Thing 23: Pressed for words on WordPress

Just yesterday, I was reading how we are trapped by the idea that we are caught in the string of time where past follows the present and the the future. By thinking of the future by remembering the past, we fail to live the present. Well, if I were to predict the future based on my past dabble with the digital world, this blog would suffer a link rot despite my grand idea for it. My grand idea is to use the blog to feature my progress on my research on embodied learning and use it as a way to attract other similar researchers. I plan to start following their blogs and hopefully they will follow mine. That is going to be a difficult task because so many of the bloggers write so well. But I think the things I learnt during this course is going to be very useful to get them engaged to my blog. I am tempted to use the data visualisation tools to present how the literature on embodied learning has changed since it began. A lot of work but it might be worth it for the thesis too. Cannot wait for the day that I have a chance to put the Creative Commons to something I have designed. I really enjoyed how your team shed the geekiness that is always linked to technology and shared the immense potentiality of the tools that could help us with our academic (perhaps career). Nonetheless, if there is what Create can do and is probably going to (since you will be running this course again next year) is to keep this batch of participants informed on the new available tools and information linked to the various things. For example, in the each of the Things of 2015, you could have a section right at the end which says ‘Additions to Things of 2014’ and list the new tools and information. Not sure if this is going to be a problem because your team will be forced to find new things. But then again, the internet changes so quickly and with so many developers there are bound to be new things. It is a bit like my home country, it never feels like home when you return from a short holiday. I guess that it is because I am tied to the string of time. Well, I am going to cut off from this string and this blog is set to stay. It will be the home for my ideas and thoughts and aspirations. Now I just need to find more tenants 🙂

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Thing 21: Hit me baby one more time!

With the movie adaptation of the book ‘Fifty shades of Grey’ coming to theatres soon, you might be creatively misreading the blog title. Hits were a big thing for a long time. It spanked a mark (pun intended) of superiority as the hit counter one’s blog kept increasing. However, I am glad that Thing 21 has pointed out that

someone has visited your page doesn’t automatically mean that they have read it – they may have clicked away without reading or watching anything. What if someone accesses the page from their computer and then their mobile phone? They may be recorded as two different visitors unless the site requires you to log in.

As for my blog, I was most popular when we started (14 views on 29th Sep). People probably were curious who I was or maybe mistakenly thought I was someone they knew. But then again, I made sure my blog title in Moodle was Sarkkunan’s blog and not something cryptic. However, I am glad actually because the 14 views was due to 8 people viewing my page 1.75 times which means that my post probably made them think and then they cam to reread it or follow me as an afterthought. I know for a fact that my blog would have been more popular if I had followed more people (and they would follow you in return because it is courteous) or cross-posted with Twitter or had a face pic to humanize my blog so that it is lesser outerworldly (but you cannot help that when you are trying to transcend yourself to finish your thesis proposal). Well these would definitely be something I will be doing in the near future 🙂

As for my Moodle footprint, it is quite understandable and I think most of the other participants would have the largest number of hits for doing the combined Things 14 and 15. My hit counter shows that it hit the roof on the 9th November because being a procrastinator/ last-min-worker (like now) I had done both of the things on that day. So in that way, it would show students and lecturers graphically what the students’ work habits are. Actually the outline report is more useful, because it shows the ‘hits’ for the parts in each Thing. This way you can check whether the student actually accessed all the information or just picked and chose to just complete the task assigned. Guilty as charged 🙂 Well I really hope there is no way to track whether we just read the abstract/summary or the whole journal paper/book before we cite them in our thesis. Then everyone would probably take twenty times longer to complete their PhD.

Thing 20: It is more than just words

Wordle is a very popular form of presentation of quantity. It is a very creative idea in my opinion because it combines for example in a bar graph, both a label on the graph and the bar. Reference managers are also incorporating it into their user platform. In Readcube, the different keywords or tags that you use for labelling your papers are presented in a Wordle. However, I have always been more impressed with infographs which are visual representations with words, pictures, graphs or cartoons. They impress me more because they summarize a complex issue into the most important points that are visually captivating. The latest enhancement (at least since I last remembered reading an infograph) is that the data presented are real-time.

Thing 17 – Noted with thanks

The notebook structure uses word searches, folders and even tags. It is very useful in finding stored information. Unfortunately, it does not feel like a notebook to me if it I don’t have the freedom to write or draw – like int he use of pen and paper. The downside to pen and paper is that it is not as searchable because I do not know of an OCR that is able to recognise my writing and hence it also makes it difficult to edit. This is not to say that I am not excited about Evernote. I am keen to explore it but I doubt it will satisfy my needs.

Currently I use iWork’s Numbers which gives me an advantage of tables as well as allowing me a mindmap kind of space to move the tables around. When I put it in tables they serve sort of like folders and if I really needed tags (which might happen when I have done enough literature review), I could simply add another column to ‘tag’ it.

In fact, I think this planner may be more useful to uncomplicate my already simple life 🙂

Thing 16 – Going with the Flow (Proquest)

I had started with Reforks because the University subscribed to it. This led to me trying out Flow which is also by Proquest. It is new and they slowly adding features to it e.g the latest has been highlighting the PDF file within Flow. Actually I was very excited by Readcube when I saw their product feature. It is so cool but I stuck with Flow because it felt safer since UoA subscribes to it.

But I don’t think I use it as efficiently as I should because I have witnessed how my PhD mate in the office uses it. He adds references, cites, highlights and continues with his proposal seamlessly. You can constantly hear him typing away without much pauses because he uses his reference manager so well that the information is literally on his fingertips.

For me, I am just glad now that I have a spot to place my references and the PDF files back up into my Dropbox. But as I labour over my thesis proposal, I find myself just typing out the citations without using the tool. At moments, I think an Excel File might be sufficient for me to collect my references. Would that also constitute me keeping up with the digital world?

Thing 16 has something about Quickcite. I will check it out soon (after completing the proposal. Ironic).

Thing 14 and 15 – See through the body

Seeing through someone does not get close to seeing through yourself.

Embodied learning is when the parts are consolidated – movement, sensations

To take it whole and then make it porous so that it does not obstruct the flow

A whole with so many holes, that makes you wonder whether it even exists.

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Evolution of the Theme #PLE in my Body Dec. 2013 – Aug. 2014 (365/218 Aug. 06, 2014) by Irmeli Aro/CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Thing 12 and 13 – An adventure that took longer than expected

I am posting this video not only to fulfil Thing 12 but to seek feedback on the bringing the idea further. I keep procrastinating on what I truly believe might resolve many of the educational issues.

Here is the link to the YouTube video.

It took longer than expected because the audio recording function on Keynote kept stopping after 2 minutes or so. I only realise this after recording the whole presentation and replaying it. Did a few recordings before giving up. Others have faced the same problem too.

In the end, I imported the presentation to iMovie and then added the audio recording clip by clip. The quality of the video is not that good though but hope it suffices.