Emerging Technologies

Guinea Pig and Laptop
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Emerging Technologies has been a great learning experience for me, both in learning about new technologies and about myself. When I learnt about the course structure in week one, I was very excited, as it sounded very similar to IFN614 Information Programs which I studied and enjoyed last semester. That is participating in activities and writing regular blog posts, along with one group assignment. I learn well from doing, its how I learnt nursing all those years ago, and my learning style is summed up by this quote from Aldrich (2005).

Students are changing. They are increasingly pragmatic. They crave interaction and personalization. They are highly visual. They are problem solvers. Often they are averse to reading. They want more material in less time. And, hardly worth mentioning anymore, they are very computer-savvy

The learning environment was great for me. I loved the mixture of learning materials, webpages, videos, online activities and games, along with the odd scholarly article. I found this worked better for me, as I think sometimes I get overwhelmed with the amount of scholarly reading that we have. Whilst I think this level of reading is important in education, this unit gave me a welcome break from it, whilst still enabling me to learn. I particularly enjoyed the active learning component of the unit.

The mixture of types of assessment worked well for me. Designing my persona was an enjoyable challenge and I felt a sense of achievement and pride when I saw it in the Cube. The group work was good as it encouraged us to work together and collaborate. I particularly liked the blog and play aspects of the assessment, as I feel it works better with my organisational style and time management doing a staggered assessment.  I also enjoy writing blog posts, so much so that I do them when I am procrastinating from working on other assignments from other units.

I personally feel that the marks for participating in the community are an excellent way to encourage us to read our peers’ post. I feel that we can learn a lot from what they are posting, and by commenting it encourages us to think about what they have said. The only problem that I experienced with this was that all comments needed approving first and I didn’t get alerted by email when my posts were commented on. However, this did encourage me to check my site more frequently. I also found it was time consuming to check individual student’s posts to comment upon them. A student forum feed, as used in Information Programs may improve this.

I enjoyed all the play activities especially designing my persona poster, which prompted me to think about my use of technology. By doing this, I realised how Google- centric I am, no wonder my friends call me the Google Queen.deborahfullerN9568212Googling my name was an interesting and revealing activity. It was difficult to find any information on me, possibly as I have a common name, but also because I have previously been very guarded about building an online personality. I have started to build my online brand and am now an active Twitter user (@debfuller66), have a LinkedIn account and am in the process of building an e-portfolio on WordPress. I have however, just done a Google search and I’m still not on the first page. I need to work harder on my online brand, so I am on the front page for the right reasons. This has been a bit of a wake up call for me on the importance of promoting my online brand, although it is not unusual for individuals to struggle with building their personal online brand.

However, the activity I found most interesting and most challenging was the Game. As  discussed in my reflection on the Game, I’m not really a gamer, so it took me out of my comfort zone, especially the selfie  in QUT library.  Despite having a hiatus from playing due to work commitments, I  have learnt from this activity together with playing  Parable of the Polygons for my reflection post, that playing games can be educational, but as with all learning, one size does not fit all. I have also learnt that games can be time consuming, addictive and bring out our inner competitive nature. Games can be utilised in many ways, from military training to helping children suffering from chronic disease, which is something I had not considered before completing this activity.

Open data was the topic I found most interesting. It was interesting to examine some of the arguments for and against it. If all information is open, how does the creator get paid? Conversely if the taxpayer has paid for research, surely that information should be freely available for them to examine. Open education also came under this topic, and was a subject I reflected upon in my blog post How open is open education? Open data and open access is something I would like to research further in the future.

I found all the topics interesting, but the topic I enjoyed the least was the Quantifying Self movement. I took part in the activity and reflected upon it, but on a personal level it is not something I will continue. If I want to increase my activity or fitness, I will do so with or without tracking. However, it might help those less motivated and those with chronic health problems, particularly if it links directly to a health practitioner.

I think the unit comprehensively covered the emerging technologies relevant to information professionals. It would have been interesting though to look at  Artificial Intelligence and how it might effect how information is managed, by digesting and assimilating it. I felt that all the technologies covered had a place within the unit and were relevant.

I feel I really engaged with the unit. I thoroughly enjoyed the content and the learning activities and gained a great deal from it. As a digital immigrant, I feel I have embraced technology fully and I plan to try some of the alternate learning activities such as infographics, photo mash-ups and app creation in the near future. I have amazed myself with how far I have come in a short time, from someone who tolerated technology as a necessity in today’s society to one eager to try new technology for myself.

woman looking blankly at computer
http://itgsonline.com/?p=435. Licensed under Creative Commons

I have learnt so much from this unit, as someone who was educated in the pre-digital age. It never ceases to amaze me how far technology has advanced in my lifetime and I look forward to seeing what comes next. I am both interested in learning about new technologies, along with some slight trepidation and wonder at the constant changes. I think the one keynote I got from the unit is to be open to change, as its going to happen anyway and to enjoy the journey.

 

7 thoughts on “Emerging Technologies”

  1. Hi Debbie, very well written post! I found your reflections to be well thought out and quite insightful, and they have actually assisted me with clarifying some of my own reflections on the course, so thank you for that. One thing that really resonated with me was your positive attitude towards learning about new technologies and the continuous change that we will see in our lifetimes. I think that is one thing that I will take away from this class, that technology will continue to advance and learning about it and keeping up with it should not be approached with dread or resignation, but rather it should be a challenge we look forward to learning about and growing in our knowledge.

    1. Thanks Nura for your comments. I am glad my post has helped you clarify your reflection which I look forward to reading. Five years ago my reflection may have been completely different but I have learnt to embrace change now and am very excited about what the future will hold. I think some of that is in part to the enthusiasm of the teaching team in the department, whose encouragement has undoubtedly led me through some of the trickier aspects of technology.

  2. Hi Debbie,

    This was a wonderful reflection! I found we had a lot of things in common with this subject. I couldn’t get too fussed about the idea of quantifying, although more power to those who found it useful and I could see in situations like someone with an illness it could be. I also find building my online brand a little hard as I second-guess everything I have to say. I may just have to do a lot of retweeting.

    1. Thanks for your comments Chloe. Don’t worry about creating an online brand, it gets easier as you go along. ALIA New Grads have monthly Twitter chats and they’re a good place to practice. I went to watch the first time, but I got drawn in and my confidence increased as my Tweets were liked or Retweeted, I even got a couple of followers. Everybody is so welcoming and supportive. If you follow them on Twitter they’ll let you know when the next one is and use http://www.tchat.io/ to follow the chat, it’s easier. As regards LinkedIn, the more connections I made the easier it was to reached out for others. Having said that the front page on my Google Search is still dominated by a boudoir owner, HIV researcher and now somebody who has been convicted of dog cruelty. I don’t mind being associated with the first 2, but the last one is a bit concerning.

  3. Hi Debbie. Great reflection. I love the quote by Aldrich (2005), however, I do not completely agree that students are changing. I think it is more that educators have accepted that different students learn differently. There have always been highly visual learners, those who were adverse to reading, those that liked problem solving but when I went through school there was the ‘one size fits all’ teaching style with no account being made for different types of learners. we’ve come a long way since then! This course certainly catered to a variety of learner styles. I do not think any type of learner missed out.

    1. Thanks for your comments Lisa. It’s good to hear about learning and different styles form a teacher’s perspectives. It’s true when you say that when we went to school it was a one size fits all approach to learning. I remember that any child with special needs was put in the remedial class or was forever in trouble with the teachers. I look back at that time with disbelief, but I supposed our teachers did not have the knowledge that teachers have now about autism, dyslexia etc. It’s the same in healthcare, when I started nursing we did stuff because we were told to and because it had always been done that way. I shudder to think of some of the things I did before Evidence Based Practice became the norm. Anyway back to the course, you are exactly right when you say that the course catered to a variety of learning styles, I know I’m not alone in gaining a lot from it and never been bored.

  4. Hi Deborah,

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your last reflection.

    Most importantly, I learned a new word, “digital immigrant”, from your reflection.

    Thank you

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