Hello for the last time.
I started this semester with an air of certainty that was unwarranted. As a person who spends an extreme amount of time within arm reach of an electronic that connects to the internet i would say i would double that undeserving confidence. I mostly taught myself how to access and traverse the internet and when I started this class i didn’t expect much of the courses new information. Through most of the course I believed that it was map for people who never bothered to learn the internet or weren’t born around the time that it was so ubiquitous. That the course was a crash course in how to use basic function that pertain to school or social media. The course felt more as a doctrine or a way to propagate the message that this is the way it will become, that everything you do leaves a paper trail. It felt a bit too pushed and that when everyone slightly sees some truth in message they are more accepting in the whole thing.
Honestly now that this semester is coming to a close and I have made it far from unscathed, I can say that i was wrong on what this class meant and what I could have learned from it. Any new way of using the internet wasn’t very interesting, I don’t believe I learned any new tricks or shortcuts with the mechanical part of using anything online, but my way of approaching social media has definitely changed. The class has made me see that there is a lot more connection with anything that i do online to myself in the real world. I have been very careful to change my identity online and understand that there is a schism between myself as a student and the pseudonym that I have on many different board. This class has shown me through the affects of the project and the videos that my digital footprint is more set in stone than set in dirt or a muddy track. This course has been interesting to say the least, having to use social media as a main source for most of my project goes against everything i learned in elementary school up until now. From the way the class was set up, hybrid and with a classroom that seemed a little chaotic constantly, i was very interested in what else was there to come. The times we were in class I tried my best to engage and interact for many reason, some because I was feeling guilty over forgetting to do the work but also because the class did interest me on how much importance was put into seeing the student interact online and their ideas that went along with it.
I guess the previous part was a mix with the impact and changes but continue with more focus on the impact i would say that i will continue to be stuck in my typical methods for school. While the class was interesting and engaging i didn’t see a major shift in my scholarly life with the teaching. The bottomline I think that the course would be more useful and expand more beyond this one semester but i don’t believe that the school has changed enough for that to happen. The major points that i pulled out the effects and community based learning from the book I had seen and studied in communication courses, the videos made me see the true modernizing of established ideas like democracy and aggregated information and work, but again I don’t believe that the environment is willing to take these changes even if the student is capable. Just how the United states scientific community already uses the metric system pretty well and the common public is not exposed or given any reason to change, I see the same for the school system. Students are willing to change to fit this new age with digital identity and it is effects but as it sits now those new skills will stay dormant. The skills offered in this class were amazing for veteran users and novel ones, we just a place to use them effectively.
So after reading and watching the video, the major point that i picked up was a more connected communication with everyone. The article had a focus of classes but the video was focused on communication as a whole. Social media is a strong tool but when teaching a new generation about a tool that about connection it is better to mimic that communcation with students. This week i have been wondering about the effectiveness of this method of teaching and the article touches on that why don’t we let people learn this as they go? i grew up in the internet and have plenty of memories of learning all the skills i have now but i was thinking that everyone was the same, that this how people learned about the internet, the article really shed the light that not everyone was willing to learn that way and professors can help those who fall behind or need some guidance to catch up with those who are savants at social media. also the power of a few to help the many, for one of my examples i would point to an old video of a tradition that was created on Youtube by the vlogbrothers, the Decrease of World Suck and it shows the true power that the article and the video are talking about. Social media is usually deemed to be mundane by most “traditional methods” but Social media has had the power to bring down shows, call to attention different topics and brought people together.
So for the final week of engagement i focused more on tuition in California, mostly research and the effects. Sadly all i found was articles that increased tuition and my efforts from last week were simply ignored, a brand new twitter messaging and tweeting feels like i am not speaking to anyone. Using the Tagboard i found other articles about reform of the education system would put more on the taxpayer. While the article is a year old I feel that someone will eventually have to pay for education and this may not be the right choice but it is a new option to a flawed system. Thank you Vannesa Mcmurray for an interesting article. The biggest thing i found was the open education system that is being introduced by the office of education technology GoOpen, it may not be about higher education but it is about bringing down the private schooling system and allowing more people to access it. this model has the potential to become a model in some schools accross the nation. Also the Power of social media that affects the world with what happen back in october in south Africa with very large scale protest over tuition and the communication that had with students from UC Berkeley. While i havent seen the most response about social media and its effects i do see the power it does have.
Since i have been on twitter i have been looking for more information on higher education. the problem with only looking for textbook information was the information and especially the conversation seemed pretty stale. This week i began to lurk more in a broad terms about higher education and the cost of it and while i did find some similar information i noticed that a noteworthy point was the winner of the NLSS which is an award given to people who help progress and innovate the world of higher education. While lurking and hesitantly commenting on twitter about the topic of our project i found a more open and plentiful conversation about the general environment. while i do have your time i do want to say that after reading a few articles (here, here and here) there is a sense that the only way for anyone to see a cost effective reason to go through college is to get the same monetary gain out of college. For students this isnt the case, Most students chose the classes and major they have and they are willing to do more to study these courses but higher education makes it difficult. Personally i go to college to experience and find out morethings to understand body language while not putting much effort in my grade (a dramatic problem i am well aware of) and the price of education makes it harder to possible study and do something with something that i love.
So for this section of the challenge we are told to just lurk around and observe the situations of the topic we chose on 2 different social media sights. I spend a ludicrous amount of time online and since i have been a presence on the internet i have lurked on sites that interested me. For the assignment i was on Twitter and facebook, these are my major picks the response is quick and there a lot of people contributing even though they are not all experts. For the cost of textbooks and higher education the most vocal are the ones paying for the textbooks and classes, my issue is that i haven’t found too many advocates for custom books and or digital copies. I feel that i am not searching correctly and am looking in hot button sections that aren’t allowing both sides to speak. Recently my phone my glasses and my car are all out of commission so mobile viewing and screen shooting are not possible till next week or later. I return to these topics every other night, the most volatile time for these talks are around election season beginning and end of the semester so the feeds get stale quickly. With twitter it a lot of big tweets getting attention while on facebook i noticed have been more comment oriented and people repeating and forwarding the same articles.
So primarily looked at twitter and facebook for more information on who or what I could learn about textbook and prices. After a fairly quick search but a ton of pages I found a few organization that are working toward a better system for students and higher edu. Faculty forward looks at the cost of higher education in a general sense and voices some of the more unseen effects of student fees, not being able to buy new clothes and not having an open dialog enough dialog with students to show where their money is going. The other site is flat world education which is trying to change the entire dynamic of traditional higher education formats and personalizing them. while the model is new and I personally don’t agree to it they are on social media to show the issues that cause the website to be made, the dissatisfaction with the method that publishers are with the way the handle the price and distribution of textbooks.
looking at social media never was a positive thing for me as a student, I constantly felt that it was overly biased and would get buried by more popular stories that are more appealing to a wider audience. As an example there is a story on the textbook tag on twitter about a highschool textbook and how it skewed the fact the slaves from Africa that were brought to America were called “workers” and how in texas this is a major outrage. while I agree that this is a major issue I had to dig for more information on my topic or change my search altogether.
So I have chosen to research the cost of higher education and more focused on textbooks/custom textbook and why they seem to go up every year. So for the beginning I looked at the universal search engines and basic tools that any person with an internet connection can do. After looking at google, yahoo, and duck duck go I found the only differences in duck duck go being the arrangement of the articles that were first given to me. The first few articles were dated from over a year and a half ago and so I had to modify my search for more recent articles and I found some of the more common websites that produce news articles, being usaToday and the Atlantic. What I found to be more surprising that there weren’t more recent articles about the issue, I assumed that around August more articles would appear so talk about the new school year. One of the biggest things I found was in an article written by Erin Thomassen on watchdog.org, that the price of textbooks had risen by 1041% since 1977 and that it was triple the rate of inflation in the country. This may become my focus for the project that I have in my course but I have only found sources that haven’t been peer reviewed or any other proof of authenticity. From the Ted-talk that we saw for the class I also may most likely use only duck duck go for future searches, because I prefer to sift through the information before it gets to me. Google and Yahoo are geared toward the person’s history and what most likely would want to see and, while I can see the positive of this and being able to arrive to article that are relevant to me, I would lose out on side article that I may be looking for that google or yahoo has deemed unworthy.
So I looked myself up on google and I found very little my personal information. My name is pretty common so I wasn’t expecting to find myself. I go by my middle name for most of my life so the only information of my first name is of a professional baseball players. I stay online a lot but I don’t contribute often enough for my name to get out there and I am not very social online so even my Facebook doesn’t show up on any searches. Also a few years back I was asked to do this for a class and the only information I found was my old myspace account, a few comments left in old forums when I was a preteen and so when I was done with the class I took it all down. I don’t feel tied to my name when I am online, it allows me to be anonymous even though I don’t use it in a positive or negative way I am glad that I haven’t needed to give up a lot of my personal information on the internet. Although when I did first look my self up the most eerie thing I can remember was that my phone number was on the profile searcher, even then my number was outdated but still made me worry of what other information could be left on line. Since then I decided to leave Facebook, twitter, myspace, and other social media sites because I never felt too attached to them. My closest friends also feel the need to have social media pages so they got rid of theirs so there was never a pressure to get one. College has really changed that, classes and students mainly use Facebook to get notes or catch up on what was missed and so it is convenient that I get one again. I check it very rarely but I never enjoy doing it, it shows to me that I am stuck to it, that I need it if I want to continue interacting comfortably in this digitally infused world.
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