Final Reflections

This class has definitely opened my mind up to different platforms and ways of virtual communication.  However, my opinion regarding online classes is still the same as it was during the beginning of the semester.  Although this class has taught me a lot and I have learned how to manage time differences and group work through the virtual world, I have been frustrated with this class pretty much the whole semester.  Because of this, I 100% prefer traditional classroom setting classes.

With this being said, my group and our group work has been awesome throughout this semester.  With only meeting and talking online, the four of us got along and worked together throughout the entirety of this project.  The group work aspect of this class I do think is important, as it teaches students to adapt to situations that are not ideal to most.  The different time zones, schools, majors, homework, living situations, along with different sleeping, working, and having free time schedules is difficult to work around, even though somehow we all made it work.

Throughout the last few weeks, my group has been working hard to complete our final project and spread awareness regarding the problems of homelessness on different social medias.  I believe our project will definitely impress and inform the class on not only homelessness, but our struggles and successes within spreading information on social media.  Fully online projects are without a doubt hard to maintain, especially when you don’t have the opportunity to meet with your group members whenever it is needed.

All and all I am glad I learned what I did from this class, but I am happy that it is almost summer break!

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Time Zones

There are various difficulties and benefits to collaborating with classmates that live in another country, which is more importantly in another time zone.  When I first learned that we would be having class with people from Ireland, I was not sure what to expect.  Everything related to this class has become a new experience as I usually do not take online classes, especially one that has continual and necessary online meeting times.

The biggest difficulty would be communication in my opinion.  Although my group has been efficiently communicating through Facebook, it is hard to realize that I can’t see my group members face-to-face at the same time period in class to discuss different ideas, topics, and complete the project in that way.  I am never exactly sure when my members are free as we all are busy, involved people that have lots going on.  I am not someone who is constantly glued to my computer and social media, and I believe they are not as well.

On the flip side, this kind of thing can be looked at as a benefit.

Because we are in different time zones, we are awake, going to class, spending time at home, working, and sleeping at different time intervals throughout a 24 hour period.  This may be looked at as a benefit because when it comes down to putting the finishing touches on our project we will all have different time available to work on it.  When three people are busy, one person may have time available to put towards the project and vice versa.

Although I believe this class communication is a little bit of a struggle, I think it is interesting to work through because as most people have probably already figured out, communication in the real world is not always a face-to-face easy set in stone time block.

The Medium is the Message

Marshall McLuhan’s theories inform the thinking behind this class because of the different mediums that are used.  Between SL, WordPress, Twitter, and my group’s use of Facebook, I must learn and communicate with my group members and class members in a new way.  I prefer the traditional classroom setting, but I think it is important as well as interesting to have to work at finding time and easier ways to communicate to people across the globe.

I believe that the medium has a lot to do with the message because of how the communication is understood and assessed.  With the use of social media or smart phones, emotion and some sorts of communication can be misunderstood.  Face to face communication is easier to quickly get the real message across, but it is not impossible to do that over the internet or different form of media.

This is important when thinking about this class because I believe learning different communication techniques and mediums is the main point.  Having said this, I believe the whole class is learning something new and useful for the future because of the growth and popularity of mediums other than face to face.

Link: https://virtualworldnmfsfall11.wordpress.com/2011/10/29/painfully-coming-to-grips-with-the-medium-is-the-message/

Process of Idea Selection

When our group first started communicating in our Facebook group, we decided to start by discussing ideas that were interesting to each individual in different posts.  We figured that this way, someone would end up listing an idea that was interesting to all of us and we could decide and move on from there in that way.  This definitely ended up working.

I believe that technically Kathleen Gillota, one of my group members, brought up our topic in something that she was interested in after seeing an advertisement about how winter was so brutal this year in Ohio and how that negatively effected the homeless population.  Everyone in the group saw that idea and correlating advertisement she posted and the idea just stuck with us from there!

Group Progress

As the weeks have been progressing my group has been efficiently continuing to communicate and share ideas through our own private Facebook group.  This has worked wonderfully due to being able to easily share ideas, links, and quotes due to the fact that we have continuous quick and readily available access to each other.

Because of this we have decided on a topic that has concern in the USA and Ireland, as well as Second Life as we have recently discovered groups and slogans that encourage others to be aware of this growing problem.

We believe our idea of homelessness will work great as a topic for educating and bringing about awareness, as well as learning how to do such a thing in a different type of environment such as the virtual world.

In our group we will continue to work together and create a more organized and informational presentation for the final class as we are all excited and passionate about bringing about awareness with this topic.

In a World Where It is Easy to Copy…

Throughout my entire schooling, as well as everyone else’s I presume,  I have always been told to watch out for plagiarism and not to copy any work that is not my own.  Using and learning how to make citations has become a skill over the years as writing academic papers seems to be required for most classes throughout high school and college.  As it is widely known, the internet makes it easier to find information related to any certain topic and easy to copy it as well, which makes citing even more important in protecting ones work.

However, even though information is more accessible, it is also easier for teachers to find plagiarism and copyright hidden in turned in papers.  Most of my nursing teachers always stress how important it is not to copy because there are multiple sites and ways of catching this on the computer, simply by typing in a sentence.

Because this virtual world is so new to me, I did not expect copyright issues to be so relevant to worlds such as Second Life.  This problem became apparent to me when reading The Laws of the Virtual Worlds by Greg Lastowka and Dan Hunter.  This article shows the different legal position of avatars in the virtual world.

Because of the, as the article says, “bleeding” of real life aspects into virtual world aspects, I understand more of the copyright problems that one may come across as they venture through the virtual world.  Because of things such as converting real life money into virtual world money, someone may feel entitled to their creation and/or idea that comes to life in the virtual world.  This thought helped me to realize the problem that could arise when others destroy or copy the creations built with someone else’s hard work, money, and time.  However, it also crosses my mind within the aspect of copying that someone may like or agree to the same kind of creation and with copyright laws, it may hinder someone else’s virtual life and creativity.

Even though I believe this is kind of a complicated topic to blog about, it was interesting to learn as I did not realize this was a real problem in the virtual world.  I am glad that we are learning and becoming more informed about different topics like this in this class.

Link: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=402860

Group Communication

My group has decided to use a Facebook group as a means of communication.  So far this has worked pretty well.  We have discussed that we all need to brainstorm ideas for the project and post them on the page, some have posted about our blog and twitter names so we can follow each other, and we have discussed blog topics and come to help each other answer different questions.  I definitely think it will work well for my group.

Meeting New People

I was searching multiple places on SL before I actually found someone to talk to.  I didn’t think it would take so long because I tried what I figured would be popular places!  But as it turned out the more random places I happened to stumble upon, the more people were interacting.

My first encounter took place at a Dog Park at Turing Isle and it was pretty neat.  You could pet and play with all kinds of various dogs as well as adopt them if you had enough money.  The person I met here was a little inappropriate, but I continued to talk to her for about 10 minutes to see if she would tell me any useful information.  All she told me was that if the public chat goes quiet, you should message people privately.  This may have came up in conversation because I just messaged a general, “hello!” in the public or local chat instead of private messaging her.  Not sure how important this is, but I like to value others opinions on something I am new too.

Next, my second encounter took place at Flotsam Beach.  The gentleman I was talking to was not very friendly, but told me I could ask any questions or advice as I told that I was newer to the virtual world of SL.  Once I left he continued to private chat me because he was curious as to why I left.  However, it was then that he became friendly and actually tried to hold a conversation.

All and all it has been an interesting experience so far.  Although I have not met many nice random people, I am not giving up yet!

Blog #7 Capture

Building Your Personal Brand

I chose to read the Forbes Article, “The First Step to Building Your Personal Brand,” link will be given at the bottom of this blog post, for class.  It captivated me because I am always SUPER conscience about whatever I put on the internet and what others put about me.  Because of this, I think it is very interesting to relate this to the fact that my reputation can be built off of what my future employers can find about me on Google.

The article then gives you what the author calls “four simple steps to creating your mantra” and you apply these steps for creating your own brand.

  1. Emotional Appeal: extremely organized, motivated, comical, fun
  1. Determine Your Description: healthcare, caring, determined, quick-thinking
  1. Determine Your Function: nurse, saving, helping, comforting
  1. Put It All Together: In total, I could have the phrase “motivated, quick-thinking nurse”

This information and step by step process is helpful because it helped me to see how I want myself to be presented and different aspects that I want to show in my personality.  Good Read!

Link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2012/02/14/the-first-step-to-building-your-personal-brand/2/