Sunday, 16 February 2014

Weekly Report & Reflection blog post #5

Useless Chatter
Although I signed up for Twitter four years ago, I never really understood its purpose or usefulness. To me Twitter was a board for socialites to talk about what they were doing and share random pictures of themselves or places they have been. I guess that my judgement of Twitter was heavily influenced by what was highlighted in the news ..... "Pics of baby North West revealed!", "Justin Bieber's spotted in Nightclub", "Miley lights up on stage". Is this what Twitter is ALL about? 
I decided to check it out anyway just to try to stay in the tech loop a bit! My first proud moment of tweeting went like this "Totally frustrated with Bell's internet service!" Proud that my message was out there and will start a chain reaction of followers in agreement and Bell getting their act together to provide a higher quality of service! Minutes turned to hours which turned to days, weeks, months and years but not one blue bird's poop happened! This is rubbish, Twitter isn't useful unless you're a celebrity or a celeb-wann-a-be, I thought!

My Evolution
As we evolve, so too does our network. People, Places, Interest, Hobbies and Knowledge can now more than ever before be shared with others and discussed on forums of many social networking platforms.
My negative perception changed when taking Brock University's ADED1P32 course - Learning in digital contexts. Session 5 requires setting up a Twitter account and interacting with it from an educational or learning context. This was an eye opener for me... I now understood the meaning of all those @'s and #'s symbols that I frequently saw on post, comments and discussions. In my time those symbols were used to filling the missing letters of profane words! Hence prior to that session, I didn't give a S#@t about those symbols!   
Had I known about the reasons and purpose of  hash tags and at symbols on twitter my first post on Twitter expressing my frustration on Bell's internet service might have actually gone somewhere. My resurrected Tweet might have been @Bell Canada I'm totally frustrated with your internet service #Bellcanada #Frustrated #poorinternetservice.  With only 107 characters, my distress signal might have  reached an audience with similar experiences and perhaps even heard by service providers customer service department; Geeze, I could have started a revolution ... OK, back to reality, maybe not a revolution... a movement perhaps?
I have begun to re-enter the Twitterverse with renewed enthusiasm and with high expectations. I have included a mini bio about me and added a list on my account with a few peers and our facilitator. I have cleaned up my account by Un-following Kanye and Kim choosing instead to nourish my mind with insightful post from my peers, the university I attend, educational bodies and news agencies and a few other reputable people in my field. In growing my PLN, Twitter will no doubt be an invaluable tool in directing content my way and allow to participate in hundreds of discussions that I would not normally be privy to.

This course has been quite an exacting and insightful journey for me thus far. It has given me useful tools to reintegrate into the digital world. I am quite excited to share my knowledge wit my friends and family and I believe that this new found knowledge, once practiced, will allow me to communicate with my children who are no doubt Digital Natives. I hope to pass on to them the importance of a PLN, potential for social media to have a positive influence on their educational endeavours and the importance to of online responsibility and security!


“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Images retrieved from:

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Weekly Report & Reflection blog post #4

I've been having a lot of fun this past  week reading the feeds from my reader. It has proven to be an asset in locating articles of interest and has aided in the efficient use of my time.  Because Feedly is web-based, I have an abundance of RELEVANT information available to me wherever I go. I can keep up-to-date on local and International news and also any topic of interest I have, for recreational reading.
I have also explored some bookmarking tools such as delicious and diigo. I have found Diigo to be a more user friendly platform than delicious, but that's just my personal preference. You can feel free to try both of them out and comment on this blog to let me know what your views are as to those two.
Content Curation involves the sorting through of the endless resources available over the internet on any given topic. It is collated, organized and published into digital presentation much like a newspaper would collate several stories onto one physical printed publication. The difference is that a curator will usually define a specific topic, sift through numerous online articles pick the ones that they find most relevant and publishing those links onto his or her online page. In striving to become a 'reputable' curator, one must be careful not to 'pull' and share random links; The curators that would stand out are those who carefully select the information relevant to his or her niche or circle.

Lets ! ...And so I did.
I decided to explore as my curation tool and was fascinated by the simplicity of its design and functionality. It helped me locate content that was of interest to me, or even topics that I needed information on. I was able to scoop them all right onto my publication with ease. It was simple to use, pick your topic, create a heading,then search for relevant content that you can include in your publication. will search for all the articles related to the keywords you specify! Even if my first set of keywords does not give me the results that I expected, I can simply modify my search (keywords) criteria until I get exactly what I am looking for. Supplementary course reading on Beth's Blog was quite insightful in outlining what content curation was and how it can be valuable.
I have also installed the app on my android phone and it works quite well. It is just as simple to use, all I have to do is hit the share button and 'share using' That content will be published and automatically synced with all my internet devices. It is similar to  flipboard  in its magazine-like layout but allows for more user interaction and customization which is a neat way of making your publication more personal.  
In maintaining a professional image as a Digital Citizen new curators should be responsible in their publications as they will be deemed your publications hence inferring that you may subscribe (unless otherwise specified) to the views of the articles that you publish. As always, think of the implications of your publications and how you are viewed online now, and 20 years from now.... Be responsible!


Sunday, 2 February 2014

Weekly Report & Reflection blog post #3

Using RSS Feeds - A liberating and empowering feeling.

I've recently begun to explore the fascinating RSS Feeds world and I find it to be so useful with Feedly as my reader of choice. I have added quite a number of feeds and and even set them up into categories, including News, Technology, Education and Cooking. I now, almost religiously, scan my reader every morning and evening to catch up on interesting articles that I have subscribed to. Through my RSS feeds I stumbled across an article "Blazing the education trail", I found this to be a very inspiring article about four home schooled girls who's parents opted to deviate from traditional mainstream education, customizing each of their education to suit their individual interests and talents resulting in amazing accomplishments by them all. I have subscribed to Ted Talks and CNN just to name a few, and also found a interesting article on Digital Citizenship.
I found that RSS feeds allow me to get the content that I am interested in free from distracting ads, it also saves me time in that, I do not have to spend additional time searching for article that I need; With RSS, they come to my device! Prior to using RSS feeds, I was subjected to reading articles that were not interesting or useful to me. News articles were filled with irrelevant data that took up too much time even when scanning. I no longer have to be a recipient of ads and promotions thrown to me daily, by marketing companies, that have 'statistically analyzed and accumulated data based on my browsing history and patterns'!
There are unlimited positive possibilities for the use of RSS feeds in the field of education; Quoting from an article I read recently, "In a ‘socially mobile learning environment, it is no longer sufficient to use online learning and teaching technologies simply for the delivery of content to students. A ‘digital literacy’ exists where flexible and mobile technologies must be explored for collaborative and (co)creative purposes, as well as for the critical assessment and evaluation of information".
I am content being in control of what I want to read or learn. It's a liberating feeling to be able to choose what I want to read and have updates come to me automatically, it also gives that feeling of empowerment to have something as powerful as the internet at your will. This is definitely a tool to be used in growing my PLE.

Mahatma Gandhi“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
― Mahatma Gandhi


            Duffy, Peter D. & Bruns, Axel (2006) The Use of Blogs, Wikis and RSS in Education: A Conversation of Possibilities. In OnlineLearning and Teaching Conference 2006, 26 Sep. 2006, Brisbane.

Picture obtained from:

Blazing the education trail

Blazing the education trail