A great deal of what I do in my personal and professional life is done online, from logging onto our open source library management system to SSO for authentication purposes, to Google for browsing. Then there’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, the list goes on and on, so then my digital footprint must be endless. In saying that I am very careful not to give personal information to websites I am unfamiliar with. At no time do I respond to phishing emails or download illegal software. When I use free or public Wi-Fi I only do so to browse, conscious not to give any personal information or log in to online banking accounts or alike.
The terms and conditions are not something I would commonly read in the main for apps or downloads, so no, I rarely give informed consent, especially as far as social media is concerned. I must add this to my new to do list, especially with the latest Facebook controversy. I am guilty of using a derivation of passwords. Unfortunately I cannot see myself changing this behaviour, since so much of my daily routines performed online requiring passwords, it would be impossible to be too obscure with them.
All-in-all I consider myself relatively careful about my digital footprint. I always think before I post a personal picture. I never click on an email where I do not know the sender. My online banking is only performed over a secure network. As with a number of previous ‘Things’ my eyes have been opened much wider since this task. I will be taking added precautions to consciously reduce my digital footprint going forward.
I must be honest, this is the first 'Thing' that I know very little about. I am not the best at organising personal information, which may sound surprising to some since I am an information professional. Personal Information Management (PIM) seems like something that could really benefit my life. However, to me PIM means more information for me to organise or indeed, reorganise!
I don’t think I will use any of the tools tried for this task. We must think about convenience along with privacy, if I don’t find the tools convenient, I am not going to use them. Pocket has been around for over 10 years, and I’ll put my hand up and say I have never heard of it, until now. I downloaded the app and gave it a go… but no I wasn’t sold. Yes, I can see the obvious advantages, namely if you’re Wi-Fi keeps dropping, but all I see is another ‘thing’ for me to organise!
Evernote is on my iPhone and iPad… I have ignored it on both devices for years… who knew it could organise my life! Well it might do if I give it chance but alas, no, I am not sold on this one either, or Feedly, for that matter. I think I’ll stick to what I know on this occasion, which is not like me. I tend to try new technologies with enthusiasm, perhaps if I spend some time with Evernote I may be more passionate. It seems I am in minority on this one, considering the amount of RSS reader services available.
Since its arrival LinkedIn has become a key professional building tool. I have had a LinkedIn profile for some time. I can see the benefits of having a professional brand. Having an up-to-date LinkedIn profile is a must if you are actively seeking employment. Interestingly if you search for an individual’s name in Google, if they have a LinkedIn profile it will be ranked in the top of the results lists. It’s great for knowing who’s who in your profession, and people can learn about me in a way that I can control; my strengths, my brand!
I have updated my LinkedIn profile for Thing 11, something I admit I hadn’t done in a while.
In this critical reflection I will apply Gibbs’ 1988 reflective cycle. I believe Gibbs' reflective cycle is very useful in inspiring thinking on the different stages of my experience, helping me learn from my experiences.
The task is to write a reflective practice post concerning my experiences thus far with Rudaí 23, namely Things 3 to 5.
I used each of the tools from Things 3 to 5 prior to commencing Rudaí 23 so was confident that I could complete the tasks without difficulty.
I felt relatively at ease in advance of doing the three tasks. I felt proficient in the tools and impending tasks. I am constantly looking for images that are labelled for reuse for promotional material and social media so using Google images for Thing 3 was unproblematic. As a librarian I am aware of copyright and copyright restrictions and Creative Commons licenses; although an overview of the same is always good. In saying that I could have gone outside of my comfort zone for this task, in fact I rarely used the photo sharing website Flickr. Thing 4 was always going to be fun, I love PhotoFunia, which I based my Thing 4 on, but I also use Quik to create short videos to promote our library, so I was comfortable with this ‘Thing’. Thing 5 was all about video presentations and again I am au fait with video presentations, having created video screen captures with PowToon. I love PowToon, it’s so easy to use, it's more than a standard presentation which make it more fun and engaging for the viewer, a great way to share information.
The overall experience I had with Things 3 to 5 was positive. I felt the Things were all user-friendly, practical and Things 4 and 5 are very attention-grabbing. I did tend to rush in with my ‘Things’, I think that was because they felt familiar and comfortable. I perhaps need to go back over the advice given by the Rudaí 23 contributors; and restrain myself from starting any story or information sharing presentation without planning it first! Thus, it could be said that my time management fell short; more time should have been spent planning what I wanted to share rather than, essentially, trying to get the task done. Nevertheless, I believe that I completed the tasks to a respectable standard and know that I will continue to use all the tools I engaged with in Things 3 to 5. In fact, I am currently in the process of creating a learning object using PowToon for an assessment that I need to submit shortly.
The tasks were relevant and applicable to me as an information professional. All the tools can be used in my day-to-day job to communicate visually with library users, whether that be staff, students, external members or the public. I would have no hesitation in recommending any of the tools I used to complete the tasks, I liked them all and they’re all free; well the basics are anyway! PhotoFunia is such fun, the only downside I have with this online picture editing tool is that you cannot go back and edit an image that you have generated, if you wish to make changes you need to start again. Nevertheless, it doesn’t take long to regenerate an animated and fun image. I like the fact that PowToon continuously updates its props, characters and media.
I really enjoyed the three tasks. The fact that I had used all three tools in the past may not have benefited me as the three posts that formed part of the task we excellent. I will continue to use Google Images, PowToon and PhotoFunia in my professional role as well as for personal social communications. Communicating visually is easy when you have free, easy to use tools to steer you.
My aim is to be better organized to deal with taking on the next ‘Things’ for Rudaí 23. I intend to plan in advance, instead of hurrying to get the task finished as I admit I may have done thus far. The experience so far has made me realise that I am confident in using a variety of visual communicator tools and can adapt to the tool at hand, particularly if I take the time to read the entire post before beginning a new task…or ‘Thing’!
Gibbs G., 1988. Learning by Doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Further Education Unit. Oxford Polytechnic: Oxford.
WRSLAI, 2018. Rudaí 23 [online] Available at http://rudai23.blogspot.ie.
Google Images is habitually the first place I look…
You can search Google for images in the same way you search for any online content, type in your keywords and choose the image tab - all your results will be images. it is so easy to find an image for anything using Google Images. The ‘usage rights’ tools are great for finding images that are labelled for reuse.
If you want to have a bit of fun with some of your own photos or images, try ‘Reverse Google Image Search’ you can search for similar images by simply uploading an image instead of a using keywords for a search. Upload a picture from your desktop, mobile phone, or tablet and Google will show websites that have similar images. Some of the results are hilarious!
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