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     I will be the first to admit that before this class my internet
use consisted of logging onto Facebook to see if any of my ball player friends had written me, then to shop online for golf equipment and then to check my email.  Other than these activities I never had much use for the internet.  This class has opened my eyes to the different uses of the internet thanks in part to the development of Web 2.0.  At first the only reason that I was on the internet trying out new technologies because I was required to by assignments for class.  The more tools I used, the more I began to formulate ideas about how I would
transfer  these technologies from my education to my career.

     The biggest difference that I have noticed between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 is that with Web 1.0 the main role of the user was that of a consumer and that was the only interaction that was going on with the exception of emailing.  Web 2.0 promotes communicating and collaborating among users which promotes learning and the sharing of ideas.  Now the user has something to contribute to the online community other than money.  Because of the new atmosphere online there are also different types of relationships that are built.  In the past most of the relationships online were that of buyer and seller and now there is more going on that just online retail.  Now people are using the internet for business meetings, study groups and networking.  The internet today is so much more dynamic and can be applied to many different aspects of life.


 
 
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At this point in the course I would have to say that there are two pieces of new technology that can have an effect and will continue to affect my career.  These new additions to my daily grind are Twitter and Instagram.

Twitter can be an extremely valuable tool in the field of coaching for several reasons.  First and foremost it provides a team with exposure by notifying fans of games, fundraisers and any other events where fans can come out and support their favorite sports program. 
With so many athletes on Twitter coaches can use Twitter as a means of mass communication to share practice plans, travel itineraries or other announcements.  

The other tool that can be utilized in coaching is Instagram.  The biggest reason that Instagram can be helpful to a coach is that it allows fans to familiarize themselves with the players on a team via pictures and captions and throughout the season.  I most recently used Instagram to chronicle our baseball team’s run through the California State Playoffs.  Our fans enjoyed seeing pictures of our players on the bus and at the different locations.


What makes both of these technologies so accessable and convenient for coaches is the fact that they are both mobile device based applications.  This makes it easy to take and post pictures and comments on the road.  The other thing that makes these two extremely convenient is that a user is able to link their Instagram account to their Twitter account.  I know for a fact that I will be using both of these forms of social media for years to come because I will be able to use them on the go and will only need my phone to send news and pictures to fans.


 
 
I had quite a few surprises while perusing through this list.  The title was the first item that caught my eye, mostly because I did not know that there were 100 different online or computer based technologies for learning all together.  The fact that there was a “top 100” implied that there were many more technologies out there, most of which I had no
idea existed.  The next thing about this list that caught me off guard was the fact that of the 100 programs on the
list I had used or am still currently using 25 of them.  Many of these programs I use on a daily basis, if not multiple times a day.

 The biggest initial shock for me came when I saw that three of the top ten tools were Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. 
However, upon reflection of everything we have learned about learning through collaboration using Twitter and Facebook it made sense that these forms of social media would also be some of the most valued online tools for
learning.  I should have known that Youtube might also have been high on the list as well seeing as one of the first
assignments in this class was a link to Youtube to watch a video overview of the class.  The deeper we go into this
class and more online features we talk about, the more I discover how narrow my use of the internet really is.

 
 
Elon University conducted a study in which over 1,000 technology stockholders were given a survey and asked to discuss the future of "the hyperconnected" generation.  The results of the survey rendered a roughly 50 percent positive outlook to a 50 percent negative outlook.  

There are a number of potential positive effects in store for the "AO" generation.  The first positive to the future is that all of the social networking and online experience is just getting them ready for the direction that the work force is going in.  The ability to multitask is becoming an asset in the job market and young people are learning how to do that well when they chat with a friend on one page, listen to music and search an item on Google at the same time. 

There are a couple main arguments for those stockholders who felt the future would yield negative results.  The first was that because this group of young people have been brought up with every resource they could ever want at their fingertips they will not be patient enough to use critical thinking in order to solve a problem.  The biggest fear that some are predicting is that young people are becoming so dependent on technology that if we were to ever lose it we as humans would become functionally useless because of that dependence.

I am very much on the fence with this topic and how it will affect education and the job market in the future.  I do believe that the way jobs and education are going it is becoming increasingly important to know how to use technology.  On the other hand we are losing skills that used to be second nature.  While young people are able to set up entire web pages that do not know about looking someone in the eyes when they speak to them.  In order for Generation Always on to be successful in the future they will have to use their skills in technology and meld them with the offline way of solving problems.
 
 
The article describes a study done by Nicole Buzzetto-More at University of Maryland Eastern Shore.  The study monitored the perception of students using Facebook for class discussions as opposed to Blackboard.  Findings from the survey taken proved that students did in fact believe that using Facebook as an educational tool did help build learning communities, build relationships within the learning community and engage students.

I have also had experience using Facebook for educational means.  During my undergraduate studies, classmates and I used Facebook as a work space for a group project.  We used a private group message board as a workshop to post our different assigned tasks in order to collaborate and improve our own assignments.  I found this to be very helpful because everyone was able to get their work done and post it to the group message board.  We set deadlines for drafts of assignments so that we were all on the same page and were able to work on our own time and post in time for the deadline.  Having posted deadlines on the message board was extremely helpful because everyone knew when they were suppose to get their assignment done and could work around their personal schedules to get their work done.

Facebook has the potential to be a very important resource for learning.  The main reason being that almost every college student operates their own page and is familiar with how Facebook works.  Because of this there is no acclamation period for students and therefore no anxiety about using it in an educational setting.  One of the questions in the Buzzetto-More's study revealed that a majority of students spent 3-10 hours a week socially networking, which means that they are always checking for notifications and updating their page.  Most of these students have access to their FB page via their cellular device and thus are able to receive notifications at any given time.  This can make it easier for instructors to post discussions and notify their students of upcoming assignments at any time. 

I am in complete agreement with the article on the need for Blackboard even with the use of Facebook as an educational tool.  Facebook should be used as a tool for building a learning community and getting to know classmates while collaborating.  Blackboard still needs to be there for the actual assignments a
 
 
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I wanted to dedicate this post to my man Leo over to the left.  My girlfriend and I just went and watched "The Great Gatsby" last night and it was fantastic so I thought it was only fair to pay tribute to Mr. Gatsby via my funny photo.  The film itself was an awesome portrayal of the "roarin' 20's" blended with some modern flavor.  I like to think that he is explaining to someone how much people have enjoyed his recent films using a picture of a very happy me. 

 
 
This is yet again a form of social media that I have tried to avoid like the plague.  Not because I feel that the entire concept is pointless, but because of the way that photo sharers choose to use it.  Mainly, the endless mirror and shirtless photos that people feel like "blessing" their followers with.  After researching all of the photo sharing sites I became interested as I looked at each one and thought about which one would translate the best to my lifestyle and intent of use.

I chose to go with Instagram because of the fact that I am on the go constantly and this photo sharing program is meant to be used via a mobile device.  This is very convenient for me to keep both my followers updated on events that might interest them or in order to invite them to an event.  Outside of alerting people of upcoming events or of an awesome place I am visiting I don't see me having any further uses for photo sharing.  That being said I still feel that it is a pretty convenient and intriguing tool for what I want to use it for. 

I decided that it was only fitting to make my first photo that I shared of my team.  We are on our way down to Fresno this weekend to play in the California Junior College Baseball Final Four State Tournament this weekend.  This is a very exciting time for our program as this is only the second time that we have reached the Final Four in the program's history.  I snapped a photo using Instagram via my cell phone of our boys on the bus right before we pulled out of the parking lot.  They are a goofy group but, they play hard and we (the coaching staff) are very proud of them.

http://instagram.com/p/ZWkDXQDt2_/#
 
 
I felt as though the best way to approach this assignment was to choose the Personal Learning Network or "PLN" that would best fit the way that I would want to interact, network and endorse through my site.  The PLN that I chose to create my area of interest through was Scoop.it.  I decided that this would be the best PLN for me simply because of the fact that I choose the topic and the site feeds me stories and I am able to pick and choose what I want to display on my page.  The main reason that I chose Scoop.it was solely on the fact that I wouldn't have to spend time that I really don't have searching for stories about my topic of interest.  Being able to link my Personal Learning Network to my Personal Web Presence was fantastic as well because the two go hand in hand.  I chose to use both the RSS feed at the top of my home page and a "Amateur Baseball News" Button link on the home page as well to link my PLN to my PWP.  It is a primitive technique for linking, but it will work for now until I decide to change it.
 
 
    My immediate internal response after reading Exploring the use of blogs as learning spaces in the higher education sector, was "Hey I am doing this right now!".  After that moment of epiphany I began to review my own present and past experiences with learning outside of the traditional classroom environment.  My past experiences with online and correspondence education have been less than enjoyable mostly due to my total unwillingness to "buy in" to the program, but also because I was taking the course in order to get a good grade.  Since that time I feel as though I have matured and am now mentally prepared and have the right motivation in order to use online education the way it was meant to be used.  
    Like I stated in the previous paragraph I have had less than amicable experiences with the internet and my education.  First and foremost I was not a "techy" type of guy and therefore did not care for using a computer unless I was looking up sports scores, downloading music or surfing the web.  Other than that I really didn't care to be on the computer and would rather be doing something else.  So when it came time for me to take part in an online class over the summer(in order to stay on track for graduation), thrilled or motivated would not be two words I would use in order to describe my mindset on the matter.  I ended up passing the class, but it was a complete nightmare because I waited until the last week to complete a month's worth of work.  Looking back, that class was a total failure because of the way that I approached it.  I feel now that I have learned from my mistakes and am now mature enough for online education because I am interested in the "process of learning" more than the overall outcome or grade.  This course has already had a major impact on my learning because it has forced me to get out of my comfort zone and engage in activities that I, in the past, wouldn't normally be a part of and wouldn't flourish in.  This is great for me because I have to focus so hard on the process of every aspect that I don't even worry about the end result.
    Even though I have matured enough to be able to embrace the online classroom setting I don't really follow much on the internet aside from the Oakland Athletics, the San Francisco 49ers and the PGA Tour.  I am able to keep track of them through multiple media outlets now due to advances in technology so I am able to get notifications from the internet on my phone at the drop of a hat.  Whether I will be happy or sad after I receive said news is another story as can be the case when you follow the teams that I do.
    There are multiple facets of the internet that have really helped me with my learning.  The most helpful internet tool that has helped my learning is the ability to have multiple resources at my fingertips whenever I want.  This has not only helped me with the content of my work, but also the time in which my work is completed.  Schoolwork can be a tedious task at times and it keeps you motivated to work when you are able to find all of the information that you need by just clicking a mouse.  To branch off of the use of resources the internet has helped me the most recently through my discussion forums.  Here I am able to see the approaches that other students in my class have taken on different issues and then comment on their response and ask them why they took that stance.  Through collaboration I am able to broaden the approaches that I take to future assignments.  The internet, at times does distract me from learning as well.  There are times when I will go onto Youtube looking for a video and end up getting side tracked by interesting or stupid videos for twenty minutes because there will be more videos on the suggested videos feed on the side that peak my interest.  I'm sure (or hope) that I am not the only one to have ever fallen victim to this.  
    All in all the internet has had an overall positive impact on my learning.  I believe that can be said about all forms of technology because they were all put in place to aid me in my learning and in the world that we live in today it was inevitable that their paths would cross.  We live in a world where every aspect of life is largely impacted by technology and in learning that can be a good thing.  Technology will continue to have a great impact on learning as long as it is used as a median for learning and

 
 
The first thing that jumped out at me  in the Trombone Player Wanted video was the fact at how many of the issues he was talking about related to my career and life.  I am a college baseball coach and absolutely love my fellow coaches, players and almost every aspect of my job.  With that said there are days when the strain of work has just gotten to me and I feel worn down and irritable.  In the video Marcus Buckingham says "that their are days when you are empowered and restored by the work that you do and there are days when it feels like everyone has taken a let's annoy Marcus pills" (TBW).  Even though I am doing a job that I absolutely love I am not playing to my strengths every single day.  There are aspects of my job that put me out of my "comfort zone" and not playing to my strengths and on those days I don't enjoy what I am doing as much because I don't feel as though I am being as productive as I could be.  After watching this video I began looking into myself and the things that I consider to be strengths and weaknesses in me.

I feel that I am at my strongest when I am able to work with our players in small groups or one on one.  I am able to focus all of my attention on the one or few players that I am working with and give them productive feedback and critiques so that they are able to make adjustments.  I am also able to have more time for dialogue so that I am able to get a feel for what my player is feeling or what mindset they are in so I am able to adjust the delivery of information so they are able to understand, take it in and apply the information.  One of the reasons that I really believe that this is a strength for me is my ability to talk to my players in a more personable way so that they are able to take critiquing the right way.  There is a time and a place for yelling, and those times are far and few between.  I am a very patient coach because I understand that if my players didn't make mistakes they wouldn't need coaching and wouldn't be playing for me.

The part of my job that I would consider a weakness is the fact that I throw terrible batting practice.  One might say, "so what you don't throw good batting practice", but I let the fact that I don't do it well linger in my mind and then it becomes a weakness.  When I have a bad day throwing batting practice my players don't see good pitches to hit and thus aren't able to receive good repetitions.  When this happens I become so insecure and at times I don't even want to talk to my players because I am so wrapped up with my problems.  You could even say that I have an underlying problem of wanting to do too well and putting all of the pressure on myself for them to perform. 

In TPW, Marcus talk about how a person can not only more productive, but also feel much more fulfilled at work if they focus on their area of strength.  By focusing their energy on strength people will spend less time dwelling on their weaknesses and more time thriving in their "sweet spot".  This is a concept that can help me because there are times when I feel drained and do not want to interact and teach at practice because I am busy dwelling on what I don't do well instead of helping players in my areas of strength.  Sometimes lightening up on yourself can be the best thing that a person can do for themselves so that they are able to keep in mind what is important.


 

    Kyle Wise

    I am 25 years old, in my 3rd season as an assistant baseball coach at the Junior College level and love guiding young adults as they chase down their dreams.

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