Friday, November 12, 2010

Looking Back While Moving Forward: Digital Civilization Reflection II

As part of my Digital Civilizations class, I am supposed to write a reflective blog post in which I evaluate my effort and learning in the course up-to-date. As students of this class, we are expected to meet this criteria, which involves demonstrating a an understanding of concepts from Western Civilization, digital culture, and various computing concepts. Though there is always room for improvement in any course of study, I believe that I am doing a good job at meeting the course expectations. Part of the reason why I am confident saying so is because this class has seriously changed the way I view all of my other classes; it has changed how I view the world. It is certain that I have gained a great deal from this course. Therefore, holding to the old adage "you only get out as much as you put in," it is apparent that I have a put a a lot into this course. Let me illustrate some of they ways in which I have used the consume, create, and connect model to manage my learning:

  • Consume: 
  1. I have been very consistent in using diigo to track and record the various online sources that I have read in my self directed learning of class concepts
  2. I have become an avid user of Google Reader and have set up a few of of my own subscriptions
  3. I have weened myself from the Google/Wikipedia crutch. Almost every time I set out to learn about something, I at least try to get some of my sources from an alternate means.
  4. I have absolutely improved my sampling and skimming skills
  • Create:
  1. I believe that I have improved the variety, quality, and color of my blog. For example, I have done a rant, an image essay, a video remix, Prezi presentation, and improved the quality of my more traditional posts.
  2. As previously mentioned, I filmed and edited my own video as a remix of this youtube video.
  3. I have improved the design and layout of my blog by inserting a Twitter Feed, RSS Feed, Page breaks, better image positioning, and white space.
  4. I am doing a better job of incorporating areas of my personal academic interests into my blogging.
  5. I have become much more proficient with Prezi. I even made a Prezi for a club presentation.
  6. I started another blog: to blog about political issues that I am passionate about
  • Connect
  1. I have had a lot of dialogue about class concepts with other students outside of class.
  2. I have started using Networked Blogs to help others connect with my Blog via Facebook.
  3. I have started using Twitter consistently to microblog both about my life and areas of personal interest. I even used a twitter to backchannel during the President's post-election day speech and had an engaging discussion about various economic and political issues. It was an awesome experience.
Here are some areas that I can improve:
  •  Consume:
  1. I need to do a little bit better job at reading sources more thoroughly instead always sampling and skimming
  2. I need to consume more books.
  3. I need to do a better job at reading more of my peer's blogs
  • Create:
  1. I need to do a better job at blogging occasionally before class.
  2. I need to do a better job at occasionally blogging about computing concepts.
  3. A couple of times, I end a blog post with the intention of coming back to write more but I usually do not get around to it. 
  •  Connect
  1. I need to leave more comments on my peers' blogs.
  2. I need to do a better job of continuing dialogue about interesting subjects after class through various social media mediums.
  3. I need to be able to connect the blogs of my peers' with the faces I see in class
I am sure there are more areas that I need to improve in than this but these are the most pressing. In wrapping up, I look forward to a strong finish  in this class and I am excited to get to some serious work done on our final project on microfinance... more on that coming soon!