EDU520

Digitally mediated teaching and learning was certainly a course in which I learned a great deal.  From creating videos, to collaborating the on Wiki project, to sharing our own curation pages, it has been a fast and furious process to learn new skills that will help me in my personal and professional life.  Following please find some of the work created in this class and my personal reflection on the process.

Personal Reflection:  I was initially nervous about collaborating on a group project with people I had never met, and who I solely communicated with over the computer.  I was pleasantly surprised by how smoothly the process went and how well our team pulled together to create our Wiki site and complete the assignment on time, and with professionalism.  All members of group B were flexible with roles and assignments and took feedback in the spirit in which it was given, knowing we all had the same goal in mind.  Each member contributed and when some stepped up to create extra videos, the others did extra work to make the site look professional and functional.  The Wiki site itself made it easy to share ideas, edit content, and add new thoughts as we went through the units.  Everyone stayed active in the Wiki throughout the process, which really gave it a real team effort feel.  I’m happy that I had the experience of working on this group project and learning how to successfully create and use a Wiki page.

Wiki Project Page:  https://sites.google.com/site/edu520su16groupb/home

Page and Video that I created for site:

Digital Communication in the 21st Century

 
    Without a doubt the way people communicate with one another has drastically changed in the last few decades.  With the explosion
 of the personal computer, and various mobile devices, we are now able to communicate instantly with almost anyone.  Digital communication is defined as ” the electronic exchange of information”.  (Ribble, 2011)  With this form of communication people are literally able to collaborate and communicate with people around the world at anytime.  
 
         (Hands holding cell phones outdoors, n.d.)                               Types of Digital Communication
    There are several ways and/or devices that allow people to communicate digitally.  The first one that comes to mind for most people is a mobile phone. Mobile or cellular phones truly revolutionized the way people could communicate by allowing them the ability to call another individual from anywhere and not be tied down to an actual telephone cord.  The freedom this afforded people was the initial attraction to the device, but with the advancements of technology and the “invention” of the smart phone there are endless reasons why a mobile phone is a great form of digital communication.  The first text message was sent in 1993, and the transmission of other digital content followed shortly in after.  In 2001, 3G digital phone communication arrived, providing faster transmission and allowing media such as voice, internet and GPS.  The 4G phones arrived later that decade offering digital communication 10 times faster. (Sarokin, n.d.)   The other major player in digital communication is the internet and use of email.  Can you even think back to a time when you couldn’t email or didn’t have the internet at your disposal?  Children of this generation know nothing else, and use email and the internet on a daily basis.  Whether it be communicating with teachers or classmates, the internet has forever changed the way students communicate.   Additional forms of digital communication include, personal video calls, instant messaging, online gaming, social media sites such as Facebook and the use of blogs and Wikis.
                            Advantages and Disadvantages to Digital Communication                       (Stock Photo, n.d.)
 
     Clearly, the use of digital communication has many significant advantages.  The ease of communicating from anywhere with the use of a mobile device, being able to keep up with old friends over Facebook, email or text messages without having to take time for a face to face, and also have a digital record of communications is helpful.  Digital communication can also increase participation in group projects (Wikis), and even provide a voice to those who might not speak up in a face to face situation.
 
    On the flip side, everything you text, email or instant message, even though “deleted”, can be retrieved as it is stored on a server or backed up.   This means users need to think about what they say when using email.  This is the                                
same for many other communication methods like texting and social networking 
sites; even after the communication is deleted in continues to “live on” in cyberspace.  (Ribble, 2011)  Other disadvantages include it being a poor substitute for face to face communication in some situations, email and texts being misunderstood or taken out of context, and the biggest being it can sometimes not be safe and can be a security risk.
 
    Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of digital communication can help you choose when and how to communicate with colleagues, friends and family.                                       

Conclusion…
 
Communication in general is essential to building relationships, teaching others and expressing our needs, wants and desires.  There is really no way around the fact that most students, as well as adult professionals, need to have the knowledge and skills to know how to digitally communicate in today’s world.  Being able to communicate effectively and respectfully, and know the risks involved is something that everyone who owns a mobile phone or computer needs to know.