Fun With Google!

Last week, we had Michael Wacker as a guest speaker for ECMP355. He talked to us about Google and the many different things that could be done with it. A lot of the info he gave us was brand new to me and some of it was just better explaining some of the tools that I already knew about, such as Google Docs.

We were asked to find a Google feature/product that we might use with students. I chose the Google Story Builder. I mainly picked this because I saw a classmate, Shauna Norman, talk about it and I wanted to look more into it.

Essentially what it is is a “live” storyteller. It shows the characters typing their part of the story and collaborating to build it. Music can also be added to the story. I would definitely try to incorporate this into the classroom so that students could work together on a story to share with the class. It would be fun to see the stories that they come up with and the way that they tell it!

Here is a video I made to show you what it’s about and to deliver some exciting news!!

http://goo.gl/bwP9am

Learning About Blogging

For my ECMP355 class, we had Sue Waters as a guest speaker to talk to us about blogging. Sue had many great tips for us to improve our blogs, most of which I had already played around with in my ECS210 class last semester but her tips were in better detail.

Some things that I learned and implemented:

  • I created new pages on my blog so that it is easier to navigate. I created a page for ECMP355 where all my posts for the class will go as well as sub-pages for specific topics such as tech tasks or weekly reflections.
  • I learned a bit more about categories. Last week I played around with them because I had no idea what they were for. I created some categories and organized all my posts in the categories. Sue helped me to verify that what I was doing was more or less correct and I knew I was on the right track
  • I also learned how to make headings in my posts so that it is easier for viewers to read, as well as put pictures in my blog that have proper attribution. I have not implemented these just yet, but I plan on doing it in my future posts

Views on my Blog

Last night, I was poking around WordPress just to explore it and try to learn more about how it works and whatnot. While doing this, I found something that I thought was very interesting.

I could see the views on my blog by country! Normally I probably wouldn’t be really excited but I had views from outside of Canada! The majority of my views were in Canada which was expected since it would be classmates and profs looking at my blog. What really got me was that I had 13 views from the United States since I’ve had my blog and 5 of them were from this past week. I also had 3 views from Australia which I am assuming was Sue Waters. Nonetheless it was still an amazing feeling! Especially since I wasn’t expecting it, and it meant that people were actually seeing what I was posting! I still just assumed that only the people from my classes were the ones looking at my blog.

If you have a WordPress blog and want to check out your views by country but aren’t sure how, here’s an easy way to do it:

  • Log in to wordpress.com
  • Click on STATS at the top of the screen
  • You will then see VIEWS BY COUNTRY just a bit down the screen
  • Click on SUMMARIES and then just go from there!

I just wanted to share this experience of excitement that I had! It was a great feeling to see that “outside people” were checking out my blog

Visitor or Resident?

While making my internet map (shown in my previous post), I definitely had a lot on my mind. I had to think about how much I actually use the internet and what I use it for. Do I mainly just take things and go? Or am I creating more of an online footprint?

I realized that I am not on the internet too much but when I am, it is mainly just to grab things and go. There are exceptions like Facebook and Instagram where I post pictures, information about me, and talk to friends. The thing with these is that they are private. You have to add me as a friend before you can see the majority of my things on Facebook as well as on Instagram.

What about potential employers?

That is something that has come up on occasion in ECMP355 and has made me really think about it. I want to create more of an online presence so that when future employers decide to search for me on the internet (it will happen, we have all creeped the odd person on Facebook, at least once), they can find me and what I’m about rather than a private Facebook account.

I hope that with this blog, I can create more of an online presence. I hope to become more of a “resident” online and less of a “visitor”. I also hope that my ECMP355 class will help me to do this or at least give me some great ideas and resources so that I can do it myself! **Spoiler alert: it’s already helping!

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Mapping My Internet Use

In my ECMP355 class, we were asked to map out our use of the internet. We were asked if we were more residents or visitors to the sites we used and if it was more personal or institutional/professional. Below my map are the reasons why I put the websites/tools where I did.

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Facebook: For me, Facebook is personal and I am definitely a resident. I post statuses and pictures as well as comment on other people’s pictures and wall. I am on there a lot even if it’s just looking at everything.

Instagram: Instagram is another thing that I consider personal and residential. I share lots of pictures and like/comment on others’. I’m not as intense with Instagram as I am Facebook but it’s close.

Hotmail: I put hotmail on the personal/visitor side. I used to use it as my main email but now all that I use it for is mainly just to sign up on different websites. I like to call it my “junk” email because the majority of the emails sent to it are junk. I really only go on that account if I forget passwords or just to delete a bunch of stuff.

Kijiji: I put this in between resident and visitor because I often just search for things but I also sometimes post things on there. I put it a bit farther down the personal line because I sometimes will post textbooks.

Pinterest: I would like to consider myself a resident of this website because I am ALWAYS on it, but I realized I don’t really post much on it. I mainly just look at different pins and if I like it, I will screen shot it on my iPad rather than pin it to a board. It is close to the halfway point between personal and institutional because I also look up educational pins and not just personal, although personal overthrows educational.

YouTube: YouTube is slowly making its way to both the resident and institutional areas. I usually just watch funny videos or listen to music, but I am starting to watch more educational videos and posting my own videos.

Netflix: This is on my personal and visitor side. I watch Netflix A LOT for my own personal use and then just leave (even though it’s not that easy…)

Songza: I just use this to listen to music when I am cleaning my house, driving, doing homework, etc.

Google (searching): I am constantly using Google to search for things. I look up all sorts of things that are both for personal and institutional use. I just take what I need and go.

Gmail: Gmail is in the middle of everything. Any emails from my employer go here as well as all my school email. Now that I have Google+, I get a lot of emails from there. I also send personal emails from Gmail. It’s my go-to email.

WordPress: I am becoming more of a resident with WordPress. I created a blog last semester and was required to post throughout the semester. I was also required to comment on other blogs and ask questions. The same goes for ecmp355. I have it close to the halfway point to personal because I feel that I also learn from my blog and other’s blogs in a way that could be considered personal as well as institutional.

Evernote: The majority of the time that I use Evernote is for school. I use it so I can type my notes on my iPad and then read them on my laptop or phone. I do occasionally use it for personal stuff so that I can transfer things from device to device, but it is rare.

Google+: As of right now, Google+ is just institutional as I only use it for ECMP355. It is in between visitor and resident because I am somewhat just using it to get what I need and leave but I am also starting to post more and participate in the discussions. It will definitely be more on the resident side after this course.

UR Courses: UR courses is down by the institutional side because I only use it for university. I usually just go onto it, get what I need, and leave. Sometimes I use it to contact classmates or check out the discussion pages so that’s why it’s not completely over by visitor.

Twitter: I am starting to tweet more than I used to so I am slowly becoming a resident on Twitter but I am still on the visitor side of it. I basically only use it for school so that is why I would consider it more institutional.

Struggles

I ran into a few struggles this past week when trying to complete assignments for my ECMP355 class. I haven’t made it to any of the online meetings for the class because I’m either not available or I can’t get on them. My boyfriend takes our laptop to work with him and sometimes works late at night. I have an iPad but I couldn’t log on to the meeting with that. It was frustrating but at least I was able to watch the recordings and hopefully will make it to an online meeting soon!!

Now, the struggles with my About Me welcome video….

I had absolutely NO idea what I was going to do for it. I am so glad that I am in such an interactive class with such creative classmates! Watching everyone’s videos gave me ideas and made it easier for me.

I started to make my video on my iPad as my boyfriend had the laptop at work. I have used iMovie before so I wanted to try something different. And that is where my struggles started. I downloaded a few apps to try. Trial and failure with some of them. I then found Animoto and really liked it. So that is what my video was made with. After like an hour of making a one minute video, I was DONE! Now to save it…. The only way I could save it was straight to Animoto’s website. If I wanted to save the video to my iPad so that I could upload it to YouTube, I would have had to start paying for a subscription. I honestly did not want to do that. I also didn’t want to start over and make a brand new video b/c I really liked this one. Sooo frustrating. So my solution to this problem was to play my video on the laptop and record it on my iPad. This is why the quality isn’t very good, but I hope everyone will understand why! I am still kind of disappointed with how I had to do it, but I also learned that I should test saving things out before putting a lot of work into it! 🙂