Attribution:Kathryn Greenhill (CC BY-SA 2.0)
I had no expectations when I signed up for this course which is perhaps a good thing. With no expectations I wouldn’t be disappointed. To be honest, I enrolled in the course, after consulting with Kate Davis about which units I needed to take to upgrade from a Graduate Diploma which I had completed way back in 2000, to a Masters. The unit was in the list and I wrote it on my enrolment form. I didn’t bother to read too much about it but as I had recently been told as a result of yet another unsuccessful job application that I was “out of date” I thought learning about emerging technologies as going to be one way of getting up to date and I guess they were correct, I was out of date because I had never considered the technologies I have now learnt about before so I do feel better equipped to show off my new knowledge and show any potential employers that I am no longer out of date.
I struggled at first with the learning environment. There was nothing wrong with it except for my incompetence in the beginning. As usual I jumped feet first without reading all the instructions. Who bothers with instruction manuals? Therefore after signing up and failing to tick the blog box, I had to do it all over again. This made me a bit late starting as well. I realised that the course had already started before I got going. This is partly because I am studying remotely. I haven’t been unable to attend the workshops in person and as they clashed with IFN600 I didn’t get to listen online much either which left me with a disadvantage. I felt a bit cut off from the rest of the group and missing out on information. That being said, though being able to leave messages in the learning environment which were always answered in a timely manner, was beneficial and did help.
I found it difficult to interact with my peers at first. I had the disadvantage of not meeting anyone face to face as I didn’t attend the classes so I have been dependent on online interaction. I generally do not do a lot of commenting even on Facebook. I guess I would be called a lurker. My first ever Twitter comment was because of the game which we played. I have enjoyed received comments about my blogs. It at least means people are reading them. With that in mind, I have tried to reciprocate because a comment means not just that a person is interested in what you have to say, it is a form of connection. I do realise though I haven’t been commenting enough and I didn’t realise until we received a post from Kathleen that comments were actually part of the assessment. I should have taken more notice of the opening line, “…exploring new technologies and connecting with your peers.” I will say that I think everyone has had some excellent points to make on each topic and it has been enjoyable and interesting to read everyone’s blogs and share everyone’s learning journey.
In the other unit I am doing LCN 600 Connected Learning we have been considering the Connected Learning principles, and I recognised this course displays all these principles well.
I enjoyed reading through the learning materials. They were not too academic and dry, and it was good to have a blend of video and reading. As they were online it was also handy to be able to jump from the learning material to find examples of what they were talking about.
I enjoyed creating a blog and being able to write my thoughts and ideas about the technologies we have been exploring. I have often thought of writing a blog and might consider doing this in the future, I just need to come up with a suitable topic.
I found the quantified self a challenging activity. I picked an app to record how much water I should be drinking and reminding me every hour to drink water which I am ignoring. One day I will start paying attention to it. As I mentioned in my blog about it, I am not good at keeping records on myself. I couldn’t even keep a diary. My Ipad wasn’t working so I could not download an app on to it which meant I had to do it on my mobile which I didn’t use for downloading apps. This meant I got to know my phone a bit better. My Ipad still isn’t working properly which is not actually a bad thing. My 8 year old doesn’t get on it anymore and she was becoming a bit too obsessed with it. There were also a few activities which I felt technologically incapable of doing, so did not select on those weeks, such as creating an app, making something and creating a mashup.
I enjoyed all the topics. They were interesting and varied. I found the open source topic particularly interesting and timely as at the time we were doing this, I was involved in a virtual team assignment in LCN600. After a few issues with topic selection for our assignment it was decided that we would do open publishing. I was instantly able to connect with what I had been learning in this unit and it made it much easier for me to get into the assignment.
Gamification was thought provoking and I enjoyed the videos by Jane McGonigal, even though I still don’t know if I agree entirely with everything she said. I have been thinking about creating a game to get my daughter into reading. She likes playing games on the computer so it would be good to blend a non-computer activity with a game. I thought an empty bookshelf which when she reads a book, will be added to the shelf. After 5 books she can select a book end. There will be rewards as well and a big reward when she fills a shelf. Unfortunately I do not know how to set it up so it may have to a game which is not on the computer. In that same week I also enjoyed watching Chris Milk and hearing about his work with virtual reality and empathy. I played the Wilderness Downtown interactive video to my daughter using our address and she wondered if the runner was really out the front of the house. If you wish to try it, use Google Chrome.
I found the week in which we considered the human rights issues around the Internet and technology to touch on my own concerns which should be concerns of everyone, privacy, accuracy and property. These are real concerns which constantly need to be addressed as new technologies come into play. At the time we considering these issues one of my favourite comedians Kitty Flanagan had an “interesting” solution to some of these issues.
I was also given the opportunity to talk about a topic I have been interested in for some time, the right of people to not use the Internet such as my mother. The reality is though that the world is going to get more connected not less and more and more services will require us to have access to computers and the internet to use them but I do wish technology development could slow down and let us catch up. Things become old and obsolete too quickly, which is another irritation of mine.
I was excited by the opportunity to edit my uncle’s Wikipedia entry. I have been wanting to do that but never had the confidence to do it, as I had not written the original and thought it might not be the right thing to do. By coincidence, a book about him came out at the same time so I was meant to do it.
What I will take away from this course is that there are a lot of new technologies that are changing the way we interact with each other and the world around us. It is fun to play with these technologies and not to feel afraid to experiment.
Libraries should have a role to play in providing access to these new technologies such as 3D printers although I am not entirely sure that many have the budget. They also should be providing us with the skills to use them. A blog from 2015 suggested some more technologies we might like to see in libraries. It would be interesting to see how many are taken up. As a librarian, I look forward to the opportunity to utilise some of these technologies in my work. Now I just need the job… At least I am not “out of date” any more.