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.

Father's Use of Information Technology

After speaking with my father at home, I found out that his most important information technology was his “smart” phone. My father is a comedian and it is crucial for him to be aware of much information that is flowing around the world. Creativity is also important and internet from his phone provides him with innovating ideas. He is more productive and efficient in bringing “comedic” ideas to the table. Thus, new information technology is a great tool in his work life.

My father is a person who likes to communicate with the younger generations and has been constantly trying to keep up with the fast developing technology in order to communicate. Recently, my father has created a family SNS account from a social media network called “Band”, where our families are the only members and can be “presence-in-absence” to communicate with one another. This method of communication help to communicate not only with words but also with pictures and videos. Coming from an international background, this type of communication is essential when you are apart with on another for a long period of time. Overall, information technology has helped my father to be more productive both in his work life and family life.  

My Experience in LIS 201

            When I tried to look up other hybrid/blended courses online, at either UW-Madison or another university, I could not find anything. All I found were fellowship programs that seemed as if they were for professors. Nevertheless, I found this approach to teaching to be extremely effective. All of the online portions connected with what was taught in class and helped me when studying for the tests. I was able to recall the terms when I was creating my study guides without referring to my notes. I was able to learn a lot about my fellow students because of the combination of offline and online interactions. I do feel comfortable using blogs and wikis now, but I do not think that more professors should be using these resources until they apply to the course they are teaching.

            I think that the things I was asked to research for the blog assignments gave me a better perspective for my online activities. They forced me to research the information the Internet is collecting about me and become more conscious of my web activities. However, I think that online course components work differently in every class. For example, I would not gain a different understanding of my web activities solely because of a requirement to keep a blog. The actual content and assignments in this class caused this. Overall, I really enjoyed using different web components to complete assignments in this class. Everything coincided and was interconnected, making me extremely prepared for essays and exams.


I did a hybrid class in high school where the lectures were online and we had to do those at home and the homework was also online but we worked on that in class. It wasn't set in stone as we still did lectures in class when it was confusing, but it was an interesting way to do class that was new to me.

I thought in this class, I felt more comfortable with working with students, especially in the peer review groups, in person rather than online. We didn't really have group projects obviously, but reviewing the power points was easier because it was in class and we could hear the author's opinions on it when we discussed each power point as a class afterwards. Doing it online for the essays was fine but I just think offline works better and the online assignments, for the most part, didn't necessarily help my learning for the concepts in the class, it just added things to what I had to do for the class and maybe I learned some new things but not really things that I would incorporate into a midterm or a paper.

I thought the readings and lectures helped a lot with the papers and midterms obviously, but I felt like the online stuff was separate. It was related to it obviously, but if they weren't there I don't think I would have missed much if anything from not having them. Some were solid assignments though that I didn't mind the write-ups. I think the class is structured pretty well.

big read event

I went to the big read event on 12/3. It was a very interesting event where students in a particular speaking class gave speeches on whatever topic they wanted too (I don't think they were assigned topics). They were good and interesting speeches, and the main professor for the class was also there and talked occasionally. One of my favorite speeches to listen to was one on bullying, where the speaker's main argument was that punishing bullies they way we do (isolation, like detention) isn't working and we should try other methods to punish them and figure out what's wrong. This was fascinating to me as I never thought about it like that; usually I think of the victim and forget about the one bullying, but maybe that's the problem and we need to figure out why bullies are doing what they do. He proposed we need to talk more to the bullies and try to get their problems or issues out in the open and help them because they are probably hurting and just dealing with their stress in obviously very bad ways. But if we can fix these issues then the bullies would no longer exist and that would solve the problem. Overall, other speakers were also good like one speaker talked about how we are not using water very well and how we could fix our water usage. The event was worth the time to attend and it's good to see speeches by other students on campus.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hybrid Courses

This class was definitely a lot more work than I anticipated with its hybrid format of speeches, blogs, essays and projects.  It gave me a voice online and in-person when discussing new topics.  Another hybrid course at UW Madison is Biology 152.  It combines biological sciences with a com B component making it much more challenging than a regular Biology course.  I feel like I was a more effective student in class based on the fact that we discussed more topics in class than we actually had to blog about and ideas were expanded on in-person in class.  I definitely am more comfortable blogging now than I did before; mainly because I never really enjoyed blogging but now I feel like it's not that bad to blog every now and then to express new ideas and thoughts.  I think this class was effective using an online component so much because we discussed so many topics about information accessed online so it helped connect the course with the homework by using an online component.

Reflection of Blog Posts

After reviewing my blog posts, I’ve noticed that I apply myself considerably less than on other assignments. I take the presentations/papers much more seriously; viewing the blog posting as an informal assignment to throw out there whenever I had the time. Also, the formatting was completely different: on the blog postings I often use incomplete sentences, often have “paragraphs” of just 2-3 sentences, and my thoughts are often fairly disjointed, rather than trying to flow properly like in a paper.

Because of this, I would say that the papers and presentations are a more accurate reflection of talent, while the blog postings are more indicative of how I truly just think, since I just slap out a stream of consciousness onto the page; disjointed as it may be.


After reviewing my blog posts I realized that I use my normal face to face talking voice. Which is different from my formal paper because well its not a formal paper. I also try to be a little comical but I do not know if I am actually funny. I just felt that a blog post is the least professional place to write. I just seemed easy breezy and so I tried to embrace that feeling. Also I feel like blogs are about talking about life so saying stuff in the first person is acceptable. I also notice that I did not actually answer the questions like a report I analysed them. And I'm okay with that that what I do all the time in real life anyway. Otherwise I actually enjoyed blogging it would probably be a lot more fun if I could just post whatever I wanted. So I may be a blogger in the future but otherwise this was a nice assignment.

Hybrid Course Approach

I think it is really smart the way Lis201 was set up. I think that having discussion blog posts brings the discussion section members closer together and creates a better environment for learning. When I looked up courses that were similar to Lis201, I found that at the University of Minnesota, they offer a similar course, but the mode of instruction is a bit different. Instead of having blog posts online, students discussion material in section. I dont think this would work as well because with blog posts, students are forced to do readings themselves and learn the material in depth, where as when students are just talking in section, they do not necessarily have to feel obligated to do the readings.

I really enjoyed the way this class was designed. The online portions really helped with the in-person aspect with the class. I believe that the balanced mix of online and offline assignments made me a more effective student online as well as offline. It made it easier to communicate with the other students in my section. The online portion also allows for a better understanding of how to use online resources. I think the way that UW-Madison has its courses like Lis201 right now is perfect. If there were more online assignments I feel the class would be less discussion oriented, which is the most beneficial aspect of the class.

I think the productiveness of the online component of the class relies not on the material, but on how the assignments relate to the material. If the class were about anything else I think that the design of the course would still work. It makes for a much better understanding of material and a closer connection with other students. I found that this course taught me a lot about the digital world today and developed my understanding of online resources.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mom Technology

After talking to my parents about potential technologies that were significant to them while growing up, I realized that they both haven't really been up to date with technology until the last couple years (surprise, surprise). The first technology my mom said she really used was the computer. She said she used it mainly for e-mail, which is still what she mainly uses it for today, and online shopping of course. It didn't surprise me that this was her answer because while she was growing up, there wasn't any cell phones, or video game consoles to be used, it was just playing outside and trying to meet up with your friends as best as you  could. It's hard to imagine how often I would see my friends today if I didn't have some sort of technology to communicate with them. Technology really does make things a lot easier, but my mom will still be the first one to tell you that we rely too much on it (she's constantly telling me to put my phone away). This assignment kind of made you put into perspective how times have changed from when our parents were growing up to how we are growing up now.

Mom vs. Dad with Technology

                    After a long conference call about technology with my parents, I've come to the conclusion that they are clueless. My mother, who is the best stay at home mom I could ask for, just received her first Iphone. She has had it for about a month, and still has not taken it out of the box. She's "scared". She has a huge droid right now that can be underwater for a day and still work. She always is dropping things with her butterfingers so I can see how she would worry about how long this Iphone will last.                  
                  My dad on the other hand says in his career he is constantly on his tablet size phone, checking emails, weather, news, etc. He is pretty up to date with his technology, but still has old habits. He said that his younger staff makes fun of him for how he types on his keyboard. He uses his pointer fingers instead of all of his fingers. His excuse is "I never learned how to correctly right on a computer. Now a days they have kindergarten classes making kids become pros". Overall I think they have a lot of improving to do, and if they don't, they could be behind in many different ways. Technology makes thinks faster and easier, but if you don't know how to use them properly they are the complete opposite, a hassle.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

GoBigRead Event Summary and Reflection (sorry so long)

I attended the GoBigRead event that incorporated a UW-Madison course with the book, I am Malala. I did not know what to expect when I read the description for this event, but I was pleasantly surprised with where it was heading after the professor of Comm Arts 181/100 introduced the layout of how the event was going to proceed. Seven students from the class were required to relate a significant story from their lives to a bigger picture. The goal of this was to capstone the semester and all the hard work each student put into the course. Also, they wanted to impact the lives of others in a similar way that Malala Yousafzai has done.
The professor was an extremely good speaker, mainly in the way that he was able to project his voice with good volume and flow. He also kept constant eye contact with the audience, which allowed him to connect with them in a positive way. This lead me to believe that he had a great understanding of how to teach his students in effective speaking methods. I saw that each student was able to replicate the professor’s speaking manner because they were able to keep eye contact and flow through their speech with ease. Although, I did see that some of the students had trouble keeping eye contact though, and some had a problem with being monotonous. This made it difficult to pay attention to their speeches at points. I did enjoy some of the topics and stories of the students. They were able to make it very relatable to not only my life, but the lives of any college student.
I was primarily affected by speeches on water scarcity and sleep deprivation. These are both topics that really interest me and I would like to learn more about in my free time. Water scarcity interests me because the concept of a sustainable and greener Earth is valuable, not only to me, but to the Earth as a whole. And sleep deprivation is something I like to think about because it tremendously affects how you carry yourself and how you think.
The speech on water scarcity was given by a female student that learned about the problem in one of her courses. She decided to do more research on this topic and share the information with other students. She shared the fact that the amount of usable water on Earth is ~2%.  I also learned that the Great Lakes are a major source of freshwater for the Midwest. Although, much of the usable water is being contaminated, polluted and misused by humans. Farming plays a huge role in the misuse of water due to ineffective irrigation methods. She also was able to give firsthand accounts on the need for water because she went on a mission trip. Her solution to this was that the government requiring everyone to recycle and reuse water.

The next speech I really enjoyed was the one on sleep deprivation. The speaker was extremely energetic and was able to interact with the crowd, which made it a very enjoyable presentation. His reason for choosing a speech on sleep deprivation was that he failed a midterm due to only getting 6 hours of sleep. This speech made me glad that I get 8 hours of sleep a night because I now know that lack of sleep leads to decreased brain activity. Sleep allows your brain to recharge and redevelop neurotransmitters. His solution was to schedule 7-8 hours of sleep into your daily schedule.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Blog Reflections

When I look back at all the blog posts, I think to myself, "WOW!, We have done way too many of these things." I forgot that we had to do one of these almost every week, but I did not forget how much time and effort I had to put into them. I definitely put more effort into some more than others, but that may have been because I enjoyed the topic and task more for that particular week. No week was I lazy about making a blog post because I understood that this was a considerable part of our grades and that putting the effort in would make the grade worthwhile.
My progression of blog posts was generally consistent with my language and participation in the discussion section. I tended to be very casual yet concise with what I was trying to say. Although, you could definitely tell on which blog posts I tried harder. I enjoyed making all of them because I felt I could be comfortable with my language when posting to a blog only my peers would read. I understood that we are all in the same boat, so there is no reason to be complacent about how I handle these posts.
I would have to say my best post was my first one. I had no idea what to do coming in except that I had to make an introduction for myself. And this really allowed me to be free with my language and dialect. The first post allowed me to have more fun with it.


I talked to my mom about what her first information technology for work was and she said the computer. I was thinking it might be something more ancient but she said the computer and the internet capabilities was new (obviously) and she still has trouble today figuring out different programs and things you can do on a computer. She said being able to connect with people she works with online, sending e-mails, and being able to work from home through phones and computers were all obviously new concepts to her and they were things that she quickly grew to use and be familiar with. They quickly became the standard methods to contact people and to do work even in the office (obviously there are computers in every office).

Hybrid course reflection

To start with I really like the LIS 201 was set up as a hybrid course with the lectures and discussions being face to face. This differs from some other schools like UW Milwaukee. On UW Milwaukee's website it takes about the set up of their hybrid classes. Some of them involve watching the lectures online and then student meet for discussion after watching the the lectures. I feel as if this format would not work nearly as well because I feel many people would not watch the lecture or would be very distracted while watching the lecture.
Throughout this course I have become much more comfortable using UW's online resources like wiki, blogger, and google scholar. Although I enjoyed using these to learn and do class work, I feel like I was able to learn better in discussion and lecture than I did online.This is because I learn better when I have someone in front of me talking to me.But if I have the chance I will take another hybrid course to further increase my computer skills.

Overall I really liked the material from this class. I found that I could really relate to a lot of it. I also like learning about how the information society got to the point it is today. I felt that because the information was so relatable it made the homework easier and made it easier to have good conversations in discussion class. I also liked how it taught me more about powerpoint and other computer resources.

Writing Reflection

When I went back through and looked at all my blog posts I learned a few things about my writings. First I realized that I like the blog posts a lot better than writing papers or anything like that. This is because it seemed more informal and like there was less press for the writing to be perfect. But in reviewing these blog posts I also learned a few things that I wish I would have done better. The things I would have done different were I would have proof read better and made my posts longer this is because I found many grammatical errors and my posts seemed kind of short.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Technology and My Dad

Well to put things straight, my dad and technology DO NOT mix. My dad got his first cellphone 2 1/2  years ago and he was kind of forced to because of his new job. Because of all of his new responsibilities he has to be able to check his emails 24/7, therefore getting a cellphone or a "nuisance" as he calls it, was the only viable option. So there's that. Anyways, I asked him what technological innovation was the most important to him so far, and he responded with the computer.
My dad is vice chancellor at a fellow UW school and to be honest, I have no idea what all of his responsibilities are. All I know is that communication is KEY to his job, hence getting the cellphone to check emails 24/7. With the computer there is now a time-space distanciation where my dad can communicate with people far away in a short amount of time, whether it be by email or Skype conference calls. That means less traveling and more spending time with the family as well.
Another reason why my dad lovessss computers is because of the ability to use dual monitors. This allows my dad to have up 2 different websites, documents, etc. without having to keep on clicking back and forth between the two. He can seamlessly glide the mouse from one monitor to the other and look at both simultaneously. This greatly improves on his work efficiency and makes his job flow better.
Overall, although some people can be reluctant to conform to the new technologies presented today, there are times where those people realize how important these technologies are and how they can help their job become easier and make the workplace a more efficient space.

I'll miss ya LIS

                 After researching online Hybrid courses, I found a couple UW-Madison has to offer, but not as many as our competitor University of Minnesota- Twin Cities. Here at Madison you can pay a small few ($95) to become more fluent in English, different languages, or even engineering.  The classes I found were not for college credit but simply to continue your studies. I am not sure why the U would have more because UW is way better than the U. I think they might just advertise more for the U then we do here, which should change. I think my online work through LIS helped connect me to my work done in the classroom. For me, the online work was easy busy work that seemed hassle-ish because I’m not used to checking a blog all the time and posting assignments to it. I am glad we have our face-to-face discussion solely because I like to hear multiple views on a topic, and online I can choose to not read other views, or I could pick to read the views that coincide with my own.  I think with the increase in technology, it would be convenient to have professor’s assign more online work vs. paper work but I don’t think it’s a necessity. 
              What I find crazy is how much my courses are intertwining this semester, and how LIS helps me connect them to each other.  My accounting connects to my econ, which connects to LIS (way more than you would think), which in the end relates to my Arabic literature class (after reading I am Malala for extra credit). I honestly think that because I am more conscious with ICT’s I understand why certain things are the way they are. Also, this class definitely connected with my personal life as it showed me what my shadow bodies look like professionally and nonprofessionally. It even led me to delete a lot of the social media that took up a lot of my time and was unnecessary to have as a 20 year old.   Overall I actually enjoyed this class. Besides the annoying busy work (which was needed to prove points), I would have to say it is my favorite class I have taken here so far.