My Final Reflections

Overall, this class has not been one the easiest for me. Whether it was not being able to make the classes…ever, or not being able to communicate with my group members easily…ever, or trying to figure out what the heck I am supposed to be writing in these posts…for every post. I have struggled with just about everything someone could possibly struggle with in this class.

As a freshman starting out I was nervous because I had never taken an online class before and I didn’t know what to expect. I am on the rifle team at the University of Akron and I had made the travelling team, so I was gone almost every Friday through Sunday for most of the school year. I had to schedule all of my classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I would not be missing any classes from week to week. On top of school work and classes I commit at least 14 hours a week Monday-Thursday to the rifle team, so I thought taking an online class would be easiest for my busy schedule. I had thought that the classes would be taught and I could get my work done when I had free time. I did not expect the professor to set up a meeting time for class. If I had known this would happen I would not have taken this class online.

I felt like it was not well organized, at least for those who could not attend the “class period”. I was unaware that groups had been made halfway through the year and when I found out I did not have a group because I was not assigned one. Trying to communicate with group members has been extremely difficult, although it has been a little bit better recently.

I have learned little about the virtual world and communication, but not extreme amounts. This would be a good class to continue teaching because I do believe it has some good points, but I believe it needs to be taught differently. Maybe record different lectures so you don’t have to set a specific time period? The class itself was not challenging, but trying to follow along and figure out what’s going on was.

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Stop and Listen to the People of New York

Recently I have been trying to get caught up with this class. I have been communicating back and forth with my group on our project and writing blog posts and reading others posts, but I am in no way someone who enjoys English. I have a hard time reading something and being able to write something about it. Today I seem to be on a role, which is rare. I have been unable to attend a single class meeting this semester which has made it even more difficult to find things to write about. While talking with my group members one day I asked if they had suggestions for a reading reflection prompt that I still have to do. One of my group members said write it on Humans of New York. I have seen different posts Humans of New York have put up on facebook and being from Vermont I have many New York friends and I have been there plenty of times to be able to relate with what they write in their posts.

People of New York follows a person’s New York life. Throughout you are able to not only just hear about their lives, but you get to be brought in on the story. They post amazing pictures of the people whose lives they chronicle. You are able to learn about all the diversity there is in New York you learn about the people’s lives and ways that they do things. It is an amazing experience to read these posts and learn so much inspiring things.

Like I said I had known about the Humans of New York posts, but I never knew how widespread it was. It shows everyone that they are special. That everyone you pass on the street has a story and you should stop to listen sometime.

My Experiences in the Virtual World of SL

Weeks ago I went onto SL to travel the virtual world and see what there was out there for me to do. I haven’t been able to post much for a while because, being the klutz that I am, I dropped my laptop and have been unable to use it consistently. Some days it works some days it doesn’t, today it decided to work.

As I said, I had travelled SL weeks ago so I’m not sure I will remember the names of the places I visited then, but I do remember what I did. The first place I visited was covered in snow. I was intrigued because I live in Vermont, snow is my life. Although I have only skied two to three times in my life they had a lift and mountain on this island so I thought I would give it a go. I couldn’t figure out how to get on. I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea because at this point in my SL experience I had only learned how to fly. I didn’t even know how to stop flying and walk again, so as you can imagine I was definitely not ready to hop on some skis. I tried to get help from a guy standing around, but he didn’t seem to want to help me that much, so I gave up and just decided to fly around the island a little bit more before I was tired of flying and needed to do some real life walking.

A little while later I decided I would get back onto SL and do some more flying around, learning how to do different things. This time I decided to stay on Akron Island and do some exploring on our own home island. I have to say the experience I had on Akron Island was one of the weirdest I have had throughout this whole class. As I was learning to do different things, like change clothes (I was a little late in learning how to do this) someone came up to me with a massive fish head on. Weird, right? It caught my eye but I went back to doing what I was doing. Then the fish head came closer to me and stood almost on top of me I paid no attention to it they didn’t seem to care. And all of a sudden it started humping my leg. Like a dog. Honestly I had no idea what was happening until all of a sudden my speakers on my computer blared as this fish head made sexual noises. For example “Uh uh oh yeah you like that? You like that? Yeah yeah”. This wouldn’t have been too terrible if it was just me with my computer, but no, I was in a room full of quiet people studying. I’m not going to lie it scared me away from SL for a little bit, and the study room I was in.

For my third experience it was much nicer. I went on late at night. There weren’t many people around. I had finally learned how to walk, so I went to this cute little French Island. I walked the streets peacefully just able to look around and the cute little coffee shops and boutiques. It was nice to just get away from everything for a little while and enjoy something new. I liked this island because I have just recently found that I would love to travel, everywhere. And being able to do that through a virtual world is not exactly what I want, but it’s the closest I am going to get for a while.

Watching What You Put Online

In today’s society people don’t have their own thoughts, they are just a click away from someone else’s at all times. Everyone as their own personal computer, tablet, or smart phone and are eager to find someone else’s opinions to use in their lives. The problem with this is that they do not have permission from the author of the writing to use their words.

To prevent people from stealing others work the original publisher should copyright their work. Copyrighting is when you are the only one with the right to produce copies of your own work and permission is needed for someone else to use it. When a person uses someone else’s copyrighted work without their knowledge there are major consequences. In college, when you use someone else’s work without citing that it isn’t yours, you can receive a zero on the piece you are working on or get kicked out of school for it.

People tend to not realize how much trouble they can get into by what they use and do online. Not only do they plagiarize work that can get them in trouble they also post on social media. Yes, everyone posts on social media that is not the issue, the issue is that they do not realize that potential bosses will be looking at what they post now, to decide if that person is someone they would hire. Kids who are always posting vulgar messages and pictures online because they are “young and dumb” may be passed over for a job because someone else kept those things offline.

It is important for kids nowadays to learn early that it matters what you post online. Once it is out there it is out there forever and anyone who wants to look around can see what they posted 10 years ago. This is also a good message for someone putting their work out online. Everyone can see it whenever they want and they can use the words and ideas that have been laid out on that piece of work if you don’t choose to protect it.

Prosumer to Produser

The word Prosumer comes from the terms Professional and Consumer. McLuhan coined this term after he had predicted that the roles of producers and consumers would begin to blur together and the consumer would become the producer.

McLuhan believes that prosumers have more power over consumers to help make products better by financially supporting them and putting their own views into how they should be made. This helps me because I am working towards my business degree. I need to know how producers and consumers work in the real world an if the lines between them are starting to blur that will give me a better outlook on what I need to do in my business. Although not everything McLuhan has to say is completely agreeable, all of his views are important to look at in going into the business world whether I agree with them or not. It will give me a better outlook on the world.

Medium is the Message

In regards to “medium is the message” content is not the most important aspect of communication.  While most audiences focus on the content of a story, such as a violent murder in the news, it is actually the way the story is disseminated to the masses that affects our perceptions of the world.

This class is not an ordinary course, we don’t have ordinary professors that we see 2-3 times a week, we don’t have classmates that we can meet up with easily, we are not given our homework assignment to do and bring back the next day. In this course our professors have decided to insert all of us, their students, into what we are learning. They have thrown us into the virtual world through SecondLife and WordPress to help us learn and build our own idea of the virtual world and to learn on our own. To gain our own perceptions of how things are and not what the professor wants us to know.

“Medium is the message” is a very powerful statement. It has the ability to spread throughout society. With the technological advances everyone is apart of this world where we all have the same thoughts. Everything is presented to us the same way. We are unable to create our own thoughts because we are not taught to see how the message is portrayed we are just taught to listen to the message. We need to step back more often to see what the message really is not just the words that are written.

Supporting Red Cross

My group has decided to support Red Cross because it is a globally known organization. One of my group members originally came up with the idea and connected on SecondLife with another member to talk through details and work out possible events we could put on.

The assignment is to Support our organization through the virtual world. My group has decided to mainly use Twitter and SecondLife. One of my group members brought up the idea of having a hashtag to help spread the word, and in the future help let people know if we are having events they can attend. The goal is to get the word out about the Red Cross and have people get together to help promote our cause.

#IOLE15