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Personal social media use

Another topic I thought was interesting from our class discussion related to how outside situations can influence personal social media use. The topic was brought up when a classmate mention because of her social relationships would keep a low profile on social media and I immediately agreed with her because of my athletic background and social media restrictions. This leads to the discussion of how outside entity should or should not influence personal social media use. I believe that using social media is a wonderful way to participate and represent yourself online. I think it is even more important to give people a voice that would not have one without the influence of social media. But I also think you must take responsibility for what you post online and how you participate with other online users. Social media is such an influencing force in today’s world, users must understand their online image reflects more than just the individual. I think understanding the vastness of social media and its influence would provide a better perspective of how individual social media use reflects on more than self image.

First class!

The first class had a lot to cover to set up for the rest of the quarter. Trying to decide in our groups of two or three what we thought was the most important topics to discuss was a great starting point. It was difficult to decide on one, but it highlighted some eye opening topics to discuss. The topic we chose to discuss related to how people represents themselves online across different social media outlets. I thought this was interesting because of the different ways social media platforms allow you to represent yourself. An obvious example would be how a person could represent themselves on twitter versus Instagram. Twitter basically uses word snippets and updated status, whereas Instagram is mostly pictures and comments. I commented that my audience for my Facebook account is completed different than my Instagram. It is not something that you may consciously think about when participating on social media, but it is definitely an idea to be considered when examining how social media effects the physical lives of their users.

What do you guys think? Do you think it is positive or negative to be able to represent yourself differently across social media platforms?

Comm 282

Hello! I am Gabriel Harris and I am very excited to continue my co-learning experience with Professor Howard. I am looking forward to meeting and learning from everyone!

Social Capital

I plan to cultivate my personal learning network by staying in contact with a few of the people I met through my college sports career. Although I am not playing this year, I am planning to send thank you letters to a few of my coaches from the past years in case of a playing/job opportunity. This has worked well for me. I have received over 10 offers just since I have been back in school. I plan to enrich my personal learning network through keeping in contact with a few of the bigger names that were intimidating to contact. I plan to contact them directly and through other sources that introduced me to them. I plan to first send emails to them directly and to our mutual contact in order to create easier means of communicating. I also have passed along tips and tools from my athletic career to other members of my network. By volunteering to help, my contacts recommended me to coach at local middle school during this school year. This opportunity was offered solely by who recommended me. This recommendation also fueled my personal training clientele because of the people I have met through my career.

I am also going to take better advantage of LinkedIn and build my network through that social media platform. I think this would make it even easier to reach out and cultivate my personal learning network. I think it would be beneficial to explore expanding LinkedIn with some of my other daily online activities in order to reach all of my other networks. Figuring out what I want to do with my degree is a difficult task when you do not know where to start. LinkedIn gives me a source to start see what my resources doing and what they are interested in. It allows for you to draw connections between your resources and connect your personal resources. I plan to do this before the New Year and input all of my contacts new and old into one place. I plan to reach out to my contacts personal through holiday cards and emails. I was hoping to see a few of my scholarship donors for my past years over the holidays. Hoping I can plan a few dinners and coffees dates over the holidays. I also want to reach out to a couple people from my hometown that followed me from my high school career. I have great resources at home because of the high school I attended and through my mother’s business network.





My personal Learning Network!

I really enjoyed seeing everyone Personal Learning Networks. Its interesting to see what tools and communities everyone uses and which one constantly overlap with one another. I NovaMind manpping tool from the windows store. It was made to use for touch screen tablets like the surface I’m using. It was hard to use at first, but is a clear mindmapping tool that is easy to use and export. Take a look if you’re interested. Its free in the Windows Store.

Things I learned about myself by making this personal learning mind map. I did not realize the number of tools I utilize on a daily basis. Also, I learned how I have progressed from some of my past tools I used when I was in high school or even at the beginning of undergrad. I can see the progression for the purpose that I was using online apps and tools. Earlier, I was using online tools to primarily communicate or research a topic. But not that purpose has spread to many more aspects of my life such as using social media for my news outlet and depending on sports apps of for daily updates. I learned that my working style has changed because of the accessible collaboration tools and apps. Google Docs and Quip make digital collaboration so easy that I often prefer to work there than in person. I also learned from comparing my mind map that there are tools that I still need learn and explore. I become familiar with a lot of new online tools because of this class, but after looking through everyone networks, I still need to keep trying new apps and continue to progress in my social media literacy.



Online games

Earlier this quarter, I started researching for my thesis about learning through online games and the types of skills that could potentially being learned through them. After last week’s class discussion of virtual communities, I thought I would mention an article I found during my research. To give some background, I first started my research on how leadership can be better developed using online gaming. I think of leadership as a skill is molded best when tested. In many of life scenarios, there only so many ways to test leadership and in most of these settings, multiple failures results in termination. “Leadership’s Online Labs”
by Byron Reeves, Thomas W. Malone, and Tony O’Driscoll details how online gaming can build leadership.

“The stakes are just a bit higher in business. But don’t dismiss online games as mere play. The best ones differ from traditional video games as much as universities do from one-room schoolhouses. In fact, these enterprises are actually sprawling online communities in which thousands of players collaborate with and compete against one another in real time within a visually three-dimensional virtual world—one that persists and evolves even while a player is away.”

These highly interactive online communities creates the potential for the members to learn certain skills at a low risk environment. I think this is key to learning a new skill. Be able to test yourself and learn from others is the best way for many people to learn. Personally, I can relate to this because of my career in sports; sports is a continuously test of your current state of your skills. Also like sports, online gaming is world wide reaching a diverse group. Sports have different styles depending on where it is being played, but possesses the same core rules and principles. I see this similarity as a strength for online gaming.

“Some estimates put the current number of registered players world- wide at more than 50 million; World of Warcraft alone claims 10 million players, who pay a subscription fee of roughly $15 a month. Participants play for an average of 22 hours a week, according to researcher Nick Yee of the Palo Alto Research Center; their average age is 27, and about 85% are men.”

The potential of learning though online gaming is endless and closely relates to collaborative work nature of the real world. Real time decisions and efficient communication are some of the qualities that are emphasized and rewarded in online-gaming.

“In broad terms, that environment can be expected to feature the fluid workforces, the self-organized and collaborative work activities, and the decentralized, nonhierar- chical leadership that typify games. In more specific terms, we found several distinctive characteristics of leadership in online games that suggest some of the qualities tomorrow’s business leaders will need in order to achieve success.”

Network Use

After reading “Why Networks Matter,” Network Logic: Who Governs in an Interconnected World?, I see the truth and need of social media literacy even clearer. As we have reiterated in the class, technology has changed our society in a way that was unpredictable and on a global scale. Technology has shaped our lives and provided us with the ability to reach anyone at anytime. This ability has changed our potential of building networks one person at a time to instantly joining a specific network of our chosen interest.

“Only under the electronics- based technological paradigm can networks reconfigure themselves in real time, on a global–local scale,and permeate all domains of social life.”

This quote illustrates how deeply technology has integrated each of our lives and how networks are being shaped by modern technology. This can be thought of in a positive or negative way. On the positive side, the ability to find and join networks of your interest has never been easier and convenient. By having a smartphone or access to a computer, anyone could be members of countless networks simultaneously and gain viable information from the current or past discussions. These affordances would not be available without today’s technology advancements. On the negative side, the ability to join so many networks results in a lack of participation because the member belongs to too many networks. I feels this takes away from the quality of information. We have continued to discussed this lack of validity of web-based information and I think we must do similar curating of our networks.

“The proper identification of our society is in terms of its specific social structure: networks powered by microelectronics and software-based information and communication technologies.”

This statement classifying our society as technology based demonstrates the need of our attention to the different networks we belong to. I am still learning different curating tools and how to most efficiently curate web-basked information. But, what is the best way to “curate” our networks? Also, what is the best way to choose what networks to join?



Wikipedia Discussion

I chose to look up the Wikipedia page of the cause of Michael Jackson’s death. This has been a controversial issue from the beginning, and was continuously changing as new relevant news surfaced. Michael Jackson died from unknown causes and most likely a multitude of factors played a role in his untimely death. The Wikipedians discussed many issues they had with the current Wiki page on the talk page. At the top of this page, specific rules are spelled out and are expected to be followed. I assume that this page has changed many times since the passing of Jackson, but the issued discussed seemed organized. For example, one user commented that the stated album sales of Jackson after his death were incorrect. This user provided a explanatory title and precisely stated the issue and the solution with a hyperlink to evidence. This provided the page with a constructive edit with substantial evidence. As a result, the page kept the edits made by this user. Another method of editing Wikipedians is asking the opinion of the public before performing the edit. In many ways, asking the public to vote on whether not the user’s comment is valid. For example, one Wikipedian commented on the “Family reaction” section of Michael Jackson’s death page. The user commented that the information was insensitive and lacks morality in a time of loss. This comment drew a lot of attention, but seem to change the overall tone of the section. Other comments that were beneficial were users reporting vandalism of the page. This resulted in the page being corrective and improve. Overall the page provides sensitive information which has been altered in response of comments. One of the rules at the top of the page is to withhold personal opinions when commenting and to take a neutral stance on the subject. The tone of some of the sections have the undertone of a perceived opinion, but provides quick valid facts.


Duolingo is a free language-learning platform that was developed in 2011. It started off as private beta platform providing its services to select members of the public, but launched to the general public in June 2012. Duolingo is designed to teach its users a new language through progressing lessons during which they simultaneously translate websites and documents. The objective of learning a new language is accomplished while translating information for the public. Duolingo does not charge for their language teaching services, but they employ the public members to translate content and grade other member’s translations. The content is from organizations and businesses that pay Duolingo for their translations. This example of crowdsourcing is beneficial to both the users and Doulingo . The users learns a new language for free which could be an expensive service in most cases, while Doulingo achieves their task of translating various forms of information. Doulingo’s services started as private, as mention before, but quickly grew from 300,000 users in 2011 to 25 million users in 2014. This growth is due to the technology advancement of smart phones. In 2013, Apple awarded Duolingo with Iphone app of the year honors. This was the first time an educational application captured this honor. This crowdsourcing endeavor has been an overwhelming positive. The methods of Duolingo follows suit with the definition of “collective intelligence” as a “form of universally distributed intelligence, constantly enhanced, coordinated in real time, and resulting in the effective mobilization of skills. … The basis and goal of collective intelligence is a the mutual recognition and enrichment of individuals rather than the cult of fetishized or hypostatized communities.” This application enhances the common knowledge of the public by equipping them with a new skill. By integrating learning a language through translating documents that would not be unsterdood without the help of the application, Doulingo provides the public with a great educational tool. Doulingo grew quickly because of the willingness of CEO Luis Ahn to allow input from the public. This allowed for the application to add many languages rapidly by empowering the public to build the language courses. The open source language component was named “The Language Incubator.” The Language Incubator is monitored and constantly edited in order to provide valid information and constructive lesson plans. It has a system of steps in which input information must pass particular guidelines before being published. The Doulingo mobile application has significantly grown since its public release in 2012, and now have been implemented into Google and Android eyeglass application. It, in my opinion, will continue to grow and provide the public with an alternate form of learning.