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!