a(nother) new start

CC BY-ND 2.0 one2c900d (Flickr)

A new group of 2nd year Computer Science & Information Technology students have begun the CT231 Professional Skills module this week. After many years teaching this module, I won’t be teaching it this year and I will miss it! This blog will not be used to record this year’s CT231 activities and student work, but it remains a record of CT231 work during 2012-2014.

CT231 will continue to evolve and grow — you can see what’s happening on Twitter at @CT231 and #ct231, or you can contact Josephine Griffith @griffith_j to find out more. Best of luck to all!

I’ll be continuing my work and my research in the areas of open education, digital literacies, and digital identities. Please visit http://catherinecronin.wordpress.com if you’d like to find out more, or contact me at @catherinecronin.

Finally, the very best of luck to CT231 students — past, present, and future. You teach us as much as, or more than, we teach you. Thank you!

Image: CC BY-ND 2.0 one2c900d

Digital Media Projects

Over seventy students recently completed the year-long CT231 module in Professional Skills. For their final Digital Media Projects, students were asked to develop a resource for an audience beyond their own class and university, choosing whatever form of digital media they wished — blog, video, audio, app, etc. The range of topics was impressive — spanning music, dance, sport and fitness, Irish history and legend, education, gaming, social media, computers, computer science and information technology. Students also were asked to publish their projects openly online, using only their own work or openly-licensed content, and to make their work available with a Creative Commons license. Students shared their work via social media using #ct231, our course hashtag, as well as #icollab, the hashtag shared by the 7 student cohorts (from Galway to Auckland, NZ) who share their work in the iCollab community of practice.

All of the projects were interesting — a few which attracted particular attention in the form of comments, shares and retweets were:

Please check out the work produced by CT231 students below. Your feedback would be much appreciated!

Social Media, Games & Digital Literacy

Console Wars: PS4 vs. Xbox [blog] – Cathal Kelly

Mything the Point – hoax busting [blog] – Ross Clifford, Adam Long, Christopher Ward

Effects of social media on young people [blog] – Shane Martino Daly, Andrew McGinley

How news spreads fast through social media [blog] – Ronan Carr, Mark Nallen, Anthony Ruffley

Unholy Trinity Productions: What’s going on in Crimea? [web comic] – Conor McDonnell, Darren Dennehy, David Smyth

Car Content audio podcasts: next generation technology – Ryan Hehir, Thomas Keane

Computers, Computer Science & Information Technology

Turn an old PC into a LAMP server [blog] – Gareth Jennings

Mass Mural: collaborative drawing app [drawing application] – Adrian Cooney

Replace the LCD panel in a laptop – David Renton, Evan Preisler

How to build your own PC [blog] – Matthew Fox, Cathal Hardiman

Smart homes and smartgrid [blog] – David Heffernan, Shane Sheridan

Procedural tree generation & animation – Alex Lorenz

Music

Guitar modding & customisation [blog] – Dylan Toner

Guitar tutorial – Aaron Kelly

Learn piano basics [blog] – Daniel Marcelo

Find the chords of any song [blog with videos] – Sean McLoughlin, Christopher Eluvathingal

Piano lesson – Brian Carroll

Music technology today [blog] – Martin Donnellan, Matthew Flanagan

Ireland, Galway & Student Life

Irish History, Myth & Legend [interactive map] – Jerry Lehane

GalwayDays – Galway events, interests, shopping, eating [blog] – Monika Penkova

Dansoc – NUI Galway [blog] – Claire Sheridan

Jogging routes around Galway – Shane Curtin

Having an enjoyable college experience – Darren Higgins, Sean Hughes, Michael Losty

TV & movie reviews [blog] – Michael Dowling, Kevin O’Sullivan, Kyle Lynch-Kurzawa

Real dinners – on a student budget [blog] – Enda McDaid

Learning & Education

Encouraging girls involvement in IT [blog] – Ailbhe Leahy

ICT in primary school education [blog] – Greg Hanley, Mosi Ruane

Tutorial testout – testing various web tutorials [blog] – Luke Finnerty

Video lectures – a trial – Nils Blosenko, Thomas McGarry

Health, Fitness & Sport

Computer injuries help [blog] – Lydia Shirly, Matthew Hallinan, Alex McElhinney

Few Pints, Be Grand? – dangers of excessive drinking [blog] – Patrick Gallagher

Exercise and fitness [videos] – Aaron McGloin, Nigel McIntyre

4 sports [blog] – Seán Collum, Niall Martin, Breandán ÓConghaile, Shane O’Rourke

IT and food safety, production & delivery [blog] – Andy Yuan, Xingtian Du

The Future

Motoring into the Future [blog] – Anthony Jackson

 

A module ends, a networked community continues

To mark the end of the year of CT231, I’d like to begin by thanking you — all of the students who participated in the module. We’ve covered a lot of ground this year.

CT231 2012-13 image v2Many of the terms above may have seemed unclear or irrelevant last September, but hopefully you feel much more confident now about your research skills, your communication  skills (writing and presenting) and — as many of you wrote in your social media reflections — your digital identity and use of social media, especially for learning.

Working with you all this year has been a pleasure, an adventure, and a great learning experience. Exploring concepts both established (academic writing skills, referencing) and emerging (digital identity, privacy, social networks for learning), your ideas and your questions have helped me to think more deeply about my own practices, about creating learning spaces (physical and virtual), and about the always-fascinating collisions between theory and practice.

All of the presentations which you’ve posted online are available in the CT231 Student Showcase on Scoop.it and also on Flipboard (and informal videos of some of these presentations are available on Bambuser). Links to your final Digital Media Projects have been posted here in the blog and in the CT231 Student Showcase. Other #icollab students, in other countries, are just beginning their terms. Some of these students will view your work on Scoop.it, Flipboard and Bambuser, some will provide feedback, and some may connect with you via social networks (check the #icollab hashtag any time). This is the essence of connected, authentic learning — not limited by modules, term times, geography or insititution. Enjoy it!

The same goes for our connections as well. As always, the #ct231 hashtag will be our main connection… across time and different social media spaces. So please continue to share using the hashtag. While activity on the @CT231 Twitter account will quiet down over the next few months, it will be active again when next year’s 2nd years start the module in September. You’ll continue to be part of the CT231 community, of course, so please feel free to interact with future students, share thoughts or resources, and join the conversations.

We began by sharing ideas and developing skills within our class community, and expanded our interactions to include others in the NUI Galway community and the #icollab community of practice. I have seen many of you use those skills and that confidence to begin networking with others on a broader scale, using Twitter and other social media in new ways — as students, researchers, and soon-to-be professionals. Your reflections throughout this process have been valuable and will help to inform my own future teaching. Thank you.

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Images: CC Catherine Cronin

Social media survey

To start the 2013-14 academic year, 2nd year Professional Skills students completed a Social Media Survey so that we could get a snapshot of what social media we use, how we use it, and when. Here are the results (n = 52 students).

Figure 1. Device usage

Chart - Device use

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Figure 2. Smartphone operating system

Chart - Smartphone OS

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An  interesting counterpoint to this: CELT data for 4,467 Blackboard users at NUI Galway (students and staff) in September 2013 shows a different breakdown of Android/iOS operating systems. Our Professional Skills class found this interesting, but not altogether surprising. (Thanks to Sharon Flynn for sharing this data.)

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Figure 3. What social media/social networks do you use?

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In addition to the applications listed above, several respondents listed other social media applications which they use. Those listed were: Viber, Raptr, Steam, Vine, GitHub, Torrent, StumbleUpon, Teamspeak, Boards.ie, Mydeal.ie, and PSN 2.

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Figure 4. What time(s) of day do you use social media most?

Chart - Time of Day

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Figure 5. How much time per day do you spend using social media?

Hours per day

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Figure 6. How do you use social media in general?

Chart - Social media use - general

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Figure 7. How do you use social media for learning?

Chart - Social media use - learning

Week 1: Course introduction

Welcome to CT231! This Professional Skills module focuses on research and communication skills and the use of social media for collaboration and learning. During class in Week 1, I reviewed the Course Description and Course Calendar (links at top of this page) and the learning approach for the course (summarised in the two quotes in previous post, below).

I explained that we’ll use this course blog as our main hub for course activities. It has the advantage of being open not just to those of us participating in the course, but to other students and staff here at NUI Galway, as well as anyone interested in what we are discussing and learning, wherever they may be. The course also has a presence on Blackboard, which will be used for some assignments, for posting and tracking grades, and for coordinating email communications. All course content, however, will be here in the blog (Blackboard links back here to the blog).

In next week’s class we’ll explore research and search methods in some detail, as well as social media tools which could be helpful. Please do the following before our Week 2 class:

  • Familiarise yourself with the course setup here in the blog, as well as on Blackboard
  • Choose a research topic from the Topic List (or add your own) and add your name to the list identify this.

Feel free to post a comment or question here. Looking forward to meeting you next week!

Module ends, #ct231 continues

Tomorrow is our last class session of CT231 for 2012-13 with 6 Ignite presentations scheduled — looking forward to it! (There will be an opportunity next week for students who have had to postpone their presentations to deliver them — this has been scheduled outside of class time.)  We’ve covered a lot this year…

CT231 2012-13 image v2Many of these terms may have seemed unclear or irrelevant last September, but hopefully you feel much more confident now about your research skills, your communication  skills (writing and presenting) and — as many of you wrote in your social media reflections — your digital identity and use of social media, especially for learning.

Working with you all this year has been an absolute pleasure and a great learning experience. Exploring concepts both established (academic writing skills, referencing) and emerging (digital identity, privacy, social networks for learning), your ideas and your questions have helped me to think more deeply about my own practices, about creating learning spaces (physical and online), and about the always-fascinating collisions between theory and practice. I have enjoyed discussing your work with you as it has progressed from research and writing shared only within our class space, to presenting to one another and publishing your work openly online.

All of the presentations which you’ve posted online are available in the CT231 Student Showcase on Scoop.it (and informal videos of some of these presentations are available on Bambuser). Links to your final digital media projects will also be shared in the CT231 Student Showcase. As described in the previous #icollab post, other students involved in #icollab are just beginning their terms in universities in Auckland, Berlin, Barcelona and Salford. Some of these students will view your work on Scoop.it and Bambuser, some will provide feedback, and some may connect with you via social networks. This is the essence of connected, authentic learning — not limited by modules, term times, geography or insititution. Enjoy it!

The same goes for our connections as well. As always, the #ct231 hashtag will be our main connection… across time and different social media spaces. So please continue to share using the hashtag. While activity on the @CT231 Twitter account will quiet down between April and September, it will be active again when next year’s 2nd years start the module in September. You’ll continue to be part of the CT231 community, of course, so please feel free to interact with future students, share thoughts or resources, and join the conversations. #ct231 FTW! 🙂

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Images: CC Catherine Cronin