Archive for November, 2007

Wiki wiki….

November 30, 2007

Dr Bonk is not really a task master but he just wanted us to write too many reflection papers. Now, I am all for reflection, but being faced by the daunting task of writing two reflection papers was not very comfortable for me. Too much reflection makes me question my ways too much sometimes, because reflection is never external to me. It is always about the new things I am supposed to learn with reference to me. (Side note: I am always supposed to do things, anything more than that scares me with the idea of too much time commitment)

So here’s  a part of my take on the Wiki entry… hopefully I can reflect deeper when I have to submit the formal reflection paper. To start with I have to say it makes me very proud of the fact that I am a part of a ‘book’! I have written a part of a book! That in itself makes the whole exercise worth. Extreme advantage number two, I get to be a part of a book which involved Dr Bonk….that’s like being a part of watching a match where Sachin Tendulkar made a century against Pakistan. (Sorry for the India specific analogy, but the comparison was too hard to resist)

Other more normal observations are that it was a very useful exercise. At some level it was an outlet for all that I was supposed to learn and retain this semester…. It would be safe to say that I have achieved it to some extent. It was a useful to see my thoughts, ideas and words formulating in front of me and being published on a ‘formal’ network site. I really did learn a lot through this exercise than I would otherwise learn by simply writing a paper of some kind. I am not big on academics, so it is very interesting for me to know that the mode of delivery of the assignment sometimes really makes a difference to my motivation. The idea of peer editing, the fact that everyone can access this particular piece which I have written, although made me uncomfortable initially, I think it’s a great exercise in accepting constructive community feedback to my ideas and writing. Apart from all the advantages already listed and discussed, I realized the features after I went through the whole exercize of writing the wiki entry. Getting peer feedback, as well as giving feedback on their entries is a cool aspect of Wikipedia. I also feel that the way in which Wikipedia has been structured,  giving feedback and receiving it is very easy and constructive.

I have made a lot of changes to my Wiki entry since I put it online last Sunday. Making a table was something which took me a very long time, thanks to Nunthinka I simply copy pasted her tag…..I will soon know how good (or bad) my entry was in terms of feedback and the grade!!




Second life- Exciting Escapism!

November 30, 2007

I sat through Intellagirl’s Second Life presentation twice. The first time was when she presented in Susan Herring’s class the week before the Thanksgiving break. It was a very informative session where she took us through how Second Life works and actually showed us the way she and Mark communicated in SL. I had some idea about the existence of SL since I started with Susan’s class… but I had never really witnessed it till that moment. I am not very big on new technology, new tools, basically anything new which means I have to upgrade my skills or knowledge by leaving my comfort zone, is too much of a trouble. SL for me was quiet interesting… all the cool characters, hair dos, hair color, the 3 D feeling… I could actually have a tiny waist and fit into really cool clothes in SL!!! 🙂

When Intellagirl came to Dr Bonk’s class for the presentation the second time around, I was frankly considering bunking it. I had already seen what she had to say about SL and I was running a slight a cold that day. But I am glad that I did sit through it.  After the handful of classes I have attended this semester I have come to realize that Dr Bonk’s classes are very exciting and predictable…sometimes I just look forward to his face color and the hat he will wear in the next class! Even the way Intellagirl took up the presentation in his class was so much more different than the previous class. The only thing she repeated was where she showed her class students and their big pumpkin like avataars (I don’t remember what they were called)… Her main purpose for using SL is purely for educational purposes. I think it is a very cool concept to actually teach a class in the SL environment. I have not experienced even a little bit to understand and comment on its sensibilities…. But the other possibilities which give a very escapist view to the SL phenomenon are probably more fascinating for me. Do not mean to offend anybody, but the idea of SL actually being accepted as a real life is hard enough to swallow. But I think it is a great outlet to explore your senses and try out new avatars, enjoy the things you may never have or are not capable of having ever. As has been shown it is a great source of income as well for some people…. SL opens up all kinds of social, economic, as well as emotional possibilities. It would be interesting to see the kind of psychological research being carried out probably on the kind of psychological effects second life has the lives people. It is very possible (if it hasn’t already happened) that people are able to control and lead two simultaneous fulfilling lives at the same time. It might not be strange to have a different set of families, career, and daily problems on SL, just like the fist life. The one thing which I am very curious is to know for how long does leading a successful, fulfilling, ‘different’ SECOND life satisfy people till they start missing it in their FIRST life.

A Mad Rush!

November 29, 2007

After lying idle, dormant, and almost ceasing to exist I am back to posting my two pennies worth on the Web 2.0 class. This page is going to witness a sudden activity over the next two or three days….. (I am assuming that’s how long it will take me to catch up all that I was supposed to have written till now)

So here’s to another ambitious dash to the end of the semester in the most innovative class I have taken till date!