Friday, December 17, 2010

There And Back Again... A Digiciv Tale

"If I take one more step, it'll be the furthest from [my] home[screen] I've ever been."          - Samwise Gamgee
Wow! I am in constant amazement. The entire semester has flown by already. Looking back, I feel like I have learned a ton!

The overarching lesson I feel like I have learned this semester is how to be a contributing digital citizen. For so many years now, I have been just a passive “taker” of information and have not really done anything substantial to contribute to the online discussion and culture. I feel like this class has empowered with the skill set and the confidence necessary to become a contributing digital citizen.

As I reflect on the different learning objectives of the course, I am amazed by how much I feel I have learned this semester. The following are just of few of the lessons and experiences I have taken away from the class.

Understanding Western Civilization

One of my favorite things about this class is the chance we have had to study the past through the lens of the digital revolution. I have loved the chance to explore both older and new sets of learning mediums to become familiar with themes and ideas from the past. For example, learning about Modernism and stream-of-consciousness by picking up a physical book was a fun and enlightening experience for me. Also, going to the library and finding Romantic poems by Wordsworth was one of the highlights of the semester. It’s funny, despite this being a digital civilization class, I feel like I have gone to the library more times this semester to look up books than in any other semester of my college experience.

Digital Culture

From a digital culture standpoint, I have really enjoyed learning about the various computing concepts and how they been present in the digital sphere. It was interesting to me how many of the various digital and computing concepts had roots in earlier time periods and ideological movements (e.g., the Romantic Hacker, blogging and the printing press).

For me, I feel like our group’s final project of creating a Mormon Messages video was one of the biggest examples and applications of digital culture in my life. In one of my posts, I talked about how our group project was an example of user-generated content and Web 2.0. I love the idea of crowd-sourcing, and specifically member-sourcing! Member-sourcing is one of the many digital cultures ideas that I will carry with me from this class.

Consume – One of things I have enjoyed about this class is I feel like it has given me a chance to get out of what Dr. Burton named the “Google or Wikipedia rut”. I feel like I have discovered and use many new sources and ways of finding and consuming information. It has been a lot of fun to break out of that rut!

Create – I feel liking the creating portion of this class was by far my favorite. From creating Garage bands tracks, to creating Prezis, to our Mormon Messages video I really enjoyed learning how to use new digital tools that allowed me to create new media. There is something empowering about creating something that has never been created before. With the advent of all the free online tools, even the beginner or novice can create meaningful and lasting media. I love it!

Connecting – Related to digital culture, I feel like one of the biggest lessons I learned in this class is how to connect with others in the digital world. From commenting on people’s blogs, to following someone’s Twitter feed, I feel like I have learned from this class the framework for how I can connect with others as well as some specific tools to do so.

One of my favorite class periods of the semester is when Skyped with the missionaries and talked about how to be online digital member-missionaries. I feel like that class period summed up well how we, as members of the church, can use online resources to connect with others and, in turn, help them to connect with the Holy Ghost. I felt the Spirit during that class period and I am excited about becoming an effective online member-missionary. I am going to start by sharing our Mormon Messages video with my friends and family members who aren’t members of the Church.

Thoughts on the Final Event 

I feel like the Final Event went over super well! I feel like all the group presentations were really well done and polished!

The one thought had on the Final Event has to do with the comments. I really appreciated getting the feedback from the texted comments from the audience about our project. The comments were super helpful and I am excited to implement them into our video submission! One thought I had would be email the students the texted comments from their peers from the practice sessions so that they could have and use the comments before the final event. I think this may help the groups know specifically what they can change or improve for the final event. However, even without the comments, I feel like everyone’s final presentations were very well polished and well done. Great job everyone! Thanks again to all for a great semester!

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