weekly Report & Reflection

So this week focused a lot on online etiquette (or "netiquette") and being aware of the trace and trail that you leave on online ("digital footprint"). I found a lot of the practices and approaches to maintaining a positive outlook, with regards to these two elements, fairly common sense and relatable to manners and procedures in the "real" world.

The idea of having a digital footprint that I can never erase is scary. The thought that some stupid post or picture from your teens could come back to haunt you is frightening. My strategy for a long time was simply avoidance. My footprint can't be bad if it doesn't exist. But as Ainslie (2009) states, it is better to focus on "making sure [to] build a positive one" rather than fruitlessly trying to avoid one altogether. A positive footprint could have just as big an impact as a negative one. But if there isn't one, that chance to impress is gone.
Digital Footprint

So how do I try to maintain a positive one? Well for starters, I still try to avoid any negative attention. If someone tags me on Facebook in something that could potentially be offensive I remove my name from it immediately. I also try to avoid getting sucked into "explosive" topics on social media. While I believe it is important for your opinion and voice to be heard, it is far too easy for your views and points to be misconstrued into something you never meant at all, when all they see is the words and not the explanation behind them.

For positive aspects, I firmly believe that if you employ proper netiquette skills wherever you go online, you will stick out as an intelligent and reasonable person. Which in today's world is pretty impressive. I simply try to treat everyone as if I'm face to face with them. Respect is huge, and while I don't really expect to receive it back, at least I'm fulfilling my side of the bargain.

When I took the Digital Driver's Licence Exam I scored a perfect 20/20. While I'd like to say that was really impressive, I think for the most part it was a fairly common sense test. At least for me. The key thing that kept appearing in every question was an aspect of respect and thinking of others. When analyzing the questions from that angle, the correct answer stood out very quickly. I'd be interested to know the average result on that quiz, because I think it would be very telling to see where the score was at. If it's not high, then I think we need to take a serious look at how we operate as a technological society, and where exactly we've gone wrong.

The key factors from the Digital Driver's Licence Exam that I will focus on in throughout the coming weeks will be Digital Access, Digital Law, and Digital Rights and Responsibilities. I believe these are very important in today's technological world, and the lines are not always so clear. And to add to the confusion is the distinction between ethical and legal behaviour. Somethings are allowed under the law, but does that mean we should engage in that behaviour? Is it "right"? I'm looking forward to seeing what the course says on these, and how to apply it to my own behaviour online.

ADED 1P32 First Blog Post- Week 1 Intro

Hey everyone!

My name is Matt van Bolhuis, and you guys are reading my very first blog post. Blogging will be a brand new experience for me, and I guess I enter it with a certain amount of apprehension but also a lot of curiosity. This class will be a really unique experience for me, as I've already had to try out a number of new things. First was Pintrest, and second was this blog. I imagine that the new experiences will keep on coming! As far as my activity on the various social media sites goes, you could say I'm a bit of a late bloomer. I have Facebook, but no Twitter and no Instagram. And I've survived so far! So I'll be a rookie when more social media tasks come in for this course, but I'm sure I'll adapt quickly. As for what I'm hoping this course teaches me, well, I guess I'm just in it to learn as much as I can about the online world. Knowing proper procedure, practices, and just having a general knowledge of the tools and "rules" will be invaluable in the future working world. Technology already has taken over in almost every business and organizational setting, and that process will just continue to evolve when the next generation of tools arrives. Keeping up to speed with those changes will be very important, and I think this course is a great place to start!

I guess I'll just share a little about myself. This is my third year here at Brock, and I cannot believe how fast University goes. My field of study is Sport Management, and with that comes the opportunity to complete an internship in 4th year, so after this year I only have one more actual semester of study here at Brock. It's both exciting and terrifying to think that in a little over a year I will be out hunting for a job. Growing up is fun and rewarding, but part of me wants it to slow down. Oh well. Such is life I guess. 

Obviously being in Sport Management, sports are definitely a major passion of mine. Hockey is my favourite, but I've also played volleyball and basketball at various levels growing up, with some golf on the side. I can get excited and competitive with just about any sport, so as long as there's a ball and enough people, you can usually count on me taking part in the action. 

As I'm sure you all could deduce by the picture, that's me on the right with my family. Family has a huge impact on my life, and I have been blessed with a fantastic one, both immediate and extended. Whether it's playing sports, games, cards, or just watching T.V. together, we always have a great time. I'm the youngest and only son in my family, so this has led to accusations of favourtism and spoiledness from my sisters, but I just to like to say that my Mom and Dad perfected parenting by the time I came around!

Anyways, I guess that's good enough for an introduction. Here's signing off on my first blog post.