[ETEC 527] Final Reflections

Wow, I really can’t believe I’m at the end of my first semester of grad school. Starting school again was actually pretty unexpected considering I made the decision in about 24 hours and rushed to apply immediately after I graduated. Now that I’m here I find myself extremely excited about the future and really tuned into learning all that I can about Educational Technology. These last few weeks have opened up a new world of learning and discovery for me with technology and in education that I already feel is making a difference in my personal and professional life.

In this course I learned quite a bit that I am using on a regular basis now. Social Bookmarking has become a go-to for me to stay organized and reference web pages, but Diigo has taken it to a new level with its groups, sticky notes, and website annotation features. YouTube is back on my radar for saving videos I like and also many that will help me learn and review EdTech lessons and practices throughout this program. Now that I have my account set up and have created playlists, I am able to work with it faster and I am considering even doing some instructional videos of my own since I’ve learned how to screen record using Camtasia.

Slack is a Web 2.0 tool that I will be integrating into my work to collaborate with my team and possibly other departments. Its workspaces give you the ability to organize communications by channels for group discussions and allow for private messages to share information, files, and more all in one place, which is perfect for all of us now that we are all working from home under quarantine.

My favorite new tool has been Adobe Spark. I am an Adobe Creative Cloud user personally and professionally, and even though I had heard about Spark, I didn’t know its capabilities or about its web platform until this course. Once I began playing with it, I fell in love. Initially it reminded me a lot of Canva, but it’s so much better to me with the ease of use and seamless collaborations between graphics, presentations, and video production. I already know I’ll be using this tool the most in the very near future.

Overall, the Web 2.0 tools I have learned about are all tools that I think will have a long productivity life. I try to avoid web tools that are limited and do not “play nice” or collaborate well with other tools and platforms. I do not like to be limited or have to use more than one or two tools at one time for the same project, so I look for a lot of features that can be upgraded, redesigned, and have multiple features in one place.

I used to be afraid of learning about too many things at once because I would become overwhelmed. While I still feel that way about some things, this semester made me realize how much I’d been missing out on. I’ll be taking what I’ve learned and carrying the mindset of not being afraid to look for new tools with me as I move forward.

[ETEC 527] Vanity Search 2

Since starting my Web 2.0 course I have learned a lot about creating a digital footprint and about so many web tools that I had no clue about. In doing an update vanity search for my name, I noticed just a few more entries in Google (my new twitter and posts), a few third party data driven search engines, and some background check site. I don’t feel any negative way about it though because I’ve come to understand that the more I create and use the web and its tools, the more my digital footprint will grow, and when it does, I want it to be in the right ways and the right places. I have a very unique spelling of my name, which includes an accent mark that I just recently began using full time. I also have started incorporating my middle initial in order to further solidify my identity online and in other ways. I look forwards to see how these slight changes will cultivate a better digital footprint as I continue in my career. The best thing I’ve learned about vanity searches are what’s important to focus on to stand out!

[ETEC 527] My Adventure in Social Bookmarking with Diigo

This week as I’ve explored Diigo and I ended up hating it and then loving it. Diigo (Digest of Internet information, Groups and Other stuff) is an online platform with the goal of helping you create your own personal online knowledge library online. In other words, it is an expansive social bookmarking tool. I completely agree with so many of my course-mates in its comparison with Pinterest. Once I saw how the platform operated, I thought of Pinterest right away, only, I have to admit, I wasn’t as engaged with Diigo as much at first. The first feature that Diigo has that got my attention was the ability to annotate webpages and let you tag the site with keywords that can help you search faster and easier with a virtual sticky note. Since I am a bit sticky note user (both on my computer, using the program “Stickies”, and in real life), I enjoy being able to make notes and annotations in that manner.

I also like the ability to screenshot webpages directly using Diigo. I have a Mac so I usually screenshot things all the time, however organization is an issue sometimes. With Diigo the screenshots are in one place which helps someone like me who may forget what and why I even screenshotted in the first place. I made sure to get the Diigo extension for Chrome and install the mobile app.

My favorite part about Diigo is the groups. I browsed and searched many groups with interests that I have and joined a few. The ease of sharing links and insights is great and opened up a whole new world for me that I did not know about before this course. It seems to be a great networking/ collaborative research tool.

[ETEC 527] YouTube and Twitter Continued…

This week I’ve been really diving into updating myself and learning more about YouTube. I used to use YouTube pretty heavy as a videographer until I learned about and started using another video hosting and sharing site called Vimeo more. Vimeo and YouTube have some similar features but varying contrasting differences in their platforms and settings. For my job I have had to rely on a lot from memory and knowledge that I have of video uploading and performance settings to keep our media up to date (I upload videos I have taken from events and promos for our program and link them from YouTube to our website mainly), and I have paid little attention to all of the upgrades and features the platform has made since it first started. I set up all of the playlists for class on my YT account and found myself immersed in a sea of videos about content creation which I primarily do in my position at work. I also found some pretty cool videos about how to set up classroom channels during quarantine, and several on creating engaging content for online learning. I can tell these videos will be very helpful in the near future for me. Creating engaging content is vital for the platform and also for teaching and learning. I watched the video, “YouTube pros share 5 steps for getting your educational channel started” and one of the first tips they gave was to “Define Your Audience”. This helps with creating a foundation on who you are creating the content and giving the information to, whether it is a student or a professional team that are already knowledgeable to a subject or brand new to it. This brought me to learning about new tools and tricks that have been added to the Youtube platform.

One of the newest features that YouTube has added just this year is data access to audience availability and engagement. This feature lets you know when your audience is online and pinpoints which hours a channel’s audience is most active. That is amazing! YouTube has the second greatest reach after Facebook in terms of general usage. It’s also the second biggest search engine behind Google (which is YouTube’s parent company). The potential to engage and drive viewers to content during peak times can open so many doors for access to content, such as determining the best times to broadcast live streams! The changes and features YouTube has are extremely beneficial in education, business, and for personal engagement and creativity and I’m actually excited to start using YouTube for more than just linking a video for work now.

Continuing my Twitter Adventure has also been a blast. I’ve probably done more research and Tweet watching that engaging during the week, but I think by the end of the week I should have done a lot more. I researched the hashtag list from class and loved all of the information and accounts I saw for #EdTech, #edupreneur, and #WeTeach so far. I’ve also started using more of my Twitter for iPhone than Tweetdeck, even when I am on my desktop for some reason. It just seems more accessible and convenient for me considering I’m usually doing 12 things at once on the computer and on the phone all at the same time and the app seems easier to navigate in the moment.

[ETEC 527] W2W3 Twitter Adventure!

So, last week I made a brand new Twitter account made specifically for all all of grad school tweets and intellectual musings. Considering it was a requirement to use Twitter in my ETEC 527 class, I also saw it as a long overdue opportunity to use this new account for my professional use in Education as well. I’ve been saying for at least a year how I needed to do this but I never did because I was always too tied up in my personal Twitter, and running the Twitter account for our grant program (@DeSotoGEARUP), that I didn’t put it at the top of my priority list. Well, I’m here now and I’m so glad that I am able to share and communicate within my professional and educational spaces without feeling like I might be judged for being non-professional like I might be on my personal Twitter. That’s one of the great things about Twitter in my opinion though, you have the opportunity to communicate in different spaces with different accounts while still being yourself.

This week’s ETEC 527 assignment is about highlighting the information, thoughts, and resources I’ve thus learned on my Twitter adventure. Not to be lazy, but I think I’ll take this time to repost a discussion post that I made about Twitter here. I wanted to be able to help my fellow classmates understand just how great a tool Twitter can be and give them some of the information I’ve learned throughout the years. Here is what I wrote:

The truth is, I’m kind of a Twitter expert (lol). I first got on Twitter in November of 2009 and I have been an active user ever since then. I’ve met close friends, networked, gotten jobs, troubleshot, and even gone viral a few times with my tweets over the years. While my account for this class is totally separate from the account I usually use, I don’t think it will be too long before I gain more followers and start engagements using a few things I’ve learned along the way. Here are a few tips and tricks I suggest:

1. Use a good Twitter platform. I use the Twitter app for my iPhone but I find that Tweetdeck and Hootsuite are great platforms to use for tweeting on a desktop, laptop, or iPad. You can navigate through multiple accounts and see everything at once, from your timeline to your replies, to your Direct Messages (DMs)

2. Learn the lingo. I think this comes with interaction, but some of the easiest to know and love are hashtags, DM’s, RT’s (re-tweets), bots, catfish, Avi (profile picture), spamming, etc.

3. Don’t be afraid to jump into a conversation. Unless you can tell it’s not a conversation for everyone, feel free to reply to someone or multiples your thoughts, opinions, compliments, etc. That’s how you gain followers and engage. Waiting around for someone to see your tweets and reply to you first doesn’t work as well as this in my experience. 

4. RETWEET. Another great way to share your thoughts and opinions, agree or disagree, and help people see you. You can either RT the specific tweet you saw someone else make by itself, or you can “retweet with comment” and write a comment above the RT. 

5. Content is key. Pictures, article links, videos, etc. are all great for getting your personality and points across. Don’t be shy, share (within reason and rule)

6. Hashtags are your friend. Want to find a group of likeminded Twitter users, or find out more about a subject? Search a hashtag. This can be done by clicking on one you see (it usually shows up in blue), or you can go to the little magnifying icon and type in a word or phrase and search from there. 

7. Use the search icon. Under it you will find “Trending Topic” articles and hashtags, “News”, “Sports”, “Fun”, and a “For You” section that is based on your engagement. 

8. This really should be like #2 or #3 but post a good profile picture. You don’t want to be considered a bot or a catfish because you don’t have an image that identifies you. Think about how you present yourself on other social media and networking apps like LinkedIN and Facebook. People respond according to your avi. 

9. Know your controls. Get to know your settings and capabilities. You can create Tweet drafts, make Twitter lists, Bookmark tweets, navigate and view tweets & replies, media, and likes on anyone’s twitter profile, as well as edit your own. You should also know how to block and report accounts if necessary.

10. Be consistent. Twitter works better when you engage consistently and you post tweets that vary. 

I hope I was able to help someone with these little tips! Twitter has been a wonderful tool in my life and I hope that everyone has as great an experience as I have had using it. 

I am fascinated by all of the things I have learned and continue to learn from using Twitter and I look forward to learning so much more through our class hashtag #ETEC527 and through just spreading what I’ve learned and my own thoughts as I go through this course and others on this grad school journey. I am having so much fun learning.

[ETEC 527] Week 1: Vanity Search Blog Post

This week of introduction to Web 2.0 and grad school as a whole was very surprising and intriguing to me. I have to admit, I’m pretty excited about what I’ll be learning and what I have already learned. For my first initial vanity search, I went to Google and typed in “Chelse Woods” and “Chelsé Woods” (the correct spelling of my name) and I noticed a few things immediately that I wasn’t expecting to see.

The first thing that I noticed in the search was an IMDb.com link to my work on a film and a web series (‘Carter High Movie’, ‘Washed’ I have official credits on that I didn’t even realize! I knew that I had done work on those projects (and a few more that are not listed), however, I did not know I was officially listed on them. I searched their IMDb profiles for more information and to double check the accuracy. I also noticed information listed from various database sites on my businesses and registration information, as well as information on my business website. I noticed links to my work website and my high school class alumni site, and my LinkedIn. I did not notice any pictures under the image search that were mine immediately, nor did I see any news or shopping articles. Under ‘Videos’ there were links to videos I had created on my website and also on YouTube under my real name.

I think it is very interesting how most of what you put on the internet never goes away. It is always available to be researched and accessed. In my searching there were several other people with my name and with their own digital footprints. I can only image what someone with a more common name or spelling has to go through to stand out in the crowd digitally through search. The more specific the information, the better in setting yourself apart or being able to find what you are looking for.