Final Reflection

UOSM2008 as a module changed my approach to academic research and writing. The framework for the module had me re-evaluate both my original positions when it came to the topic of study and to reflect on the way in which I learn. To evaluate how this process took place I will be using Smyth’s framework, (1989).

Describe

What have I and other students done during the UOSM2008 module?

During the module I was tasked with researching into three set topics, and creating a blog post for each. A MOOC and some starter resources where provided for every topic to give some initial instruction on how it could be tackled.

The learning experience focused on reflexivity as students commented on my blog posts in order to offer new perspectives or to expand upon what I had written. I did the same in turn. Once we had all made blog posts and traded comments between ourselves, we then wrote a reflection to show what we had learned and how our original perspective may have been changed.

Inform

Why did I decide to take this module?

In the second year of my studies I took a module called UOSM2012 “Online social networks”. In that module there was a discussion around the different ways in which people could learn, I took this module so that I could explore how a better reflexive learner and look for other ways to improve my digital skills.

What was my feeling at the start of the module?

Although reflexive learning was something I was interested in, I had been used to tackling problems from a traditional academic perspective where I would research a topic and write up an essay or report. Therefore I was feeling out of my comfort zone in some respects.

What went well and not so well in this module?

I had not been used to formatting my writing into a blog post or for expanding on an initial arguments through interaction with other students by commenting and later reflecting. However I feel I was able to adapt to this new approach relatively quickly and became more critical of how I would approach a subject as a result.

What I found difficult with was knowing how to incorporate a multi-media approach, to split my arguments between text, video, images, and audio in a way that felt seamless was a big challenge. Over time I was able to get better with incorporating multimedia and even ended up editing videos with full audio voice-over alongside images I had made.

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-05-18 at 15.17.08
Example of a comment on my blog: (from Adam Rann) 

 

What was I feeling after the module?

I was able to overcome some big challenges in the way I approached learning and how to present my arguments in a more visually engaging multi-modal fashioned. So I now feel more accomplished.

uosm digital literacies self test comparision created in canva
UOSM2008 Self-test comparing my digital literacy skills at the start and end of the module. (Dodd, R,2018) – Created in Canva

Confront

What was I trying to accomplish in this module?

As I mentioned above I wanted to expand my learning reflexivity and pick up some new digital literacy skills such as incorporate a multi-modal approach into my work.

What values, beliefs and assumptions, impacted my behaviour?

I typically under-valued the use of multi-media in comparison to text for conveying my thoughts. I saw multi-media as less legitimate than the usual academic writing style.

Reconstruct

Where did these ideas come from?

The ideas came from the online MOOC, the set questions for the module, and the initial resources like academic journals, videos, etc.

What problems did I face during this module?

Time management was a pretty big constraint, with the reflexive learning style, there were lots of small pieces of work that had to be completed sequentially as opposed to a single deadline for a larger project. There were a few technical issues such as wordpress.org not having the ability to embed slideshows, something I didn’t realize until after I had spent time making one. Comments also didn’t show up on my blog initially.

How did I overcome these problems?

I researched into the wordpress.org platform through various tech blogs and YouTube videos to see what the technical limitations where and what practical solutions were that I could implement quickly, such as changing the blog settings for comment moderation and embedding videos instead of slideshows.

What did module teach me and what actions can I take in the future because of the experiences I have gained?

This module taught me to think more critically about how I approach a problem, the cycle of blogging, commenting and reflecting allowed me to see how to construct and de-construct my own arguments and those of other students. When it came to the issue of managing online identity, security and privacy I was able to reflect upon how I currently handle my online presence and how I can better separate the personal from the professional. I have expanded on what I learnt from each topic in the video below.

 

How have my values, beliefs and assumptions been impacted?

When it came to the issue of managing online identity, security and privacy I thought that I a decent understanding at the start of the module. However upon the reflective learning process I was able to adapt my original position through interacting with others and reshaping my opinions.

Conclusion

When it comes to improving learning skill Fried discussed the importance of the, “mutual sharing of ideas”,(1980, p.30). Through the interactive and reflexive approach this module has taken to learning I have found new ways to improve my digital literacy skills by re-assessing how to tackle a problem based on the feedback others have given me and exploring new approaches to conveying my ideas that are out of my comfort zone.

Word Count: 935 words

 

Bibliography

Fried, R. (1980b). Learning in community: An empowerment approach. Concord, NH: Office of Community Education, New Hampshire State Department of Education. [online] http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/002248718904000202

Smyth, J. (1989). Developing and sustaining critical reflection in teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education40(2), 2-9. [online] : http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/002248718904000202

Waring M., & Evans, C. (2015).  Understanding pedagogy: Developing a critical approach to teaching and learning. New York: Routledge. [online]: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781317597483

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Reflecting on Online identity

My initial argument when it came to online identities, skewed towards the benefits of having multiple identities or being anonymous online. Adam’s comment on my blog and the link he included to a wired article bought to my attention the potential motivations some people might have for creating false persona’s online. It also bought to my attention how a false persona can be abused in order to make someone’s argument appear more legitimate by making sock puppet accounts to agree or disagree with a post. This got me into thinking about just how flawed using social media accounts is in order to seem more authentic online.

Adam’s blog discussed the potential new way Web 3.0 technologies could bring for managing online identity. This got me thinking that Web 3.0 could change the existing paradigm of being forced to surrender personal information to social networks in order to be perceived as an authentic person. Following this I researched into web 3.0 further. I found that theoretically, the new model for managing an identity online, would allow users to choose when personal information is pulled from a platform and when they retain complete anonymity. As discussed in this medium article. This new insight caused me to reflect on the potential future methods for managing online identity, as per my responding comment. The video below expands on the potential differences I have reflected on for Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 for managing identities.

Source: (Dodd,R,2018) created with biteable

Reading Stefan’s blog and responding to it got me to consider the pitfall of social media when it comes to prospective employers and how information gleamed from employee’s online profiles can be used as a basis for deciding not to hire someone, or for disciplinary action as I found in this article.

Conclusion

Upon reflecting on the different ways identity can be managed online, and the potential changes that Web 3.0 could being, I have created a chart below to show how I now intend to alter managing my own identity.

scandinavianstyle interiors-

Source: (Doddr,R, 2018) created with Canva

 

Word Count: 330

 

Comments

Comment on Adam’s Blog

Adam’s response to my comment

Adam’s comment on my blog

My response to Adam’s comment on my blog

Comment on Stefan’s Blog

 

Bibliography

BBC News. (2017). I lost my job over a Facebook post. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-41851771 [Accessed 30 Apr. 2018].

Seife, C. (2014). The Weird Reasons Why People Make Up False Identities on the Internet. [online] WIRED. Available at: https://www.wired.com/2014/07/virtual-unreality-the-online-sockpuppets-that-trick-us-all/[Accessed 30 Apr. 2018].

Zago, M. (2018). Why the Web 3.0 Matters and you should know about it. [online] Medium. Available at: https://medium.com/@matteozago/why-the-web-3-0-matters-and-you-should-know-about-it-a5851d63c949 [Accessed 30 Apr. 2018].

Reflection Topic 2 – ‘Fake News’: Who is responsible?

My initial stance regarding the problem of fake news was slanted towards placing all responsibility on the individual for assessing whether information online is false or not. However reading Luke’s comment allowed me to reflect on just how impractical it is for the average reader to critically assess each article or story they read to judge its validity, due to the amount of time it would take. Luke also linked a recent study from the BBC which pointed out how fake news spreads faster and to a much wider network then genuine news, (Kleinman 2018).  Additionally reading Luke’s blog also made me aware of just how important data literacy skills are in addition to traditional media and digital literacy skills. Reading Luke’s blog prompted me to do some more research into data literacy. In my comment replying to Luke I referenced a study which showed just how easy It is to manipulate data, particularly for private companies who want to make their profit margins appear to be more reliable and consistent over time (Kwapien,2015).

Reading Jermey’s blog also prompted me to re-assess my position of placing all the responsibility on the individual. In his blog post Jeremy linked to a Washington post article about Twitter executives refusing to take action to stem the flow of fake news being spread on their platform (Borchers, 2018). This led me to doing some further research into how social media platforms address the issue of fake news. In my comment replying to Jeremey I referenced how Zuckerberg, changed his stance on fake news, from ignoring the problem to later focusing on developing a solution.

Conclusion

Reflecting on false information online has allowed me to see just how widespread the problem is, and how impractical it is to expect individual readers to take all the responsibility for assessing it. Below I created a diagram to expand upon how different actors are responsible for fake news online.

Leading a healthy lifestyle infographic (2)

Word Count: 325

References:

Borchers, C. (2018). Analysis | Twitter executive on fake news: ‘We are not the arbiters of truth’. [online] Washington Post. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/02/08/twitter-executive-on-fake-news-we-are-not-the-arbiters-of-truth/?utm_term=.0c22b7d61446[Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].

Kleinman, Z. (2018). Fake news ‘travels faster’, study finds. [online] BBC News. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-43344256?intlink_from_url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/cjxv13v27dyt/fake-news&link_location=live-reporting-story[Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].

Kwapien, A. (2015). Misleading Data Visualization Examples. [online] BI Blog | Data Visualization & Analytics Blog | datapine. Available at: https://www.datapine.com/blog/misleading-data-visualization-examples/ [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].

Reflecting on Digital Divides

Dom left a comment on my blog posing a question as to whether the digital divide will grow or decrease. This caused me to reflect on my blog post and extend it by posing another question which is to the extent that digital inequalities are either simply mirrored or reproduced through the web? I briefly answered this question with an example from my personal experience, by thinking about this comment I was effectively able to extend my original answer and this also helped when it came to replying to Luke’s blog. With this newly formulated question in mind I looked up Sharma and Brooker’s paper regarding racism denial on twitter and set about answering the question that I had come up with to see if the web was widening the digital divide (2016). I then was able to relate this new knowledge to what Luke had written.

Sharing my knowledge on Phoebe’s blog led to a reply with a link to an ONS report on internet use as it relates to factors such as age. This was a theme that had I discussed in my original blog post. However this study suggested that inequalities may be shrinking as the number of people aged 65-74, and 75+ increased significantly between 2011 and 2017 (see Figure 2 below).

Figure 2_ Recent internet use in 2011 and 2017 by age group, UK

As for the development of my digital skills, I found that creating a diagrammatic representation of what I identified to be the dominant groups in online spaces based on the two papers I cited in my original blog post allowed me to visualise and therefore to think about the research in a more direct and engaging way then I am used too. Additionally by making the diagram it made me think about the similarities between the two papers more so then simply writing would have.

Word Count: 300

Refererences

Dom’s comment on my Blog: https://uosm2008rd.wordpress.com/2018/02/25/digital-divides-who-controls-the-web/#comment-4

Comment made on Luke’s Blog: https://lukeslivingontheweb.wordpress.com/2018/02/26/digital-differences-and-inequality/#comment-12

Comment made on Phoebe’s Blog: https://phoebetaylor55.wordpress.com/2018/02/26/i-am-digitally-lucky/#comment-10

My original Blog post: https://uosm2008rd.wordpress.com/2018/02/25/digital-divides-who-controls-the-web/

Ons.gov.uk. (2018). Internet users in the UK – Office for National Statistics. [online] Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/itandinternetindustry/bulletins/internetusers/2017 [Accessed 5 Mar. 2018].

Sharma, S. and Brooker, P. (2016) ‘#notracist: Exploring racism denial talk on Twitter’ in Daniels, J. et al (Eds) Digital Sociologies
http://opus.bath.ac.uk/53206/1/Sharma_Brooker_notracist_digital_sociology_preprint.pdf

 

Introductory Topic – Reflection

Answering the introductory topic about digital residents and natives was more challenging then I initially suspected it would be. The self test provided information which suggested I was split between visitor and resident in terms. In terms of my interactions with the web this didn’t suprise me too much as my web use is split between leisure and academic research and the former doesn’t require much time or skill investment.

What I did find particularly interesting however was to see from other student’s blogs not just how they where split in different ways between resident and visitor but also how they adopted different approaches to answering the question. For instance  Adam who’s blog I commented on engaged with the question by delving into the wider academic debates surrounding digital visitor and resident and what the competing ideas on the subject had been. Adam’s blog post differed from mine in this regard as I my post was more internally focused looking at my own self test in a little more detail and connecting my interest in the UOSM2008 module to my Web Science course. My perspective allowed mentor engage with the question by drawing a parralel to Web Science, however in doing so this made it very challenging to engage with the wider debate on how the idea of digital visitor and resident has been contested. This is in part due to working at a restricted word count.

Stefan elaborated on this point and allowed me to see picking this approach to answering the question as something which had both strengths and weaknesses as certain trade-off’s had to be made, for instance that I could have referenced Prensky. I have found this diversity of answer mirrored in how different students approached the question allowing me to see perspective s I otherwise wouldn’t.

Word Count: 300

References

Prensky, M. 2011. Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. [Online] On the horizon (9)5.

My Comment response

Adam

Comment response to my blog:

Stefan