Sometimes you need to take a moment to look at where you’ve been before you can begin to understand where you’re going. And as I look back and reflect upon the past four months, I have come to realise this is certainly one of those moments. It’s been a fascinating journey of self-discovery, uncertainty, adventure, frustration, and jubilation. Four rewarding months! Never before have I experienced a University subject so engaging, so ‘hands on’, so enjoyable. Yes that’s right, I’m talking about a University subject! There were times when I was forced out of my comfort zone (I’m sure this was true for many of my classmates), and sometimes I had to think from a different perspective or be more open-minded about certain tasks. But the benefits and practicality of what we were learning and what we were encouraged to do was plain to see.
The first step on this journey was to create an About.me page, a website that allows you to create a short personal bio and add links to your other social media platforms. I have to admit, before taking this unit I had never heard of the about.me website, but my early impression is that it appears to be quite a useful and simple platform to use when looking to shape your online identity. Although I have to say I had some trouble trying to describe whom I am and what I’m about without it becoming a novel (I’m sure writing about one’s self gets easier over time).
Next up was a little ‘refurbishment’ of our LinkedIn and Twitter accounts (and the creation of said accounts for those that didn’t already have them). This meant ‘freshening up’ the content and ensuring our profiles were up to date, something both my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts were in desperate need of! I got accustomed to using Twitter on a daily basis, and in actual fact a large portion of the unit was happening on Twitter. Both students and teaching staff were sharing information and other content, conversing with each other on the weekly topics or the unit in general, and helping colleagues to solve problems or issues. Overall the use of Twitter allowed the unit to be a lot more interactive and engaging as well as creating a sense of community among students outside the classroom. To see more of what I’m talking about check out the unit hashtag – #ALC203.
I’d been contemplating creating a website to share blog posts for quite some time, but I always managed to find a reason as to why I couldn’t do it ‘yet’. Well, I’m pleased to say that I have overcome that hurdle (you’re reading the proof right now), and it’s thanks to Adam Brown and his unit ALC203. For the first assignment in his class we were required to create a website and write a blog post about online identity (see ‘Is It Me You’re Looking For’), and with that Nathan Vs Goliath was born!
The second assignment took things a step further; creating another blog post we had to produce and incorporate a 7-minute video on one of a number of topics for which I chose online activism (see ‘Changing The World, One ‘Click’ At A Time?’). This was the first time I had produced a video and uploaded it to YouTube, and I’m pleased to report that it turned out to be an extremely rewarding experience and one I hope to build upon moving into the future. And yes, in case any of you have watched my ‘masterpiece’, I’m fully aware that I have quite a way to go before I deliver anything even remotely reminiscent of a Hollywood blockbuster!
So looking back on my digital media journey over the past four months it’s clear to me that participation is key, and the class I’m referring to in this post certainly encourages that. Ultimately the more you just let go and throw yourself into the subject, the more you will gain from it. In that sense I’m quite proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. And considering the extreme rate at which technology is developing and the way in which it is continually changing the way we live our lives, can anybody really afford not to dedicate themselves to becoming a lifelong learner? Love it or hate it, but that’s what’s required to keep pace with the modern world and avoid being left behind with the technologies and systems being superseded.
I know it’s only early days on this road for me, but I consider that cause for celebration as I believe the real magic happens throughout the journey, the destination is merely just the icing on the cake!
But that’s all from me for now, so until next time friends, keep moving forward.