Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Week #12 - Videos/YouTube

Well, this is it, we've reached the end. I'm glad we ended with this assignment. It was a lot of fun albiet time consuming as I was often drawn in by related videos and videos that looked like fun. I could see YouTube being a very useful tool for training and instructional purposes in a University setting.

Below are a few YouTube videos that I recommend watching. The first one, entitled "25 Things I Hate About Facebook" is a play on the "25 Random Facts About Me" that most FB users have been tagged with at one time or another. I thought that it would be a good one to end our RULA assignment with.

The video below is of a more serious nature. It's a lecture that was given by Dr. Randy Pausch, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA who was dying of pancreatic cancer and wanted to give his young children something to remember him by. Just a warning that it is a real tear jerker, but at the same time very inspiring.

And finally...the story of Christian the pet lion - and his eventual release into the wild and his reunion with his former owners - it is as moving as it is incredible.

Week #11 - Podcasts & Audio Files

This exercise has prompted me to utilize my iPod a bit more. I downloaded iTunes to my PC and subscribed to the podcast RSS feed for The Hour, a current affairs show on CBC, and watched/listened to the first 10 minutes of the show. For a change from listening to music, I'll now start listening to these podcasts on my iPod. It's as easy as plugging your iPod into your PC and voila, your podcasts are automatically synchronized onto your iPod - I like that.

I also checked out the audio books on Librivox. I listened to the first few minutes of "The Picture in the House", by H.P. Lovecraft and "The Black Cat", by Edgar Allan Poe. Work constraints did not allow me to listen for a longer period of time, but I really enjoyed listening to these audio files. I think I'll start listening to audio books while I'm cleaning the house or during a long walk!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Week #10 - Browser Tools: StumbleUpon

After experimenting with StumbleUpon for the past few days I have decided that I really like it. I like that users only have to tag specific personal interests and then "chanel surf" the web by simply clicking on a button on the StumbleUpon tool bar. Upon doing so, you are randomly directed to specific websites which adhere to your lists of interests. The "thumbs up"/"thumbs down" feature is a handy way to indicate if you want to see the webpage again. I also like the social bookmarking aspect of StumbleUpon. Each user can keep track of the websites they like and can share it with other users.

When I have a bit more free time I will definitely go back to this site and delve a little deeper!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Week #9 - Social Networks: Facebook

I've been using Facebook for a while now and I have mixed feelings about it. I find myself both loving and hating it at the same time. Some of the pros to Facebook are that you can find long lost friends from high school. Hey, I've even found some from my childhood. It's also a great way to find out about parties and events and who's attending them. Being able to post and view photos/videos is another great feature. I like the fact that you can keep track of your friends and family, no matter how near or far they are, without having to talk to them constantly. However, you can always IM them if talking is not your thing. This may seem a bit anti-social, but time is precious! Finally, the cool thing about Facebook is that it really adds to that 6 degrees of separation theory - basically there is usually someone linked to someone else and everyone has at least one shared friend.

Now for the cons...Facebook is very addictive. There are times when I tend to procrastinate other important things I should be doing so that I can log on and get my FB fix. Secondly, you can keep tabs on friends without EVER having to talk to much for catching up the good old fashioned way. Getting constant updates from people can also be annoying. However, there is a way to change the settings so that one can pick and choose who they want to receive updates from. Also, it's way too easy to "Facebook stalk" people or atleast feel like that's what you're doing. If you don't keep a tight lid on your profile and use those privacy settings, too many people will know too much about you! There is also the chance that a person(s) who you really do not like, is added to your friend list just for the sheer reason that you felt guilty about offending them - talk about fake, LOL. There are other, more abstract things I like and dislike about Facebook, but they'd be too difficult to explain.

Overall, Facebook is a fun and useful tool. If you are cautious and selective about the info you decide to put out there on Facebook, I don't think one has much to worry about.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Week #8 - Working with Google Applications

Wow, so many applications available at Google. I tried out all of the applications and found them to be very useful. Google Docs is great for group collaboration and is a real time saver. Here is the link to my Google Docs document that I created:

I have used Google Maps in the past and found it very helpful when searching for info on a vacation destination or when you need to find directions to an address locally or out of town.

Week #7 - Play Week: Tech Petting Zoo

I enjoyed seeing all of the new gadgets and gizmos presented to us. I was glad to have had a chance to ask some questions about the Ipod Touch which I received as a gift but had not had a chance to set up. Being that it was something new to me, I was a bit nervous to get started. Now I think I have a few more gadgets to add to my wish list!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Week #6 - LibraryThing

LibraryThing is a cool tool to keep track of what I have read or what I want read in the future. Armed with a list of books that I'll get around to reading, maybe eventually, one day, I will...although lately I haven't been doing much leisurely reading.

Also a good place to read recommendations and reviews from other members.

Here's my LibraryThing library link: