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My Last Post … Or is it? | Final Reflection

The presentation below describes in an incredibly simplistic way my journey throughout this module.

http://www.powtoon.com/embed/bJvXuaEmZ4X/

The image below demonstrates just how far I believe I have come.

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Topic by topic, here is how it all happened.

Topic 1: Digital ‘Visitors’ and ‘Residents’

This topic allowed me to identify where I, at that time, laid on the continuum between visitor and resident. The internet was more than simply a tool to me, I had various online profiles and felt it was more a place/space to exist and inhabit deeming me as a resident.

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Topic 2: Online Identity

After identifying how I use the internet, I could assess what exactly I left behind on the internet, my digital footprint. I reflected upon the benefits and drawbacks of having multiple online personas and whether they were all a true reflection of you. I believed being a multi-faceted brand online is representative of how people are in reality, and various online personas allow you demonstrate that in different online realms whilst maintaining your true identity.

Topic 3: Developing an Authentic Online Professional Profile

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I was inspired most by this discussion and believe this was where I started to find my feet within the module. It was the first post I began to use multimedia to aid my points, even creating content myself. I have always taken a keen interest into marketing and I tried to write a post which focussed on the branding of one’s self and attempting to treat ‘you’ as a company. It spurred me to take my own advice and ‘promote what I do best in the right places’, hence developing my LinkedIn profile to advertise me in a greater professional sense.

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Topic 4: Ethical Issues related to the use of Social Media & Topic 5: Content Producers and Open Access

These two topics were less introspective, requiring a more macroscopic assessment. The varying posts from all my peers relating to Topic 4 showed just how vast the scope is concerning ethical issues online. The issue I felt was the most significant was the digital divide. Being born to Nigerian parents and having recently been back, I saw first-hand the disparity between internet access here and in Nigeria and just how this affected the nation’s educational system and even economically. Topic 5 made me understand why not everything is freely accessible and why some content producers might want their work to be open to everyone. This topic was probably the most difficult navigate between and pick a specific standpoint as I was writing as a content user from a content producer’s perspective.

The Future:

This module shoved me out of my comfort zone in to a blogging territory I had never considered to exist in. The feedback from people outside of the module has given me the confidence and courage to continue with this new-found hobby. Not only is it fun to do, but also helps me to enhance my own personal professional brand. My posts have inspired a group of friends and I to set up a collaborative blog, where we plan to tackle different areas of interest to us and share our ideas and thoughts on the topics, hoping to, like this module, create a discussion. I also plan to continue updating my online profiles, specifically tailoring Facebook and Instagram to be my private personal profiles, while Twitter and LinkedIn will be used to showcase myself in the professional world.

Thank you #UOSM2033.

[534 Words]

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Reflection: Topic 5

This week’s topic of Open Access was incredibly interesting as this very course is a product of Open Access. The basis of UOSM2033 is online, all resources, feedback, peer comparison etc. is done online. A somewhat new way of teaching, and so far, it has been incredibly enjoyable. The ability to work whenever and wherever has made the starting of each assignment within this module much less daunting.

Without the Internet and Open Access, this module would simply not exist. Even with the multitude of resources available online, there are still some articles that I would have loved to have had access to when researching certain. Many of my peers feel the same when it comes to being able to access academic literature, this was noticed in many of their blogs.

Many people saw the benefits of Open Access and were much on the side of online material being free. One of these people was Gus, he managed to outline how beneficial having free online content would be for many people, like myself. However, I noticed not much of the blog was dedicated to content developers themselves. This is the complete antithesis to Chris’s blog. His sole focus was the content developer. So much so his viewpoint wasn’t that of the masses. He felt not all online content should be free as the content developers are still producing a product that in some cases may pay their bills. I thoroughly enjoyed his blog and the way he conveyed his point as it challenged the norm and my own opinions.

After reading the comments I received, and Chris’ blog, I feel the topic of Open Access isn’t as black and white as I first thought and making all content online free maybe isn’t always feasible. With that said, I am still a massive advocate for Open Access and feel the positives for both content developers and those who access the content to be far superior than the negatives.

[328 Words]

Comments:

Chris’ Blog

Gus’ Blog

 

Image Source:

http://reflection.boa.ac.uk/reflective-thinking-and-writing/

Free for All: Open Access

Collaboration is an integral part of being an engineering student. Information and knowledge is frequently shared and traded to achieve specific goals within a project. Often, the medium for collaboration is the internet. An abundance of materials and articles are available to aid not only engineering students, but all students alike, to achieve success within their discipline but it is not always that easy. Most of this information is not free. Many students, myself included, are required to subscribe to academic journals just to be able to access a few articles that might help our education. The journal business is so large that its prices have outpaced inflation by almost 250% over the last thirty years. This begs for an alternative.

Open access is a concept developed to rid this issue. It is about making products and literature freely accessible to all via the internet. Open access allows scholarly articles and research to be disseminated quickly and widely, causing the research process to operate more efficiently, benefitting the likes of students, teachers, researchers and scholars. Open access can be broken into two mechanisms, green and gold. The gold is where authors publish their articles straight to an open access journal, whilst the green mechanism is where the final peer-reviewed journals are deposited into an open access archive called a repository.

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Sal Khan is an example of a content developer who has benefitted greatly from making his educational resources available freely online. Khan is the founder of the online non-profit school, Khan Academy. He makes use of open access by making whole courses on a variety of topics available for anyone to view and take advantage of. Khan’s motivation for his academy is his ‘belief that the current school system is outdated and deadens a child’s natural curiosity’. His beliefs are proving to be right as his videos are watched by almost three million unique users a month.

With almost anything, there are also some disadvantages posed to content developers from open access. I have provided a short presentation to display both the benefits and drawbacks of this concept.

http://www.powtoon.com/embed/bsmsuhb8c1E/

I am, however, much on the side of open access, not least because it makes writing 3,000 word reports a lot easier. I feel open access creates a far more superior learning experience, as it enables extremely efficient and affordable sharing, the essence of education.

[391 Words]

Sources:

Debra Dunn, Forbes 2013. Education Finally Ripe For Radical Innovation By Social Entrepreneurs

Wiley, Green and Soares, 2012. Dramatically Bringing Down the Cost of Education with OER

Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD comics), 2012. Open Access Explained

OpenAccess.nl. Pros and Cons

University of Leeds Library. What do I need to know about open access

Higher Education Funding Council for England. Open access research

Wiley, 2014. Understanding Open Access

Helena de Bertodano, Telegraph 2012. Khan Academy: The man who wants to teach the world

Image:

Logo of freeforall.cc

Reflection: Topic 4

I was immediately drawn to this week’s topic due to its broad scope. Many issues raised by business or educational uses of social media were presented to us and it was required of us to decide and discuss which we felt to be most significant. The range of views and opinions from my peers were particularly evident this week just from the differing blog titles. This meant no two blogs discussed the same issue, leading to intriguing perspectives on a variety of topics.

An issue that proved to pop up quite often however, was identity theft. This attracted me as I was keen to know how this could indeed relate to education or business or in fact both. For this reason, I was caught by Melak’s excerpt as he succinctly outlined his desire to link the issue of identity theft to business. Although I enjoyed the structuring of his blog, I was left wanting more from it. Melak gave a statistic identifying just how much money the UK loses because of identity theft but failed to dive any deeper. Something I felt lacked throughout most posts, including my own, due to the extensive material available on each issue.

I felt a topic I could more easily compare with education and business was that of the digital divide. There were many ways in which the topic could have been addressed. I decided to define the term first, then relate it more specifically to education. Davina also tackled this topic, she chose to address in more detail the wider scale issue of the global digital divide. She raised the point that the inability for certain countries to afford the necessary technology to provide people with greater internet access was much to blame for the wider divide. I completely agreed and wished I went into further detail in my post. Another issue I felt I could have attacked more so was how this affects these countries on an economical sense and what this may mean for them in the future.

 

Comments:

Melak’s blog

Hei Lam’s blog

 

Image source

The Digital|Divide

As recent blogs’ have expressed, we are clearly living in a digital age. We are quick to assume everyone has internet access and thus an online identity, so much so, the few occasions where I am faced by someone without a social media profile baffles me. The nature of the internet’s accessibility in the UK, with free Wi-Fi being available in so many places and almost every household having internet access, we struggle to even fathom a world existing without the internet. However, for many, this is a reality. Most the world’s population are still offline.

The digital divide is defined as a ‘term that refers to the gap between demographics and regions that have access to modern information and communications technology, and those that don’t or have restricted access’. As countries’ have developed and with the internet becoming a major part of communication, we have found the divide to be between those with and without internet access. These people are usually referred to as the ‘Haves’ and the ‘Have-Nots’. The video and presentation below gives some more insight into this.

 

The internet is a large part of the way we learn. For example, this very module is all online, without the internet, none of what is occurring on this page would be possible. A study carried out by Jerry Chih-Yuan Sun explores the affect the digital divide has on education. It focussed on technology use, socio-economic status, academic performance and the relationship between all three. The findings showed subjects such as maths and science are positively linked to technology and how coming from a lower socio-economic background made it more difficult to have access to technology. This may prove to have an adverse effect on one’s future with the internet and social media playing massive parts in a person’s employability.

This study demonstrates a microcosm of a much wider scale issue, the global digital divide. This is the divide between the parts of the world that have a predominant amount of internet access, the western world, and the parts where internet access is more restricted, the poorer, less developed countries. The poorer nations are unable to afford the necessary infrastructure which puts them at further disadvantage. The lack of internet access means schools in these countries are unable to teach IT skills and take advantage of the information on the web. Further displaying how impactful the divide is to education. Hence then need to bridge the gap.

A project was recently launched by Navarrow Wright to ‘Close The Divide’, explained in his Ted talk below.

Sources

Leo Kelion, BBC, 2013. UK jumps up internet scoreboard as digital divide grows

Burn & Loch, 2003. The Societal Impact of the World Wide Web – Key Challenges for the 21st Century.

WhatIs.com. Digital Divide definition

Elaine Smith, YouTube, 2012. What is the Digital Divide

Lee Rainie, PewResearchCenter, 2016. Digital Divide 2016

Jerry Chih-Yuan Sun, 2011. The Digital Divide and Its Impact on Academic Performance

Divided by Technology. The impact of the Global Digital Divide

Navarrow Wright, 2015. The New Digital Divide: The Perception Problem

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Reflection: Topic 3

Authenticity proved to be the differing factor between most blogs by my peers on this topic. It was evident we all knew the importance of having an authentic professional online identity, as almost everyone mentioned the part social media now plays in recruitment. However, there were many different interpretations of authentic.

The most common interpretation was to take authentic, define it literally and apply it to an online profile. This means you are who you are offline, online. One person to take this approach was Arun. Though this is correct in a literal sense, I feel there is a bit more to being authentic as demonstrated in my blog. I likened authenticity to branding. For example, we as consumers trust and believe certain companies to be authentic, such as Nike, due to their great branding. The branding of oneself is what I felt was key to the authentic part of an online identity.

On the other hand, I felt many people agreed upon what it meant to be professional online. This was to not say anything stupid online and to have a LinkedIn. However, I do feel many people, including myself, were at fault for simply focussing on LinkedIn to provide the professional aspect of their online identity. This was something I addressed on Nicole’s blog, asking if there were any other ways she felt could help boost your online identity professionally.

I very much agreed with Tobie’s excerpt on blogging. He believed that they are a fantastic way to showcase creativity, passion and dedication and that they can also help get you a job. I also queried Tiffany about this point and her response was very insightful. She explained it wasn’t enough to simply create a blog but the blog had to have a professional focus to achieve the desired effect. This was the focus of TheEmployable’s post and I feel many, myself included, failed to further seek how blogging can help you professionally.

Comments on other blogs:

Nicole’s blog

Tiffany’s blog

Sources:

TheEmployable, 2014. How blogging can help you get a job

Image source

@keviniri – Branding yourself online

Due to the increasingly low supply of skilled workers, there is a huge amount of competition for talent causing employers to be more innovative with recruitment. Social media has become a massive part of recruiters’ arsenal in finding the best talent. The figure below demonstrates just how many employers are now using social media to recruit and which networks have been hired through.

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Jobvite. (2014). Social Recruiting Survey

This makes your digital footprint and digital profile increasingly important. Your digital footprint is a trail left by your interactions within a digital environment. The size of the footprint depends on how interactive you’ve been in a cyberspace. Developing an authentic professional digital profile requires branding. Branding of you! Personal branding is key to improving your digital footprint and making greater use of the internet. This short clip from hiredmyway.com further explains this.

The title of this post demonstrates one of the ways I attempt to brand myself. ‘keviniri’ is the handle to all my social media sites, including this blog. The most important thing when building your brand is not just to be consistent with your handle and profile picture but to have multiple platforms in which you can be consistent on. It’s easy to be consistent when you have only Facebook or Twitter but to really build your brand, you must operate like a major network. This means putting yourself out there on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube and even creating your own blog, to name a few. Studies have shown that all living things and everything else in the world is six or fewer steps away from each other, the six degrees of separation. Social media has allowed connecting with people and things even easier, so by being a presence on each of these sites, you’re allowing yourself to be found and making it easier to find what you need.

Branding is also about promotion. You must promote what you do best in the right places. In order to promote yourself in a professional sense, becoming a presence on LinkedIn, no matter your industry or niche, offers numerous opportunities and rewards. The mind map below presents ways in which you can develop your LinkedIn profile to ensure you make the most out of an authentic professional online profile.

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Sources

BBC, 2013. Job hunting: How to promote yourself online

 Jon Ronson, 2015. How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life

Jobvite, 2014. Social Recruiting Survey

Lisa Harris, 2014. Using Social Media in your Job Search

John Lowery, 2016. Learning how to brand yourself

Richard Carruthers, 2012. Managing your Digital Footprint

Hiredmyway, 2011. Social Media 101: Personal Branding

Wikipedia. Six degrees of separation

Dummies.com. How to create effective and professional online profiles

Reflection: Topic 2

400 words to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of having multiple online identities proved to be too few. I took a relatively broad approach to this topic, attempting to identify many points for both sides of the argument. I thought this approach would allow me to cover all the key points and issues surrounding online identity, but I was completely wrong.

After reading many of my peers’ blogs, I found I had only scratched the surface with this topic and how much I had left untouched.

An example of this is the lack of light I shed on anonymous online identities. Davina, however, dedicated much of her blog to this aspect of online identity. She felt adopting an anonymous online identity really had no use and pointed out that ‘there are very few situations where it is useful or even desirable to be anonymous outside of explicitly anti-social or criminal behaviour’. Even though I agreed with a lot of what she highlighted, I did, however, play devil’s advocate in her comments by outlining times where it can be useful to be anonymous, such as the Anonymous activist/hacktivist group.

Not only did I not address all issues surrounding this topic, I also could have backed up some of my points with more hard evidence. This was brought to my attention by the comments I received on the post. Both Arun and Gus felt some of issues I addressed could have been boosted with a specific reference or more visual representation in order for the reader to fully grasp and comprehend the point I was trying to make.

Overall, I felt I demonstrated a good understanding of the topic, but could have gone into greater detail with the points addressed.

Comments on other blogs:

Davina’s blog

Nikhil’s blog

Me, Myself and The Internet

Who am I?

My Facebook profile will tell you I am Kevin Irikefe, as would my Twitter, LinkedIn and even this very blog page but within each of these social media sites, I portray different aspects of myself, these are my personas. Your online identity is a collection of all these different personas you build on the internet. Each persona will more than likely contain consistent information about yourself, but there are characteristics of yourself that one site may contain and another may not.

With more and more social media sites becoming prevalent, we are finding ourselves constantly reinventing the person we are to cater to the different needs and benefits of the site. With the example above, LinkedIn is a professional site, connecting other likeminded professionals together. It would be inappropriate of me to share certain information from my Facebook page on LinkedIn as they both serve a different purpose in my life.

However, there are people who create different personas within the same social media site and their motives for this can be very questionable. Such as those who enjoy ‘catfishing’. Urban dictionary describes a ‘catfish’ as ‘someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances’.

As touched upon in my first blog, society is very much leaning towards digital ‘residency’ with Facebook as a major driving force. Facebook seeks so much information about yourself, there are things you might be shy to even tell your mother. Mark and co. would say this is to aggregate all your personal information in to a centralised hub in order to create authenticity. Which I suppose rids of ‘catfishes’ but also deems someone like myself as unauthentic.

David Vronay, the founder and CEO of Heard, says Facebook have a completely ulterior motive and they want to ‘monetize user interaction’. Hence ‘hyper-targeted’ ads. Facebook are not the only culprits, your online identity is not merely the partial identities you willingly disclose, but also the partial identities created by your interaction and use of other sites. This allows these websites to also tailor their content, information and, most importantly, their ads to you, specifically and because of this, a minority of people fear even having an identity online.

So, where is the line?

I believe being a multi-faceted brand online is representative of how people are in reality as we all are different ‘people’ in different situations. Your various online personas allow you demonstrate that in different online realms whilst maintaining your true identity.

 

Sources used:

http://www.internetsociety.org

David Vronay, Heard – The Online Identity Crisis

Alex Krotoski – Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important? 

7 Steps to building your online identity

 

 

Reflection: Topic 1

The concept devised by Prensky of digital ‘natives’ and ‘immigrants’ was already very familiar to me, so much so it was drawn upon in order for me to secure a university place. However, what I had not previously done was question the validity and relevance of this idea today. This opened my eyes to the alternative notion of digital ‘Visitors’ and ‘Residents’ and the spectrum each and every one of us finds ourselves on.

Being an electronic engineering student, analysing the use and effectiveness of technology is something I deem to be quite interesting, thus an entire notion built upon the different uses of technology was bound to resonate with me. As touched upon in my initial blog post, I feel it is unfair to define one’s aptitude or ease of adapting to technology by their age, which is somewhat the basis of Prensky’s concept. An opinion I found was shared by many of my peers.

It was also intriguing to read the views of my peers on the newer ‘Visitor’ and ‘Resident’ notion and where they felt they lay on the continuum. Many approached the topic in incredibly creative ways, some conveying their thoughts via humour whilst others took a more animated and visual approach. All in all, I managed to learn a great deal about the topic from everyone, especially those who approached the topic in a more innovative way such as Allie, who brought to light the possibility of a digital ‘no-man’s-land’ due to her disconnect with both concepts.

I have also enjoyed the method of learning this module adopts. Initially allowing people to read some of my thoughts via a blog was quite daunting. However, from this first topic alone, I have found blogging to be quite enjoyable and in future blogs I hope to demonstrate a greater level of ingenuity.