Monday, February 21, 2011

Review and Reflection

This has been a very interesting class. It’s hard to believe we are almost halfway through the semester. This class has really opened my eyes to the huge amount of Web 2.0 tools that are available. Some of them, like Wordle and Second Life, I had heard of before but never use. Since I work in an IT department, I thought I was pretty techno savvy, but quickly learned how little I knew.
The first couple of weeks of this class was like a whirl-wind. All those emails coming in so quickly was very hard to track. Learning where to post a comment and when was so confusing. Learning to manage all those new accounts has been challenging. I think I have it under control now. But, we’ll see.
One of my favorite assignments was learning Second Life. I can’t believe I feel this way, because my first experience with it was horrible. Being so naive about the program, somehow I teleported to an unknown area and was pushed around and cursed. I think I jumped in too fast. After going through the tutorials and actually having a meeting with my instructor and fellow classmates, I found that I liked it so much better. I’ve since learned that the North Carolina Community College System uses Second Life for professional development. I may get involved with this in the near future. Second Life has also helped me to feel more connected to my classmates. The meeting we had was great in allowing us to talk and “see” everyone.
Although I hate blogging, it is beneficial in getting to know everyone. By reading everyone’s blog and viewing their weekly vlogs, getting to know everyone is so much easier than if we were only using Moodle. I really hate the vlogs too. Blogging reminds me of writing in a diary. I did that when I was a young girl and viewed them as a very personal and private journal. When mine was read by someone else (no, not my parents), I decided that I would never keep up another one. Never say "never". The vlogs are a struggle for me because it’s hard talking to the camera and not knowing who will see your video. I think it’s hard to come up with a topic that will be interesting enough to capture someone’s attention. Maybe it will get easier as the semester progresses, as others have said, we’ll see.  I can’t believe that I’m actually uploading videos to You Tube!
There are several tools I really like and feel like I will use again. Wordle was fun and so was learning about editing information on Wikipedia, Wiktionary, and Wikiversity. I found it exciting to learn that I can edit the information contained within these Wiki sites and help update information for others. The delicious toolbar that allows you to bookmark your favorites sites is also something I will use. It will be great to be able to access my favorites from different computers.
Learning about Michael Wesch has been wonderful. I love all of his YouTube videos. I may be one of his biggest fans. The information he presents about Media Ecology and Cultural Anthropology is fascinating.
Through all the frustrations of this fast-paced class and keeping up with the many websites, login names, passwords, and the confusion I’ve had about where to post what, this has been a great class. I look forward to all the new things I will learn and will be able to take with me when the class ends.

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