I will be using Strategy 1 (de Cossart and Fish, 2006) in order to critically reflect on my experience on the UOSM2008 module.
Prior to this module, internet usage hadn’t been very conscious as I am part of ‘Generation Z’ (Strauss and Howe, 1991). However, The topics covered in this module gave a really far-reaching overview of the debates surrounding our usage of the internet. I highlight this below:
In progressing through this module, I established a WordPress site on my own hosting and domain, established a professional Twitter, and LinkedIn profile. These can all be seen below:
I believe I had two key moments throughout the module.
Firstly, it was the production of the video for Topic 2. I hadn’t really considered making a video for the introductory topic, and considered that due to my use of a Chromebook, my ability would be limited. However, I was able to prove myself wrong and produce a video which was both entertaining and informative!
Secondly, was Iarina’s comment about how in Romania, they had focused on implementing optic fibre prior to electricity. This seemed crazy to me, and was so far removed from my life. It made a theory based topic seem very real – and made me think about the real world effects of these topics.
When I look back at my first two posts, I regret not adding more multimedia aspects. This is merely part of the learning curve – however I wish I’d picked up the knack a little bit earlier, like my coursemates Joanna and Carl did!
Furthermore, I wish I had taken the time to consider topics from less obvious different angles – as some of my peers did to great effect. However, this is only a minor regret, as through the reading and commenting process I was still able to learn about, and engage with, new content.
Crucially, I learnt that I do have an ability to manage time within me! Having never been good at time management in the past, the prospect of weekly deadlines was rather daunting. However, by the end of the module, I had devised a schedule of how I would ensure that I had written each blog in time for the deadline.
This approach ensure that I spent proportionate time on reading, researching, writing and creating, in order to have an interesting, yet informative, post.
My time management was really tested when I had some personal circumstances in the middle of Topic 3, but I still managed to post my blog on time.
Being a law student, my essays are often over 3000 words. This allow me relative freedom to use fanciful language, and repeat points for emphasis. However, this was not the case in this module – having a 300 word limit per post.
Whilst I have been exposed to to short word counts (Twitter), using such a minute word count in an assessed module was a different beast altogether. This limit forced me to adapt my writing style to be concise and punchy, whilst still conveying the crucial information. Most pertinently, I learnt that I wasn’t always able to talk about every aspect of the topic, and as such I narrowed my focus early on.
The ability to summarise vast bodies of information into short, easy to read posts will no doubt come in great use in the future when I have to explain crucial aspects long legal cases to clients.
To add to this, learning about fake news helped me face up to reality a little better. I say this as in my dissertation was a source which was crucial for the making of one of my points. However, I had long had doubts about the validity of the source, but continued using it as I couldn’t find anything else on the topic. However, by applying my own content reliability checker – “CRAP” – I was able to appreciate that the source was not reliable, and that consciously including an unreliable source would bring ethical questions over the validity and accuracy of the whole piece.
I will continue to use this test prospectively in academic works, and also in a personal capacity, when assessing things like football rumours this summer. Previously, I may have shared these rumours on a relatively large (100k+ followers) Twitter account – meaning I was inadvertently contributing to fake news myself. Applying the test will allow me to ensure the content communicated to my followers is of a reliable nature.
Lastly, having studied privacy in my International Cybercrime Law module, I came into the topic of Digital Identity feeling rather like a know-it-all! However, through not only studying AND applying the content to myself, I was able to comprehend that there was a gap between my actions and my knowledge. This gave me the push to fix privacy conditions of my digital profiles and remove explicit links to myself.
When I first established my blog, I posted that, although UOSM2008 had kicked me into making the blog, it was something I had been hoping to do for a while. This remains true, and now, with momentum behind me, I intend to keep the blog alive and active.
There are other steps which I intend to take in the future, which I outline below!
Word Count (Excluding in-line citations and Headings): 900