Finding motivation can be very difficult for some people and I was one of those people my first semester. It was the first time I wasn’t being hounded by my parents about my grades so they slipped a little bit. I think it was because of two things, my phone distractions and my lack of motivation since my parents weren’t there. I have gotten better with managing my phone distractions, but James Frew lays out in his article a few apps that can help me stay off my phone which I think I will try in the future. The other part was my motivation.
I lacked motivation that first semester of college, but then I eventually tapped into my inner competitiveness to motivate myself. I always want to win in athletic events so why should school be any different. I competed against my friends to see who could get better grades and then eventually I was motivated to try to get the best score on a test in the whole class. Being that competitive was the answer for me because of my sports background, but it will be different for everyone. Some people aren’t intrinsically motivated and need to rely on outside motivation which is completely fine if it works for you.
Writing in college has changed a whole lot over the years. Now everyone has a personal computer that they can do mostly all their work on for the paper. It is almost not necessary to go to a library and open a book since everything can be searched and found online. The problem is that it can be hard to find reliable sites that you can trust and use in your paper. In Marc Prensky’s Research paper “Search vs. Research” he spells out the differences between searching and researching. I think most of the time what we do is just searching but researching is more refined and you have to know what you’re looking for.
Most classes are going to require some sort of researching and then turning that information into a paper, so being able to effectively and efficient use search engines is a very important skill to have. It can be one that is tough to acquire, but the more you do it the easier it gets. If you’e able to find a reliable resource quickly it can save you a lot of time from aimlessly searching. There are a lot of resources out there, but the key is being able to use them.
In today’s college classroom you will notice a lot of differences from what it used to be years ago, and the biggest difference might be the use of computers. I’ve noticed that the vast majority of students are using their laptops to take notes and follow along with lectures. I typically take notes by hand because of personal preference, but most people view it differently. In South College’s article about the pros and cons of written vs. typed notes they talk about the pros and cons of each and this could help sway your usage of a computer, but I think it all boild down to personal preference.
The reasons I prefer taking notes by hand is because I typically get less distracted when I’m writing notes instead of typing them. I think that’s because I’m not using my largest distraction to take notes, it just takes one click for me to end up on twitter and go down a rabbit hole that forces me to not listen to the lecture for the rest of class. I also think I remember the material better if I write it down because I have to think about what I’m writing so I retain it better than when I just mindlessly type them out.
In today’s world one of the things that is hard for me to accept is that most of the reading I’m going to have to do is going to be on a computer screen. I’ve always had trouble reading off of a computer because all my distractions are right in front of me on my laptop. Isolating those distractions was the first thing I had to do, but then I had to become a more effective reader on a computer screen. I’ve always been the type of person to want a hard copy of a text book, but with prices these days it’s just all around better to buy the text online.
I’ve always wondered what the most effective way to take notes was while reading online, but I think The Learning Center’s “Annotating Texts” document can help spell it out. I’ve always thought it was a waste of time to make notes right on the page while reading, but after perusing this article and digesting it I think it could be very helpful. As I’m reading I can right things down that will spark my memory and it will make the page more dynamic instead of just being words on a page. I think students in today’s world need to adapt and I think this is a great first step in that adaptation.
One thing that I struggle with the most if getting distracted by all types of technology. As I’m writing this post I have the TV on in front of me and my phone sitting right next to me which is just about as bad as it can get. Every time my phone lights up I go check it and that diverts my attention and causes assignments to take longer than they should. It is a huge problem, however I think I have a plan of attack that will help me overcome this and could help other students in the future too.
In Jordan Bates’ article about time management he writes about devoting your entire attention to the task at hand which is what I think I need to work on the most. I essentially need to isolate myself from the outside world, especially my phone, while working on assignments. I think it would really help everyone in our digital age to just put the phone away while working or studying. That way there is nothing lighting up taking your attention away from the task at hand. I think this tip will help me be more efficient and waste less time playing around on silly apps that are not going to better me.
The part of this module that I personally got the most out of was the information bout netiquette. I always remembered in high school, when twitter and facebook were becoming super popular, hearing that everything that you post online is there forever. This point is stressed in the docstocTV video with Julie Spira that we are creating a digital footprint that will never go away. I always thought it was kind of silly that it was stressed to us so much that deleting a post that could be controversial would not make it go away, but it is coming to fruition in our society today as we see some athletes and even politicians come into question about things that they have posted on the internet in the past.
I have always tried to stay mindful of what I post on social media and I think it is helpful for every college student to realize what you post can have such a huge effect on a job that you might get down the road because employers can and will see it! It is never worth it to make yourself look bad on the internet to maybe get a couple laughs, but possibly make your job search tougher because the post looks so bad to professionals. Always be aware of the ramifications of what you post!