Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Learning Outcomes

How fast time has gone by. I almost can't believe that the semester is over, but let me tell you that I am ready for a break.  Next semester is my last semester of classes at BYU and in the winter I'll be doing my student teaching.  I think that this class has been a great preparation for using tech when I'm teaching, and I've learned a lot about writing and research.  So, as the semester ends, it's time to look at the learning objectives and see how I did.  Our learning objectives were centered around three important aspects of writing in the digital age.
1. Consume.  2. Create.   3. Connect. 

Consume:  I've learned how to use the internet in conjuction with traditional libraries and databases to find what others are saying about the work I am studying.  During the semester I've searched for information with Google, Twitter, Goodreads forums, fansites, and Diigo bookmarks just to name a few sources.  The value to this is that we can filter our information by finding people who are invested in our research and have already done some of the work on their own. They can be great sources for finding information about a topic of research.  This enhances the research we can do in the library with its databases of scholarly journals.

Create:  I've learned that creating can be part of the process of discovery, but it also gives our research a valid outlet.  Authentic projects have been the name of the game, and that is what we have done with our eBook. I've created content with my blogging and with my Diigo account that has helped me and could also be of use to other people who are trying to learn more about Douglas Adams or making eBooks or even using digital tools and media.  By creating we add our part to a massive conversation and exchange of knowledge that is the nature of both the internet and scholarly writing.  I didn't only consume information about my book either.  I spent hours consuming information and learning about InDesign in preparation for the eBook we would be making.  Blogs and youtube videos and social bookmarks were a great help with finding and consuming that information.

Connect:  I've connected with many people this semester.  First, I've never worked more closely nor been more involved with my classmates work as I have this semester.  It has been great to see their blogs and learn about Borges or Comics or pig farming as the semester has gone by.  Also, the level of collaboration that has taken place has had me emailing, chatting and pestering almost every one of my fellow students in the course as we tried to get this eBook done. It has been a great experience and I have learned a lot.  Connecting with others?  Well, as a class we have been connecting with others to share our work with them.  I had several friends on facebook tell me they were interested in the book we've written and I also sent out a recommendation to some of my friends on Goodreads. Hopefully they will read it and love it and share it with others who are interested.  This is the point of connecting.  This is the way that all of our research and writing and hard work pays off in the end.  Someone will find it useful and share it with others who will also find value in it. It's so exciting.

I think that I've done pretty well this semester.  I've worked hard at getting my writing done and writing often.  I did a lot of research and learned more than just writing skills.  I think that the things I've taken from this class with be assets in my future career.

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