I love “messing around”. I could “mess around” all day…..actually I do. I was quite fascinated when reading Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project and realised that a name has been given to what I do!!
While trying to get all my readings for Course 1 done so that I could write some extra meaningful reports for my blog, I realised that I was constantly “messing around”. I would start with one reading, and then something would catch my eye and pique my interest. I would then open a new tab and type in a search for a new topic.
Jeff Utecht’s book Reach sent me on a 2 day adventure into all sorts of different sites on the internet. I was interested in his chapter about “Building Networks” and went exploring new ways to build my own. I use Google Reader for my RSS feeds and love it. I have been building up my subscriptions and now spend far too much time reading the new feeds that come in as they often send me to a new site to browse.
I have had a Netvibes account for a couple of years now, but did not really understand the power of it until reading through Jeff’s book. I went back and signed in and the spent a good deal of time personalising it, and getting frustrated that I couldn’t personalise it as much as I wanted to in terms of making it pretty. I tried my best though!! I messed around, I played around and experimented with all the settings to see if I could get things to change. It would be a fantastic tool to use if it weren’t so slow to load, and I don’t even have that much content on mine. I think I need to go back and revisit it again (which I already did while writing this post and got side-tracked for longer than I should have with the new feeds coming in!)
In my last blog post on Kony 2012 I discussed that the power of the video was that it made the world sit up and pay attention. After watching this video I went and researched on the internet, to find out more information about Joseph Kony and the LRA. I found both factual information, and blogs and interviews where people shared their opinions and views on Kony and the company Invisible Children, who were responsible for creating the video.
I also have found myself getting intrigued with, not only the content of people’s blogs, but also with their designs and settings. This again led me into the Dashboard of my own blog to play around with all of the settings.
There are plenty of articles out there which discuss the pros and cons of young people spending time on the computer. Many writers criticize parents who limit and restrict their children’s time and accessibility on the computer, while there are others who support these parents and caution not only the exploitation of young people, but the over stimulation and detrimental effects the computer has on them. It’s a hard one. If kids don’t spend time on the computer then how will they learn, but what does spending too much time do?
I find that the Digital immigrants (from Marc Prensky’s article Shaping the Tech Classroom) of our world don’t mess around enough. The “Digital Youth” mess around and teach themselves how to use many of the tech tools that are available to them. They surf the net to get information and the click all the buttons to see how they work. That’s how everyone should tackle the programmes and tools we use if they want to learn them. Easier said than done…I know, but old dogs can learn new tricks.