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When I entered this class I knew it would be a piece of cake, I was tech savvy! It took about three days to realize that knowing how to check my email, and set up a wireless network no longer qualify as anything but slightly below average. As a result of avoiding Twitter… and Facebook… and blogging… and my obliviousness to wikis and social bookmarking, my knowledge of technology had piqued right around the time Myspace began sucking, and there I stood, stagnant while the digital river of change flowed around me. From there I went into a bit of a panic/catch up mode, and I feel pretty good about the outcome. There’s still things about each of the topics we touched on in this class that I don’t fully understand (who would use social bookmarking if they weren’t in college? How exactly do you turn on a Mac?), but I feel like I’m finally above average in the tech world, and that’s a good feeling, and will continue to be for months until Apple comes out with the telepiMac, and all the tech savvy people give up typing while I’m left standing in the river again, clutching my keyboard.

Twitter Icon

Weblogs and Wiki’s introduced me to new concepts, but also changed my opinions of some older concepts. I have spent several years of my life actively avoiding all things Twitter on a daily basis. why? Well for starters it’s called Twitter! I don’t tweet, I discuss! The thing is, I think I was right in my opinion of Twitter when class began. It’s not my mind that changed, it was Twitter. The earthquake in Japan has caused Twitter to evolve from a soulless gossip machine “Nobody went to his aid at the very beginning when he first collapsed — that just perplexed me beyond reason,” USC senior Alastair Fairbanks said. “Instead, I saw students texting and updating their Twitter statuses. It was just all a very bizarre evening.”], into something that almost seems to give a crap. I still haven’t done anything as drastic as use Twitter on a daily basis, but I have used twitter some, and can almost see more value in it as a note taking device, than I can as a gossip machine.

My opinion of social bookmarking has changed very little from when it was introduced to me at the beginning of this class. Other than the length of the annotations Delicious is capable of accommodating, I don’t really see it doing anything twitter can’t do. In fact, I can send info to twitter using my phone, and thus avoid opening additional browser tabs and entering passwords. I used Delicious quite a bit in class though, and I’ve got about thirty bookmarks and it worked well enough, just seems kind of limited.

wordpress

I could see myself having a blog in my everyday life. Not as an online journal, as is one of the more popular uses, but just to keep track of my life. A blog can be almost anything that you want it to be. I’d used one before to keep a daily log of a trip that’s accessable to people back home, and it worked fantastic for that. There are even some businesses that have decided to go with blogs rather than the traditional website. Blogs are attractive, and a monkey could update on once it was set up and polished. My en3177 blog is my most used tool for this class.

When we first touched on wiki’s, I was very skeptical. Why on earth would I voluntarily let people mess with my stuff? Soft security? Give me a break! Well I’m still not so sure about this soft security business, but Wiki’s definitely have a place in the digital world. Seeing a site like Wikipedia function as well as it does, kind of makes me worry that Star Trek’s collectively conscious race the Borge, might not be as fictional as we all think. I’ve got all kinds of ideas for Wiki’s, ranging from a movie review wiki where users would edit a films synopsis down to collective perfection, to a questions answered wiki, where any question could be posted, and the ultimate answer would be produced and fine tuned by many different users. Due to a lack of time, I didn’t get to expand on my Wikia page that I started for this class. Plus blogs are easier to use, and seemed better suited to the purposes of this class. I also have my class wiki, and an additional page that I created off of the first page as was the assignment for that week. My opinion of Wiki’s has definitely changed since first glance. I just don’t understand why someone doesn’t make them prettier.

prezi logo

This final report would have been a Prezi, if Presi had a voice-over feature. Prezi is very cool, and once you understand it, it is user friendly, though getting to that point is a bit daunting. I fought with my Prezi presentation for nearly ten hours before I was satisfied, and now looking back at it, it could be better. Another thing that bothers me about it is why don’t they let you do audio? My plan for this project originally was to record little audio blurbs for each slide and embed them so that each individual slide was narrated. Prezi won’t let you do that yet though, so back to the old reliable blog I went. This assignment would be prettier as a Prezi though.

Mindmeister2logo_2

I’m not sure how the creators of Mindmeister knew that their program would be of any use at all, but here I am using my midterm mind map to help me organize this project. I’m not sure that I’d be willing to wade through the Mindmeister’s interface on a daily basis to make things like to do lists, but for something longer term and more important, such as a five year life plan, I think it would work fairly well. I think if Mindmeister had more features, and was a little more polished it would be more popular. It took me a half hour to figure out how to save my mind-map when it was done, might wanna fix that Mindmeister.

Social media is the future of communication, that’s obvious. The amount of time people spend on the phone doesn’t vary from year to year, but texting is through the roof. Facebook’s popular to the point of being the center of some people’s universe. People send Twitter Tweets first, and help a potentially dying man second. Additionally, digital media is poised to replace printed publications, and judging by the popularity of the Ereaders, Google News, and gossip blogs, the world is ready. I learned a ton in this class, but I also get the feeling that I now know just enough to realize how clueless I am. New concepts are introduced every day, and many will probably be obsolete within months. That’s one of the major things I took away from this class, some people believe that the internet is killing our social lives, but at the same time it allows us to interact more than ever. Things like produsage have evolved as a result of our desire to be social, and it appears that these types of things will only continue to evolve. None Facebook users are already at a social disadvantage in the dating world, and it’s only been around for a short time. I learned that Joseph Schumpeter might have been on to something when he coined the phrase “adapt or die”. I think it’ll be easy to get left behind as we move into the future. How are the elderly dealing with the death of  News Papers? In many cases they switch to a still existing publication, but what happens when there are no more printed words? My grandpa gets his news off the internet. He adapted, but most can’t. I’m grateful to be among the adaptables as we move into the digital future that EN3177 has helped introduce to me.

And finally I’ve created a timeline of everything I’ve done in the class. At least I hope it’s everything, it’s surprisingly hard to round it all up! Plus I’m pretty sure some tweets are missing because twitter deleted all of mine.

Mlearning

                               Wikipedia defines Mobile learning as any learning that occurs when not in a fixed, predetermined location. That seems a bit vague to me since that would encompass learning techniques that have been used for hundreds of years, such as field trips, and guided tours. Mlearning actually has been around for over a hundred years, ever since  language lessons where released on wax cylinders in 1901(which where one of the precursors to compact disks). Later 8 tracks, cassette tapes, and cd’s took over. In the 70’s xerox created the dynabook mobile computer to run simulations for learning, and that marked the beginning of the modern mobile device learning movement that is mlearning.

How does it Work?

The mobile learning format is best for brief interactions of less than five minutes per use. The navigation tools and controls are kept simple, and text is often little more than a twitter sized message. Mlearning devices and formats are not suitable for deep and extended sessions of learning, but are better suited for activities such as quickly reviewing assignment information and parameters, responding to a quiz question in a classroom setting, or, in the case of podcasts, to download a lecture you’ missed or would like to hear again, and listen to it at your leisure. This makes mlearning sound like a potentially shallow and disatifying learning experience, but its really not. Students are often sent into the field to collect data and use their mlearning devices to record that data and send it back to the classroom to be added to a larger project. An mlearning project can be as deep or as shallow as it’s creator see’s fit. The learning device is a tool, and the environment does the teaching.

Advantages of Mlearning

  • Is Constantly evolving and may help drive the creation of new technology
  • offers a lighter weight way to learn when compared to books, and computers
  • Could be used to supplement traditional learning methods
  • supports the learning process but isn’t integral to it
  • can help some students with special needs
  • might attract students who have given up on conventional learning
  • can chose from audio, reading, and video learning
  • many students already have the tools they need to mlearn

Disadvantages

  • Students must have IT skills
  • There might be a few students who’ve resisted the cell phone and MP3 player craze.
  • device limitations such as key size, battery life, and screen size. (A books battery has never gone dead. Not even once.)
  • device bandwidth is still relatively primitive, and video and audio streaming may be limited, so the technology might not be there yet.
  • Limited technology in some developing country’s
  • it’s social and lends its self to collaboration
  • Devices become dated quickly and many can’t be upgraded
  • Can’t print easily
  • Small screen size lends itself to video, but it’s best to avoid text

 

I was having a hard time wrapping my head around the concept untill I found this example scenario at http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7060.pdf

 

Scenario

Tabitha has been studying the influence of changing climate patterns on animal migrations. As part of her senior project, she has been monitoring hummingbirds, which have been seen in increasing numbers locally in past years. Tabitha is observing two sites in her neighborhood where they have been seen and one where they have not.

She sets up motion-sensitive cameras at each of the three sites—one at the local botanic garden, a second near a honeysuckle bank in an undeveloped wooded area, and a third near heavy perennial plantings on the back side of the community center. The cameras are set to record video of anything that moves, so she aims them high enough to ensure human traffic will not set them off. Whenever video is recorded, a message with a URL to access the video is sent to her smart phone. She consequently spends her free moments during the day—waiting for class to start or standing in line at lunch—viewing video on the screen of her mobile, trying to decide if there has been hummingbird activity. She also visits the camera locations daily, recording information on temperature and humidity. She uses her smart phone to upload these observations to a database and to compare the day’s weather data with that of previous years.

Her first sighting comes five days into the study. She is scanning the video on her way to class when she sees a streak across the screen that she is sure is a hummingbird. Excited, she checks the data from the previous four years and notes her sighting is two days earlier than the average.

For her, the most exciting moment of her project comes after hummingbirds have been present for more than a week at two of her sites. A male hummingbird soars right in front of her as she checks temperature readings at the wooded location, her third site. Excited, she pulls out her mobile to check the hummingbird habitat maps. She thinks the bird is a full half-mile northeast of where his species had been spotted previously. Tabitha will need to do further research, but she believes she might have evidence confirming that the migration patterns continue to shift.

Applications

  • in museums
  • On field trips
  • constant on the job training, especially for the military
  • life long learning, such as dictionary access, or mobile assisted language learning (MALL)
  • using for interaction in the classroom
  • In natural resource or other training programs where a lot of field work is involved

Supported Devices

  • Smart Phones (cell phones are the number one mlearning device right now)
  • Ipods (for pod casts and in some cases video)
  • Ipads and other tablets
  • Laptops
  • Anything mobile and capable of displaying data

A Brief Video Describing the Uses of Mlearning

click here if video wont load

Conclusion

                      I didn’t know a thing about mlearning before I began my research for this post, but now I have to admit that I’m intrigued. Hand’s on learning is generally regarded as the most effective way for most people to learn, and mlearning is a way for us to get out of the classroom, and out into the realworld where everything that we’re here to learn about is actually occuring. I like the mobile aspect of mlearning, but I also enjoy the fact that it embraces new technology’s. I bought my first ipod four years ago, and I still get a kick out of how much information it holds, and the fact that I can watch movies in a tent or while riding in a plane. Technology is big business because we’re obsessed with it, and anything that manages to hold our attention for more than five minutes in this riddelin popping, twitter tweeting world, can and should be used to help us improve ourselves. I’ve always wanted to become proficient in a foreign language but don’t really wanna have to read too much… perhaps my time has come.

The next time you go see a film, see if your friends who’ve already watched it think it’s worth you while! Check out the article on Lifehacker.

The Fiat Mio design was displayed long before production in order to allow the public to modify it to be what they’re looking for in a car. So why is it so fugley?

I’m Google Famous!!

                           A few years ago I Googled myself and found one book review I’d written on Amazon, and a personal website I’d maintained for a while to post photos on, and that was it. I Googled myself again last night, and I’ve apparently become a celebrity over the last few years. I clicked through five pages of Google and I pretty much dominated the first three and was generously peppered throughout the last two. Some of this exposure I brought on myself by using my full name for things like my WordPress Blog, Twitter Account, Mind Meister Map, Wikia and Prezi Accounts, etc. But many things posted about me I had nothing to do with. I’ve worked for the United States Forest Service during the summer for quite a few years, and I had no idea that with nearly every event I’d ever assisted in, someone had taken a picture of me and written up a story with my name, job description, coworkers names, and the location of the office where I worked, all posted along with my photograph. There are something like six of these storeys and I have no clue how to get them removed from the website. Another shocker is the church I went to as a kid posts yearly updates on all of its members, including relationship status, where they live, ages and birthdates, and who they’re related too. I’m not a big fraud committer, but this seems like a lot of convenient information even in my law abiding view of things. I’ve also been ratted out by my dead grandmother! My grandma on my Dad’s side of the family died about four years ago, and several newspapers and obituary websites have printed the names and locations of the relatives who survive her… Thanks a lot Grandma. Finally there are all the obvious things that I brought on myself such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Linked in, and my personal Blog, and some how the Beltrami Humane society got my name and phone number and decided it would be a good idea to post them even though I can’t remember the last time I even saw the place let alone visited.  

                  Somehow in the last four or five years, I’ve gone from a relative unknown in the web world, to a low-grade rock star, and I don’t think I had all that much to do with it. Businesses, schools, churches,  and clubs are jumping on the internet bandwagon, and posting information with abandon, and I’m starting to wonder if I shouldn’t be googling myself more often, not for vanities sake, but to watch my virtual back. This gave me a business idea that would help me earn my millions! But then I stumbled onto this Delete Button for the Internet: Tool Removes Personal Info From Google, Facebook, so I’ll have to earn my millions in some other way, but it’s nice to see options evolving to compensate for the apparent de-evolution of Internet security

                      I never trusted Facebook or Myspace from the very beginning. Getting one of these accounts is a little like posting your face and vital statistics on a  billboard along side  an interstate. I joined both sites years ago to see what they where all about, and promptly got bored and forgot about them. occasional I’d be reminded of their existence when I’d get an email informing me that a random acquaintance, or some creeper that I’ve never met really wants to be my pal or worse. I’ve shut off certain parts of facebook to all but my friends, but being social-media-clueless, I really have no idea who’s seeing what when they find my site. I’m almost positive that the information viewable on Facebook is used quite frequently for evil. I know of a few girls who regularly facebook stalk any new guy that they meet, and not only investigate to see if he’s trustworthy or shady, but also to see what kind of person he is and find out is he’s worth their time. I also know that, whether your on facebook or not, someone can take any picture they want of you, and post it with a tag with your name on it. Basically, short of moving to a country that hasn’t managed to acquire photography or electricity yet, you cannot escape the stalking resource that is Facebook. Additionally, it makes a person extra easy to find on internet searches. When I Googled myself, I was amazed to find that nearly three pages of Google results where about me! Number six on that list is facebook, and listed right below my name are many of my facebook friends. So with one search an assassin could locate and wipe out me and all my friends in one fell swoop using one convenient website. Not comforting. A statistical website that I found listed the following numbers

  • 25 percent of households with a Facebook account don’t use the site’s privacy controls or weren’t aware of them.
  • 40 percent of social network users posted their full date of birth online, opening themselves up to identity theft. (I didn’t know this and will have to make an alteration!)
  • 9 percent of social network users dealt with a form of abuse within the past year (e.g., malware, online scams, identity theft or harassment).
  • It’s incredibly easy to get scammed online these days. I had it happen last year, and I know a few people who’ve had the same happen in the last few. The fact of the matter is, none of us truly know how to protect ourselves because everything below a websites flashy skin is a mystery to us. A billion Google searches happen every day, and it’s a little known fact that with every search you do your IP address is recorded, as are your search topics. Supposedly google never sells or misuses this information, but then why are they collection it if they don’t intend to use it? Nearly everything we do online from engine searches to online shopping is recorded and saved, and most of us don’t have a clue as to how secure the things we do really are. When you make an online purchase with a credit card, all you have to sooth your nerves are a few icons like vericheck and others that have become familiar and trusted because the other times we saw these icons during purchases no one stole our credit card information, so we believe that  it must be doing its job, but what the heck does it really do? Couldn’t a thief make up a fake icon that mimics an existed trusted company’s icon and pillage us blind? There are a few trojans floating about the web that mimic a trusted windows antivirus program, but in reality are a trojan that forces its victims pay money to a fraudulent company to get their phony antivirus program off your system. These are getting to be very common, and I’m sure plenty of credit card purchase fraud is ocurring as well. We might not be able to keep up with all the new threats in online security, but this link has a few solutions for the majority of us who don’t know how it all works.

    Media_httpmediafocusc_fsexh

    Interesting chart dealing with social media and security

                                   Facebook isn’t the only problem however. One would think that Twitter, and possibly some large online shopping sites would be next in line, and Amazon is high on the list of sites to leak information about me, but what really shocked me is how exposed my past job with the Forest Service has made me. With every Forest Service related event that I participated, someone took my picture and information on where I worked and what I did, and who I worked with, and posted it in a lively narrative. I had no idea that this was being done with each event untill just a few days ago, and also have no idea how to undo it. Worse still are these reunion websites, one of  which my dad apparently signed up for. It lists him and my mom and their ages and locations, and does the same for me and my sisters.

                       I didn’t sign up for any of the latter things listed. If you do anything at all in America your information will probably end up online. Many people are deleting their facebook and myspace profiles, and I found a top ten list of reasons to do this. Sadly some of my friends have quickly adjusted to and accepted the security threat, and see this sort of thing as a personal insult to them and their friendship with me, so in essence when I delete my Facebook friends, I’ll be deleting, or at least alienating some real friends as well. As for all the other personal information hemorrhaging sites, sometimes there’s nothing you can do, but for the ones you sign up for such as Linkedin, Myspace, and Twitter, this article explains some steps we can take to avoid making too much information about ourselves available to the world. But in many situations, such as with my job, or my parents reunion website, there’s nothing I can do about it short of becoming a hacker or and orphan, so we might as well accept that fact that the whole world is a stage, and we’re the stars, and protect ourselves as much as possible as privacy inevitably continues to erode away.

    Privacy Is Dead and Social Media Holds the Smoking Gun

    Internet Marketing for Lawyers: Social Media & Privacy Expectations

    Is Facebook Eroding Privacy? Or Does Social Media Require Us to Lower Our Expectations?

    Social Media: The Privacy and Security Repercussions

    I’ve found that nearly every popular form of social media is being used in some way to bring aid in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake.

    Twitter: of all of the social networking site in use, twitter is the one that seems to be the best suited for the situation, and twitters really stepped up. I found multiple news websites with twitter tweats rolling in as part of their news offerings. I also found a website that listed english speaking expatriates who currently live in Japan, and experienced the earthquake and its aftermath first hand. The website included the twitter handles for these each individual so that they can be followed and we can hear information first hand. Twitter also set up a way that their users can use the site to donate money to the cause. To be honest I didn’t think much of twitter in the past, but it seems to be evolving  from a shallow  gossip machine, and into something with atleast some substance and integrety.

    twitter earthquake related hashtags:

    General earthquake information: #Jishin
    Requests for rescue or other aid: #J_j_helpme
    Evacuation information: #Hinan
    Confirmation of safety of individuals, places, etc.: #Anpi
    Medical information for victims: #311care

    Google: Google, as we discussed in class, has added an entire page worth of earthquake related resources. There’s a person finder aplication, person finder hotline, airport flight information, blackout information, lots of ways to donate money to charitys, and information on the status of local masstransit systems. Additionally, right after the earthquake had occured, google defaced it’s famously blank homepage screen with a tsunami alert in red capital letters. Thanks to google, even people who are cutt off from news have a better chance of being aware of impending danger.

    Facebook: Facebook is the devil. I’ve said it many times before and I’m saying it now despite the fact that several support group pages have been set up to help people who are out of range of ordinary support systems cope with the grief brought on by the situation. I also stumbled occross a page created by the International Nuclear Power Councel that was being used by experts to discuss Japans powerplant situation, and to debunk myths. Facebook’s too slow and cumbersom to be used the way twitter is to update and inform us from the inside, but it does seem to be playing a fairly useful roll despite being the devil.

    Utube: Utube has tons of network news broadcasts posted, as well as footage shot by people with camera phones and other devices that found their way to youtube long before the network stations had managed to broadcast much of anything on the topic. Youtube combined with camera phones seems to have spawned an era of do it yourself newsreporting, though as with anything that’s do it yourself, the reliability of the sources is always in question. Youtube also created their own person finder app. It consists of over 80 video messages of earthquake survivors filmed in shelters. People who are looking for a loved one can wade through the videos and possibly be reunited.

    Blogs: Other than the usual proven reliable newsblogs, good blogs seem to be hard to find. While Twitter is doing a great job of connecting us with survivors storys, these survivors don’t appear to be fans of blogging, probobly due to the fact that twitter can be operated from any phone, and blogs require atleast a smartphone. I found reports that some less credible news blogs may be responsible for starting rumors about the dangers we may face as a result of Japans nuclear powerplant rediation leaks. Apparently it spread like wildfire that spinache and milk where tainted even though most of our supplys of both products are local, and nothing on our continent has been affected as of yet.

    Even though things are a bit chaotic on on the social media sites with newsfeeds coming in from every direction, and only a very few having been proven legitimate authoritys on their topics, I still feel that social media is proving to be an invaluable resource these days when things go wrong. Honestly, even it the only legitimate and useful thing to be developed was a person finder, and all the other resources where garbage, it would be well worth tollerating their noise. That isn’t the case however. Nearly every site being used during the disaster seems to be adapting to make themselves more useful, not only durring the disaster, but beyond it. Disasters seems to being out the best in social media, and once we find a way to implement a little quality control, social media could become an incredible and integrated disaster reporting and relief system that traditonal media couldn’t even dream of becoming.

    Produsage

    Well I took a few stabs at what I thought produsage was, and submitted them in an unapproved way, plus I’m not so sure I was right anymore.

    1. www.rottentomatoes.com

    What I said was: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this site is a pretty good example of produsage. Movie reviewers access the rotten tomatoes site after watching a film, and fill out a questionair, while at the same time including an excerpt from, and a link to their review on another site. Each like or dislike is tallied, and a percentage of reviewers who enjoyed the film is computed. Any reviewer can submit a review at anytime and change the product. The only potential problem that I could see is that not just anyone can add to the product, but only people who write movie reviews.

    Now I have my doubts because rottentomatoes is not user created.

    2. I feel a little better about this next one

    http://www.petitiononline.com/

    What I said was : Produsage? If there’s something, anything at all that you don’t like about the world, and you want to take a stand, come to this site. Anyone can create a petition for any cause they like, then anyone who wants to can go to this site and sign their name in support of the cause. One could look at either the site as the product, and the petitions as what is added to the product, or the individual petitions as products, and the signatures as what the rest of the participants add. The first definition makes it seem a little more like produsage to me than the second.

    Well I’ve changed my mind. The Individual petitions are actually user created, and thus make better examples of produsage.

    3. I also remembered a spoof from the movie family guy where they took the infamous Christian Bale chewing out a light guy audio clip, and eddited in Peter as though he was the original target of Bales frustration. This clip isn’t all family guy, it’s blended with something from off the news. Someone with time on his/her hands could take it, and add some silly unrelated video to it, and pop it back on u-tube where the cycle would be continued… produsage

    4. This video is almost exactly what I described at the end of example 3, except using all of the original audio from the incident with a few words dubbed in to make it apply to the cartoon. It doesn’t work very well, but it’s still produsage. Just a warning,  f-bombs arn’t beeped.

    5. A video about produsage that is produsage and knows it. Wish the background music wern’t so loud though. It has an American narrator, but was made in Autralia apparently. Axel?

    My Artifact

    Artifact