Friday, December 19, 2014

Blog Book Review

The web address is or click this link

Thanks of the great year everyone and have a happy holidays.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Software training

I went to the class Excel 3 where they talked about Macros and VBA. I chose this class for two reasons, one being that it was one of less than around ten classes that were available when I looked, and another being that I had no clue what Macros were so I figured might as well learn something completely new.

The class was fairly interesting since I learned new concepts and how to create a Macro. Basically, a Macro is a keyboard shortcut that you make yourself. So you press "control g" (it can be any letter) and then something happens on excel with the formatting or whatever else (just like when you press control z it undos your previous action). So I learned how to make a keyboard shortcut myself, and to do that you need to write code because you need to tell the computer what to do. I've never written or really seen/tried-to-comprehend code before so it was interesting to do it for the first time. I more just typed the code on the power point then actually figured out the code for myself (actually it was 100% on the power point), but I still learned what the code means and what it's saying to the computer (it's like learning a language, the programing language).

Overall the class was solid and I got to be exposed to new things. I will most likely never actually make a macro myself unless I get some help from someone or a resource like online (so it's not like the class left me fluent in code) but it was a good two hour intro into the concept.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Talk with my mother

I interviewed my mother to analyze if technology was necessary for her job and if so how important was it.  From this conversation I gained that technology is huge in her line of work.  She works for a non-profit organization named US Dream Academy which is located in Washington, D.C.  She does a lot of administrative work which means she makes spreadsheets, enters data, takes attendance, etc. all on the computer.  My mother said and I quote, "Without my computer, my job would extremely difficult, if not impossible to do."  She's not too old and used a computer quite often when she was younger so it wasn't very difficult for her to utilize a computer at her workplace.  The conversation that I had with my mother just reinforced in my mind that being able to use and comprehend technology is important for everyday life and at your workplace.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hybrid Course

I thought the discussion section, although I made the mistake of having it Friday afternoon, was very helpful in reinforcing the main points of the articles. Since everyone had to come prepared, we had meaningful discussion, which I found to be more interesting than many other classes because it is more relevant. I definitely interacted better offline with my other students because comments weren't responded to like on normal social media. There was a good amount of online portions so I would not increase that, but I am more comfortable with blogs and wikis (they are fairly easy to figure out, however). Overall, the course was interesting and current especially as we rely on technology more and more. It brought up ideas like dependence on technology for example, which is a commonly worrisome topic for many. This class ended up being more interesting than I initially thought. The history was somewhat slow, but after we moved on to present day issues, it brought up good discussion, one people wanted to contribute to more.


My parents are surprisingly up to date on their technology. They have iphones, ipads, and computers, but this is very recent because my father had my flip phone from middle school as his main way of communication for many years. He doesn't have as much of a need for social media access as I do I guess. Regardless of the recent upgrade, my parents have always been in the loop somewhat. They pick up the concept of texting really well (even though my dad signs off every text).  Although they did not grow up with this technology as closely as I did, they could pick it up and figure it out just like me. Many of the tablets and smart phones really help people connect with each other because they are easy to use. If people can't figure it out they turn to the internet (of course). My parents learn all about home repair projects from Youtube.

My Experience

Googling hybrid classes was not very helpful, but in my personal experience, many classes are turning to this hybrid approach. My classes in high school and some of my friend's classes here at Madison incorporate both online and in-person discussion/activity. I think it is helpful because it keeps information interesting. You are not just sitting in a class talking for hours on end, but you're not just sitting at your computer either. I think the topics covered online were related to the topics covered in person, but tended to be a bit more creative. In discussion is where we focused on the core concepts of this course, but it is also where I got to know my peers. I'm sure they agree with this because realistically we are not all reading every single person's blog posts, but just a few to comment on. I definitely feel more comfortable with blogs and wikis now, and I think they are a useful tool that other courses could benefit from. Of course they are not applicable to all courses.
I thought that the combination of online coursework and the course being about the online world worked well together. It seemed appropriate, in a way. I think I became more aware of my online presence.


I did a little research on the hybrid classes offered at UW-Milwaukee and there are some similarities and differences. Some similarities are that the majoity of the classes are 2/3 in person (lecture and discussion) and 1/3 online. One differences is that there are a couple upper-level hybrid classes offered at Milwaukee. One is a graduate level nursing class and the other is a senior capstone business management class. As far as I know, I don't believe we have hybrid courses in that high of level courses here at UW- Madison, but I could be wrong.
I feel like I was more effective online because I was able to write as much as I could, whereas opposed to in discussion where I don't necessarily have time to state my whole opinion on an article, topic, etc. However, I will always say that you learn more about a person when you meet them in person, so I definitely learned more about each individual in discussion.
I really like the integration of online components into courses. It worked especially well with this course because of the topics we covered regarding the internet. I definitely became more aware of my online habits after reading the articles about the internet, surveillance, algorithms, etc.
I think online components would work in a course not related to the online world of information, however, it may feel more like an online class and less like an online component perhaps.