Digital Lit Posts

Innovative Learner/Thinker

After reading George Couros’s “The Mindset of an Innovator.” and Will Richardson’s “The Unlearning Curve.” it was a very interesting way to end the course. I never thought about being an innovative learner or thinker but I do see multiple ways that I was this semester.

Writing these blogs really made me very conscious of what I was writing and how I was getting my point across. As crazy as it sounds, I am not use to writing with such personal freedom! When I write for classes, I try to make my point while being very strict and informative. Writing these blogs, I am able to use my own words and not have to worry about sounding “smart”. I really loved doing this…I think it made me a better writer. This is something I want to teach my students. No one wants to read a boring essay with no personality in it but when you make the paper your own, it means so much more!

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Image Credit: Divanni D Mares

One thing I “unlearned” was that not every assignment need to be the same to get a good grade. We all had our own different blogs and made different posts about different subjects. All of the posts are unique to the author and make for a great post. Even though they are not all the same, they are amazing posts!

This course taught me a lot as a person, student, and future teacher. There are so many new techniques I am able to use! Of course I will continue learning. I still have 3 years of college left and even after that, my students will continue to teach me different techniques and what works and what doesn’t! Another thing I will do is teach my students to be innovative learners and thinkers! “I question thinking, challenge ideas, and do not accept “this is the way we have always done it” as an acceptable answer for our students or myself.” is my favorite quote from The Mindset of an Innovator just because I have heard it so much. “This is the way we have always done it” is not a concluding answer for anyone. People ask why because they want to know WHY! If you say “This is the way we have always done it” this is avoiding the question by not giving a reasonable answer!

One thing I want to take from this semester is cutting back on social medias that have no use to me or my career. I also want to try to read more articles online and continue my blog even after the course is over!

In conclusion, this course was so interesting and unique! Definitely one of my favorites so far!

Until next time,

Rachel

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Digital Lit Posts

Attention Log

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Image Credit: Kris Olin

For the attention log, I had to take notes about multiple things while I was online. The only condition was the time spent online has to be more than 15 minutes! Some of the notes we had to take were the following:

1. Date,
2. Description of Physical Space and Device
3. Duration of session,
4. What occurred,
5. What you did,
6. How you felt,
7. What worked,
8. What did not work,
9. Other comments.

We had to note at least 5 sessions for an entire week. I went way over five sessions but my sessions were very similar. I came to the conclusion that I had three general situations of me online.

Situation 1:

My first situation is school/ homework. These sessions could range from 30 minutes to 3 hours. This time online depended on how much homework I had to do or how much time I had to work. At my place of employment, I am able to take breaks and a majority of these breaks are me online doing homework. This makes me become very focused because I am under a certain amount of time! These sessions always had the same device (MacBook Air) and the physical setting would be in my housekeeping closet.

Situation 2:

My second situation is usually just a browse through social media. These sessions could last 15 minutes to 2 hours and could happen at anytime of the day! These sessions involves using my iPhone and three main social medias (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). The physical space would vary so much! I could be on a break at work, laying in bed, or even standing in line at Wal-Mart. This situation had the most sessions in it as well.

Situation 3:

My third situation has two different types of sessions. I watch a lot of YouTube videos and I watch them for entertainment or use them as background noise. When watching for entertainment, I could watch videos for 2-3 hours. These sessions are usually when I am relaxing and going to bed. However, when I use it for background noise, videos could play for up to 8 hours! While I am working, we are allowed to have headphones and this is usually when I am using the videos as background noise. This also changes my mood for the videos. If I sit down and watch them, I laugh and is generally interested in the video. As background noise, I giggle a little but am not fully emerged in the video!

Overall, I think I have pretty normal sessions but I would agree that I need to cut down on browsing through social media!

Until next time,

-Rachel

Digital Lit Posts

Piktochart Review

For my visual, I used Piktochart. In the beginning, I was very intimidated by all the different options but once I got into it, it was very easy to use. I really liked using this website because it allows you to make things look neat and you can choose multiple things to create (Infographic, Presentations, Reports and much more).

In Piktochart, I did face a couple different challenges. The first being the prink box behind the title. I spent at least 10 minutes looking for a “SEND TO FRONT” button. The next problem I had was adding the different graphics throughout the visual. I finally found it on my own! The last thing I had a problem with was zooming in and out. While there is no actual buttons on the website, you have to use a button combination on your keyboard (on Mac, Zoom In: Command +, Zoom Out: Command -). I was able to figure this and the “SEND TO FRONT” button by a helpful help guide at the bottom of the page. This guide allows you to type any key word and it will bring up multiple FAQ and give an answer. It was super easy and fast to find a solution.

I believe there are pros and cons to every situation, so that is how I decided what to put on my visual. I will admit, I had a much easier time thinking about the positive rather than the negatives but there were some negatives. Overall, I loved doing this project because the positives will stay with me for a long time and help me immensely as a student and teacher.

I would definitely use Piktochart in the classroom. I think it would be a good visual for students on multiple topics. I got the idea of giving notes or cheat sheets on different subjects. Just something to help the students so they know what to study and what will be expected on the test. You could use are but these look nicer :). Also, I could make my own posters with this website and hang them in my room. Endless opportunities!

In the classroom, there is a high advantage of using visuals more than any other learning technique. This could be for multiple reasons but one main is that a pleasurable visual will make for a better learning experience. If you see something pretty, you associate it with being good. However, if you see something ugly, you associate it with being bad. It is the same with learning in the classroom.

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Overall, I am really happy I was shown Piktochart and will be using it much more in the future! Piktochart is easy to learn and makes very effective visual pieces.

Until next time,

-Rachel

Digital Lit Posts

To Much Technology?

Could you quit technology for a year? A day? An hour?? Why do we use the Internet? Personally, I use the Internet for everything. I use it for school, work, entertainment, and communication. Is this a bad thing?

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Image Credit: Flickr

In Paul Miller’s TED Talk: Quitting the Internet for One Year, Miller discusses the advantages of quitting the Internet completely. Miller says quitting the Internet was a great thing because it allowed him so much opportunity. It opened Paul’s schedule so he could spend more time with his loved ones and increase his creativity. However, Miller brings up BOREDOM. While Miller did have extra time, he had way to much and was completely bored. When this state hit, he would just play video games. One thing I really took from this TED Talk is getting rid of technology is almost inevitable. While Miller did get rid of social medias and computer Internet, he did play video games. Video games are technology. We are surrounded by technology. Can we use to much? Yes, but it is all about controlling yourself and not letting technology consume your life.

The next thing I viewed was an article by Leo Babauta. The article is called Simplify the Internet and is a great read. Babauta gives great advice on how simplify your Internet use. Unlike Miller, Babauta is not saying to give up the Internet but to reduce the amount of websites you use. My favorite tips were about how to simplify Email. My Email is crazy because of how much spam and useless mail I get. Most of these Emails come from stores that I gave my Email to. Unless you are a hardcore coupon person, DO NOT DO THIS! These people will not leave you alone with coupons! It wouldn’t be so bad if I was into coupons but I’m not. I wish I could get rid of them but I have so many now, I don’t have time.

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Image Credit: Hamza Butt

The last thing I looked at was What Happens When Teens Try to Disconnect From Tech For Three Days by Katrina Schwartz. I really like this experiment and I think it is awesome that these teens can see how dependent some are on the Internet. The main thing I want to discuss is the conclusion of the experiment. One student said not using the Internet made them more creative with their time. However, another student felt very insecure without his phone. He describes that he would ride the bus home late and there was no one to talk to so he would just sit there.

In conclusion, I think the amount of technology you use is based on the kind of person you are. If you think it is a problem or it is interfering with your human interaction or health, lay off the technology! If you don’t think it is a problem, keep doing what you are doing!

Until next time,

-Rachel