Monday, December 20, 2010

Fall Reflections and New Beginnings

Now that the fall semester is over I need to reflect on how far I have come in the last few months.  I also want to take a look at where things will be going for me in the coming winter semester.

Before starting the fall semester in August I still needed to fulfill my civilization 2 GE class so I could graduate next year.  I took a great civilization 1 class over the summer semester I was wondering which flavor of civ 2 class I should take: Western Civ, Literature, Anthropology, etc..  Amid my deliberations I felt like I really needed to take the Honors version.  I had no idea what I was signing myself up for.  All I knew was that I should take Honors 202.  Turns out that that decision was very inspired because I have learned so much over the course of the Honors 202 class which turned out to be a Digital Civilization class.  To learn more about the class, read some of my older posts, especially my other reflections.

The last month or more in my digital civilization class I have really enjoyed working on the final project.  I was in charge of the website so I spent a lot of time discovering how Google Sites is very inflexible.  Despite my difficulties I was still able to beat the website into submission so it looked the way I wanted.  I also spent time using Pixlr in creating images (above) for the website and for my blog.

Part of my digital civilization class required us to do self directed learning, in other words, take our learning into our own hands.  I think I did a pretty good job at that however I don't think it is as well documented in my recent blogging.  I have spent most of my blogging time creating event recaps, connecting with people like Neil Howe, and asking for ideas for my final project.

As far as looking into the future, I definitely plan on continuing to apply the things that I have learned in my digital class.  I want to continue to intelligently consume the internet, create content for others on the internet, and connect with others of similar interests.  I have been selected to be the commander of the training cadets in the Air Force so I plan on using a lot of the digital tools in making it easier for the cadets in training to learn. I also am intrigued by the idea of open notebook science.  Since I will be working on my exoplanetary research this coming semester, I want to create a new blog that will log my research and try and connect to others in the field.

I am really grateful to the teachers of my Digital Civilization class because the really opened my eyes up to a whole new way of learning.  I look forward to sharing the things I have learned with others.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sharing the Gospel in a Digital World

So the final project presentation night went off without a hitch for my Digital Civilization class.  It was really neat that the whole thing was broadcast live over the internet via . I decided to make a video highlight of the part of the presentation that I was involved with.  I then uploaded it to YouTube.  Check it out!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Top Posts of Digital Civilization Classmates

My Digital Civilization teachers have asked me to nominate some of the best blog posts of my classmates from this past semester.

I really enjoyed Rhett Ferrin's post on the Atomic Age.  His post is a great example of self directed learning.  Rhett's post connected well to its readers and gathered in a number of comments.  It did this not only by being interesting but by making connections to our day and the nuclear threat that America has from Iran.  Another of my favorite post's from Rhett is his post on economics.  The great part about this post is just how informative it is.  It really shows Rhett's self directed learning and it shows that Rhett was really interested in the topic he was writing about.

I thought Kristen's blog about Modernism and Common Sense was a great example of tying digital concepts to the topic we were learning at the time.  This post is also great because of the way it is written.  It is engaging, attracts your attention and asks questions of the reader.  In the post Kristen also links to other blogs, and sites - good connecting.

As far as having good historical content, I think Shuan Pai did a great job in her post about working women in the industrial revolution.  This post really showed that Shuan had done self directed learning because of all the information written in the post.  The post was also attractive with photos, comics, clip-art and a YouTube video.  This post also garnered some attention by other classmates because it was so informative.

These are just a few of the countless good posts that my classmates put up.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Trying to Spruce Up the Website... Ideas?

The website's new look. (Oo... Ah...)
So the image above is of the website that my group is working on.  This website is for the final project of my digital civilization class.  Our teacher asked us to make our sites worthy of being shared with his peers.  Well...  I spent some time on it today and I think it looks better.  Any additional ideas?

The website's old look.  (Boo.... Ugly!)
Besides making the site look nice, my group and I need to add content to it.  One big frustration of mine right now is that Google Sites do not allow you to use Java script codes or embed things they do not approve of.  (In other words, editing the html code of the site is a nightmare!)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Event Recap: Missionary Fireside
Sharing the Gospel in a Digital World

Missionaries use technology to share the gospel
On Sunday Nov 22nd 2010, my final project group and I helped host a missionary fireside for the BYU 61st Ward  (congregation).  It was epic!  Two missionaries from the MTC Referral Center Mission, Elder Seth Spencer and Elder Andrew Howden, came to speak to a audience of 50+ members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  After a hymn (Called to Serve) and prayer, Elders Spencer and Howden shared how they are spreading the gospel using digital tools such as Skype, chat, Facebook, and blogs.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Getting Creative With Music

So I was on Diigo, my social bookmarking website and I was searching for a list of internet creativity.  It pulled up a list from some guy I don't know and near the top of his list was a website called Noteflight.  Noteflight is a website that hosts a free online music composition program.  There is a song that I arranged on my mission and I thought I might try to digitize it into a nice score.  Noteflight is pretty self explanatory.  It even has some videos to show you how to use the basics.  Noteflight uses the "freemium" model, so if you want all the features you need to pay and upgrade.  Fortunately, the free version has all the basics and works great.

Here is my arrangement of Latter-Day Saint (i.e. Mormon) hymn #112 "Savior Redeemer of My Soul" :

Creative Commons License
Savior Redeemer of My Soul by Andrew DeWitt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Updated the Image, But What are the Details?

So I've updated my Pixlr image to reflect the new title of the final project event that my class will be having on December 9th.  See the class blog for additional information.  If we want to use this image for a flyer, I can also include the date time and place at the bottom as soon as we know all the details.  Somebody please tell me the details soon so I can turn this image into a printable flyer.