Friday, December 17, 2010

The Last Blog

...of the semester at least. It hardly feels as if it's been a semester. I remember just yesterday sitting in my Digital Civilization class and thinking "I wonder if I should drop this class..." The class seemed terribly complicated and I wasnt exactly sure what they were saying half of the time, but I kept the class (mainly because I needed honors credit and I didn't want to search for another available class), and it turned out to not be so bad. Don't get me wrong, sometimes (and I do mean more than once) I would be in tears, siting with my computer, with my roommates asking me what was wrong, and I being able to only mumble something to the effect, "...I....don'" They didn't understand (or even empathize) with my plight.

Despite being somewhat challenging course, I have learned a great deal and I am very grateful for all the useful information (both historical and digital) that I have acquired these last few months. I have stretched myself in ways I didn't really think possible at the beginning. If you would have asked me to make a prezi presentation that included embedding a youtube video and still shots of my own computer screen using Jing I would have thought you were speaking another language. And that is exactly what it is. I have learned a whole new language in the course of a semester as I have explored new tools and websites and methods of creating and consuming digital literature. It has been quite the journey and I can only help but think where all this information will take me in the future.

It's funny to look back at my older posts and see how I've advanced. This is the link to my first reflective post. At this point I was just touching the tip of the iceberg of learning.

Here is a link of the first prezi I made for our mini book club. It was the worst prezi I think I've ever seen.

Here is  my most recent prezi I made with Jeff Whitlock for our Final Presentation. I think it was lot better.

And now for the Award Ceremony:

Here is the link of the post I am most proud of (and not too mention my most popular blog with a whole 7 comments!)

This post gets the "Nice Try" Award. I still wasn't sure how to post and I was trying to connect to the subject matter and that's what you get.

This post gets the "Waaaaaay too long and boring" award. I learned from my mistake, don't worry.

This post earns the "Most inspirational" award. I was feeling pretty low and who knew reading your homework would help lift you up?

I think the most useful tool I have learned how to use (and I use about once a week still) is JING! As I sit here typing the little yellow "sun" at the stop of my screen just warms my heart. It is just so easy to use and so incredibly useful.

I've had a lot of fun, stress, laughter, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and whole lot of other emotions while taking this class. I hope I continue learning from the principles I have acquired.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Let's Make a Website!

As promised, I shall review the process I went thorough while making the Official BYU Microfinance Club Website. Let us begin!

Right after the website was started

Pretty boring if you ask me, so I started to add stuff (you know like information and photos)

We then had two sidebars and information about what is microfinance as well as the history of it. However, after a few days I thought that was pretty boring, and that information could be turned into a sidebar feature. I then got a story from Jeff who went to Sierra Leone on his mission and met a woman named Baby. So, I decided that it would be more personal if on the homepage of the website there would be a picture of her with her family and her story.

This is the final homepage!

Here are some other pages on the website!

And here is our blog!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Blog, Blog, Website

It's a new game I've created, you know...instead of duck, duck, goose. So it appears as though I haven't been doing much in this class (considering since it's been quite awhile since I have last blogged), well I can assure you I've been hard at work.

I am in the Microfinance group for our final projects, and I have been in charge of our group's website and it has been quite the challenge. We have also started a blog for our group, set up a twitter account, and have been working on a prezi for our final group presentation. It has been a very hectic couple of weeks.

In posts to come I will be explaining in more of a set by step process what exactly I have been doing to contribute, but for now I will give you the links to some of the things I have been doing so you can see for yourself.

This is for the website and for the blog!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Peer Review Evaluation: Chase McCloskey

I had the opportunity to review Chase's blog (Chasing Knowledge). It was great to review fully someone else's insights to the class and find out what kind of things he had been learning on his own.

Historical Context:
One of the things I really liked about Chase's blog was that he includes a lot of personal stories and applications. For example, when talking about the atomic age, he was able to talk about his recent trip to Hiroshima and share several photos as well as a short video clip. I feel that these topics have more relevance when they include a personal application. Chase is very good at capturing the historical context that we have been learning Many of his posts are about the subject matter. You can tell he has gone out of his way to learn and research more into these topics.

Computing Context and Digital Culture:
Chase seems to be grasping the computing context and  learning many new digital tools. I have learned some new things while reading his blog. His presentation of Wordle was especially fun to read, his Prezi of the book review was nicely put together, and his explanation of fractals (with yet another personal experience) were all very easy to understand and helpful to me as a consumer. He probably could do a bit more in this category to really get more out of the class, but it seems like he is well on his way.

Self-Directed Learning:
Chase seems very interested in the topics learned in class and is doing his best to apply them to his learning. He could definitely start doing a few more digital literacy labs as well as finding more readings outside of the assigned. Overall it appears that he is really enjoying the class and has greatly improved the quality of posts since the beginning f the semester!

Friday, November 12, 2010


The past few months I have learned many different things in this class. I'd like to talk about the three different aspects to the class and what I have learned in each aspect.

Historical Context: I absolutely love history. I love learning new things and I love this class especially because it allows me to learn new things in my own way. We are given guided reading to help stimulate the topic, then we are allowed to explore the topic for ourselves, using our own methods (Google search, library, blogs, etc). I have been able to learn a lot more (and focus more on the aspects of each subject that I personally find more interesting). I'm even doing a better job at documenting what I'm reading through diigo.

Computing Concepts and Digital Culture: While I still seem to struggle in this regard, I think I've made bounding leaps of improvement since the beginning months of the semester. I've really begin to embrace the skills I've learned, and it's helped me not only in this class, but in almost all my other classes I've used the concepts I've learned here. For example in my Theater midterm I used Jing to help put my PowerPoint presentation together. I also created a Prezi presentation for my Political Science course. It's been fun to teach these things to my friends and family (they think I'm a lot more tech savvy than they used to). I'm also not afraid to search things out for myself. Before this class I was very closed minded to the technological/digital world. I was afraid to use anything more than Firefox and only searched through Google. However, now I am more willing to try to discover things on my own, and ask other people who know more about these things. It's been exciting to learn new tricks.

Self-Directed Learning: I think this was quite a challenge to me at the beginning of the semester, but I think I have come a long way since then. As I mentioned earlier, I have gotten better at using Diigo to show some of the things I've been researching. It's been very interesting to see how much legitimate information is actually on the internet. I think, especially in high school, teachers and professors are always talking about the evils of using internet information to study, but the more i have searched online for different topics, the more I have found that there is very good and legitimate resources to use. The great hing is that they are free and available to the masses. It's a shame not many people know about it though. I have really enjoyed learning how to discover information on my own, and to read and investigate topics that I find personally interesting. It's very liberating from my other courses I've taken which give specific reading assignments.

I think overall, I have greatly increased my knowledge of western civilization, computer/digital concepts, and self-directed learning. I'm still trying to find ways to better myself, but I think I've come a long way and have learned many important lessons that will help open my understanding to these ideas in the future.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Atomic Comic Book

A comic book distributed to visitors of the Big Rock Point Power Plant in Michigan reveals the ideas behind the age of atomic power. Click the link below for the full slide presentation!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Keynesian Economics is Wrong?

There are many different opinions about Keynesian economics. This video talks about the logical fallacy of this theory. He says that it sounds good, but the fact is that in the real world Government can't inject money into the economy without taking money out first. There is no increase (aggregate demand), it is just redistributed. Watch and see what you think.