I have learned a lot of useful things in this class. Overall, what I truly value from this class is that I have learned how to use technology to my advantage. Technology, while it can be a distraction, is great in helping me stay organized, studying, et cetera. There are online tools and apps at my disposal that I wasn’t aware of that can be utilized to aid in learning and completing tasks. As a college student, I tend to find that every bit of help is important. I’m glad to be exposed to new things that can increase productivity and efficiency, thus contributing to a better and balanced life. Learning the materials provided during the course of this class has exposed me to various strategies that I can use to achieve success. This class has showed me my weakness in many areas like time management. Realizing my weaknesses is one of the most important things that I could’ve done as a person. It is because I believe that identifying our weaknesses is the first and necessary step to improve ourselves. How could we get better at something if we don’t even know what is that “something” that we could get better at? I used to be very bad at time management prior to this class. I thought if I couldn’t plan it all out in my head then I couldn’t do it. I mean, I used to think that I should instinctively know what to do, and when to do things because my priority should make that clear to me. So, I sort of came to the conclusion that making a schedule or to-do list is a sign of weakness. Now, I think it’s more likely that strength is being able to admit my limitations and find other ways to overcome them like making a schedule, so I don’t forget to do things that are important in time. It’s become clearer to me that a daily schedule is both a reminder and a guide instead of a mere “remembrance” of my lack of commitment. Apart from that, I have also learned about things that I didn’t think were even that important before such as sleep. I do have to say that I care a lot more about getting enough sleep than I ever did in my entire life. As I looked more into the importance of sleep to our memory and learning, I became more aware in giving enough and comprehensive attention to my physiology. The article “Sleep, Learning, and Memory” (Link) by Harvard Medical School explains succinctly the impacts of having enough quality sleep, and what happens if we deprive ourselves of sleep. The role of sleep plays in our life is one of the most meaningful experiences I’ve gotten from this class. Alright, I’m going to sleep now. Just kidding! In conclusion, I will try to maintain and apply the knowledge I’ve gained in my future endeavors. There are many practical things I’ve learned in this class that are relatively easy to put into work which I’m grateful for. For instances, using online study tools like Bubbl.us and learning strategies like metacognition are very much doable. Hence, I will try to keep using things like these to help me in, put it simply, life. I feel like we, as students, should learn to appreciate what technology can do for us more. It’s true that technology is responsible for some of the negative impacts on people’s life, but if we know how to use it properly, it can empower us. Therefore, since my target audience is college students, I suppose we can start studying with the help of technology in whatever possible ways as we’ve learned in this class to start with.
College writing is synonymous with academic writing. It’s the kind of writing that requires more than just writing for the sake of having an organized essay, determining right or wrong answers, et cetera. As college students, we often deal with research questions, i.e. questions that typically have no clear-cut answers. Writing a research paper demands us to search for credible sources like journal articles to help us address the question that we’ve posed. There are different ways and techniques we can use to search for an article, books, and other related documents. After that, we needs to evaluate the reliability, quality, and utility of the source that we’re interested in before citing it in our paper. This step has to be taken seriously if we were to produce a good paper. What I find particularly useful in this week’s module is how we can conduct a more efficient and productive search for primary or secondary sources. Knowing search engine basics and how to do specific searches, for examples, is very helpful to expand our capability of searching for documents online. Apart from that, Boolean logic is fantastic. It’s especially very handy for people who are researching on a topic by giving them a method to find related articles with just a few keywords. The video “Searching with Boolean Operators” (Link) greatly explains the basics of Boolean operators that we can utilize. I encourage everyone, particularly college students to learn Boolean operators. It’s a great way to start your search for credible sources.
I love how the importance of the tools and methods in note taking is emphasized this week. I’ve always been aware that taking notes is crucial for learning, but I had not been thinking a lot about how to take notes. I usually tried to write as much as possible while focusing on important points. If possible, I tried to write down everything the lecturers were saying. I did realize that doing this would make me less thoughtful in understanding the subjects being taught in class. However, I did try to take organized and detailed notes so that I could study them later in entirety. This method has helped me a lot in the past, however, if I didn’t have enough time to study my notes, I wouldn’t be able to memorize or even understand the subject I was studying. It’s like a trade-off between understanding the subject right away in class but not being able to review important details later (unless I read the textbook or something) and postponing from doing much thinking to be able to write everything down but having detailed notes that I can study later even without opening the textbook which can be time-saving. After this week’s lesson, I’ve become more aware of the importance of taking notes as an active learner. As we know from the module, it starts with active listening. Active listening is one of my favorite things that we’ve learned. It takes more to be successful than simply walk into a classroom, sit down, and start taking notes. Lastly, I do like to remind other students that writing is better than typing.
This week materials are my favorite so far. The lessons are very practical and highly useful for college students in my opinion. With ubiquitous access to internet and its ever-growing utility, it’s great to learn about how the web can be empowering, educational, and helpful on many levels and in many ways. I have discovered many great websites that can help me learn and succeed in college from different angles. It’s not just about how long we can sit and try to crunch the information, but it’s also about how we manage our time, the importance of having enough rest, methods to read actively, how to learn effectively, why is it worthwhile to understand how memory works, and so on. College or ultimately life success depends on many things. Some things might not seem important superficially, yet they have considerable impacts that we might have not been paying enough attention to. Apart from that, we are also able to utilize many technology tools (i.e. websites, apps, etc.) to enhance our learning. Like I’ve mentioned, this couple of websites ( Link 1, Link 2), for example, are valuable for tips on memorization techniques and methods. I would be using many of the websites seemingly for years to come. As a fellow college student, I’d like to remind all of us that technology specifically the web can help us be more productive and successful students if we know how to use it. It may be more useful than we might think it would. Therefore, why not use it for effective learning? I mean wouldn’t we be better off if we spend as much time on the internet doing things that we’ve learned this week as we do on social media? Ouch that hurts me.
The most interesting thing to me in this week’s module is the TED talk video “Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator” (Link). The speaker is very creative and amusing in delivering a speech on his own experience of procrastination.I can relate to the idea of the monkey in the head that always craves instant gratification. When I tried to start on a homework, there have been many times where I found something else to do that would instantly please me so I postpone doing whatever I should do. I do realize that it only feels good at that moment (and will be a disaster later as a consequence), but it’s easier than having to type an essay or etc. When the due dates were near, I freaked out and started stressing out. The funny thing is that it has happened over and over again. It’s not that I didn’t feel very bad the first time. However, many times it’s just not about instant gratification that makes me procrastinate. It’s poor time management too. Sometimes I think that I have enough time to do, say an assignment, but only to find myself running out of time later. Making a schedule or something like a daily list of tasks is going to be my first step to overcome this issue. I will not try to act as if I have all the plans in my head anymore. I really need to change my lifestyle for the better. For those who face similar problems regarding procrastination, I highly suggest that you have long-term goals to mitigate our pursuit of instant gratification. By having a vision, we would be reminded about the risks associated with indulging in some instantly gratifying activities.
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When we talk with each other face-to-face, we are aware of the social norms, appropriate manners, courtesy, et cetera. Why we do this depends on many things, but the most common reason is, put it simply, us being rational. What rationality means here is that we realize that conversing, working and existing in the same space with others are just a part of life that is very crucial. Hence we treat others nicely because we know that we can help each other and make it better for everybody. The law of reciprocity demands us to pay kindness with kindness. It’s one of the elements in life that makes our lives better. However, communication and collaboration in “virtual spaces” are fundamentally different. When we’re communicating through online means like using social medias and email services, or collaborating with others without being present physically, many people tend to change their behaviors. Some of these changes are beneficial, but what’s alarming if those that are negative such as being blatantly rude. Rudeness is especially pervasive on social medias since, for example, Facebook is used as a site to casually communicate with others. So, a social media user is usually tempted to say things that come to the mind whether it’s bad or not. A person may be even more ruthless when talking to people that he or she doesn’t personally know. It’s important to know how to properly communicate and collaborate with others online. Students, particularly, should be concerned about this because our lives may oftentimes require us to do something that has to do with communicating or collaborating online. I really like the “Tips for Online Students to Work Successfully in Virtual Groups” by Drexel University (Link). One thing that stand outs to me among the tips is that we should be honest, but also be respectful at the same time. If you disagree, do not mock other people, or be childishly dismissive of their opinions. Let them know what you think respectfully and succinctly. To close this blog post, what we can at least do and do immediately is imagine that we’re talking to people face-to-face next time we’re on the internet. That should keep our manners in check a little bit, wouldn’t it?