Semester Reflection

This semester in Social Media Technology has been chaotic. Even though this was the first semester it was ever taught at K-State Salina, I feel that there should have been more purpose to the class. So, for what it’s worth, this is what I feel should definitely be changed or improved in the class.

The biggest thing I can stress, as a student, is. . .

Purpose

Give your students a purpose for what they’re supposed to be doing. And no, doing something just because it was asked of them does not count. Why are we blogging? What are we blogging about? Why are we posting articles to Diigo? And the list continues.

Blogging

I understand that blogging is a part of Social Media, and it seems to be one of your favorite things to promote. But, this seems to be the only part of social media that is really stressed in this course. We are asked to blog for a whole semester (which we’ve had to do in multiple classes). You would always make a point to tell us how you were impressed or happy that the number of blog posts were increasing after pushing it again and again. We never actually did this with any other social media platform though.

So, my suggestion would be, if you want to include blogging, great! But push blogging hard for 2-3 weeks, and then move on to another platform. And don’t just have them blog just to blog. Give them a purpose. Maybe one student focuses on promoting their work, and another makes a foodie blog, and etc.

That leads me to my next point. . .

Social Media Experiments

You had each of us choose 3 platforms that we had never used, or did not frequently use. This was not a bad idea at all; in fact, it had plenty of potential! But, it did not go any further than telling us to use the platforms and having us provide the links to everyone else. Unless we took the initiative to write about our experience in our blogs, there was never an update on how things were going.

I think we could have taken 2 or 3 class periods, when we didn’t have anything planned, to sit down and have a class discussion on the progress we were making on social media, what we were experiencing, and how we felt about the different platforms.

Diigo Articles

We were asked to post articles on Diigo weekly, so our class and future classes would have articles to have discussions about. But at the end of the semester, I feel like we just have a hoard of articles, photos, and videos.

I feel like it would make more sense to incorporate these postings in class. There was maybe 1 or 2 times that this happened out of the whole semester. But not frequently enough for how frequently we were asked to share. Maybe a semester schedule is planned out with a theme for each week, and for that week, students bring in articles, videos, pictures, or infographs that match those themes to discuss. These themes could also help students plan out their “class discussion” for the semester.

Research Paper

I did not agree with the research paper we had to do. The main purpose, I believe, was to spread the word of the Undergraduate Research Showcase. But, the paper we were asked to create was a paper I had to write in Technical Writing. And I wasn’t the only student who had already taken that class, and written that paper. It does not make sense to do something twice.

The class was not an english class; we could have been doing other things that really pertained to the class. And ultimately, the plan to enter them into the showcase did not work out.

Conclusion

I do not mean to offend you with my opinions. I know that they may not come across kindly, but I only made them to give you the honest student perspective and hope they will be taken into consideration.

Graduation

My last semester at K-State Salina will officially be after 3:50 tomorrow. And, I’m not sure how I feel about it.

It’s weird because I don’t know what to do next. Every time that I have graduated (middle school and high school. . .WOO!), I was always a little uncertain about it. But, it was never that bad. I was leaving one school to go to another school with the same routine:

  1. Wake up
  2. Maybe eat
  3. Go to class
  4. Do homework (or not. . .because go procrastination!)
  5. Eat
  6. Procrastinate some more
  7. Sleep
  8. Repeat

This time, it’s different.

I have to admit, I’m not sad about leaving K-State Salina or my degree. It’s the people that I’ve met.

I graduated May 9. I didn’t want to walk, and I’m not exactly glad that I did walk, but I’m not upset about it either. But surprisingly, it was slightly sad. At graduation, it really hit me how many people I have come to know, and consider friends. I’ve met more this semester than any other. It always takes me awhile to start feeling comfortable where ever I am, and the same goes for making friends/meeting people. And of course, I get on a roll right before it’s time for me to graduate and move on.

And now, it’s time for me to move on to the next chapter, whatever that may be. It’s supposed to include internships and jobs, hopefully a career that I love. And everyone keeps asking: what are your plans.

I don’t have solid plans as of right now.

So. . .ya, I don’t know how I feel about graduating. And honestly, I feel like this post is kind of rambling, so I’m going to leave it with that.

Peace.

Kitty Update!

Last year, I had my families cat Nala, and her two new kitties living with me. Everyday, I would send a group text to my family with a “kitty update”. As a matter of fact, I would send multiple kitty updates in one day! Because why not? It would be selfish of me to keep the cuteness to myself!

So, I started thinking last week. . .why did I not do a kitty update for my blog throughout the semester?!?! It would have helped me make my “quota” of 2-3 posts a week, and it could have been “my thing”. Because, let’s be honest. . .I rock at kitty updates!

So, I will share with you, the fur baby in my life.

knivesSink This is Knives.

She is one of the original “kitty update” kitties. She is one of the best stress relievers in my life, and I don’t know what I would do without her.

And as a bonus (lucky you!), here she is again!

knivesLilac (Knives with a lilac blossom)

Kitty Update. Better late, than never! You’re welcome WordPress world. . .you are welcome =]

Student-Led Discussions

I agree with Nick’s blog post, Class-Led Discussions/Research Paper. I feel that I have gained more from the discussions being led in class by students than I have in most of the class periods.

When I first heard we were supposed to lead class discussions, I did not care for the idea at all. I hate speaking in front of people, and I just hate speaking in front of people. But, when I gave my “discussion” over APA, I found that the time flew by fast, and it wasn’t that bad.

These discussions tend to be more effective in showing us how to use social media. Nick showed us how to use Twitter, and Amy showed us how to use Tumblr. Seeing how everything worked was far more effective than sitting there and being told to go out and read about them.

The class periods where we were actually learning information about social media sites were also more productive. I didn’t feel like we were just elaborating on an article to fill up time in the class; they just naturally lasted a whole class period. And although I may have known some of the information being discussed or “taught” in class, I didn’t know everything.

I do feel that if there was a clear schedule for the semester that mapped out what the lessons/class discussions would be and when, the student-led discussions would be even more productive/effective. Students could see what we’ll be learning/talking about in class and plan around that. My discussion just happened to fall in the right place at the right time. We were getting ready to start out papers, and I knew APA format from working in the Writing Center.

Overall, the student-led discussions aren’t a terrible idea, but there still needs to be some improvements.

Big Eyes

Last week, I watched Tim Burton’s movie, Big Eyes. And first off, I HIGHLY recommend watching it!

big-eyes-poster-goldposter-com-3

The movie covers the story of Margaret Keane and her artwork known as “Big Eyes”.

margaretKeane(Margaret Keane and Amy Adams)

bigEyes(an example of Margaret Keane’s artwork)

Long story short: Margaret Keane married Walter Keane, and started signing her paintings with her new last name. Walter then started taking credit for the paintings, and people bought it. Margaret would paint, and Walter would get all the glory and credit.

This movie and story directly spoke to me. As a student in Digital Media Technology, I design all the time. The topic of copyright and credit for one’s work comes up all the time in this degree. Margaret’s story gave a great snapshot/explanation for what it’s like to not get credit for the work that you create. In the movie, it explained how much it hurt to see her paintings being adored by so many people, and not being able to tell anyone that SHE was the one who created it.