Welcome!

Welcome to @theSpeedofLight!

I am a Phd student in the ACEL program at Ohio State University.  This site was created as a part of ESETEC 7297.  This course was an introduction to the instructional capabilities and hands-on development of multimedia; topics include relevant learning theories, authoring techniques, and design models.

My hope is that by visiting my site, I can share with you what I have learned by researching current technology. Unlike some of the big tech blogs, I hope that this one is more of a dialogue and that by sharing as a community, we can figure this out together.

Start at the project proposal, then move on to the infographic on how we are digitally overloaded.   When you have 30 minutes, take the interactive module which starts to help you deal with the overload.

Finally, this site is divided up into four educational categories of posts for future exploring:

  1. APPreciation:  In these posts, you will learn how to APPreciate applications that save you time or money. Each week I will focus on an app of the week and I hope you will share your favorites as well.
  2. Digital Clutter:  Explore how to cut through all the digital clutter in our lives and get to the stuff that is meaningful and matters to us.
  3. Social Scene:  Just when you think you have mastered Facebook, there are all these other social media sites that pop up.  Check out what is new in the social media world.
  4. Teens and Tech:  For those of you who have teenagers or if you are related to one, I share all of my ways that I balance parenting with technology. If you plan on handing a tech device over to your kids, these posts will help you be one step ahead of your teens.

A little about me…

I am Assistant Professor of Youth Development for Ohio State University Extension. My love for technology comes from his engineering major in undergrad combined with my current work with K-12 youth audiences. My 4-H specialty is teaching youth about STEM related subject matter. I have an afterschool program called Tech Wizards where youth and their mentors try out new technology. I also created a new maker space in our office called the Spark Lab. You can read more about it in my office blog here:  http://u.osu.edu/sparklab/

I spend a lot of time reading about, researching, and trying out new technology, so you don’t have to. I believe that technology should make our lives easier, not harder. Sometimes my greatest insight comes from my own teenage kids, Justin and Megan.   I believe that the power of learning is when the students share what they know as well, so I welcome comments and questions.

For a trip down the slower paced road, here is a video that I tracked down my own personal educational technology journey, which helps me understand where I have been. This helps me move forward with newer technology.

Do you remember this technology?

(This video includes closed captions)

Thank You

Thank you for visiting my blog.   For more regular content on digital media, follow my Twitter @SpeedofLightOSU

I hope you have learned something that will be helpful.  Technology should always make our lives easier, not harder, so don’t be afraid to try new things out.

If you have further questions or need individual help you can email me at light.42@osu.edu

Digital Clutter Interactive Module

This interactive model breaks up the presentation on digital clutter into 4 sections.  The first is to show examples of digital clutter and determine where the user is coming from with a quiz.  Next, the learner would explore how to eliminate and organize computer files.  The third part explores how to declutter your email inbox.   Finally, the presentation explores social media and phone decluttering.

You can view the presentation created with Office Mix below.   This is best accessed on a PC, using Chrome or Mozilla browsers.

Usually, with digital immigrants, they do not know where to start with technology.   This multimedia interactive presentation will allow the learner to get a basic starting place to eliminating digital clutter in their lives.   This will help the user know what their weakness might be and further tools and techniques to strengthen it.

Multimedia Design Principles

Interactive learning object with video/audio Redundancy principle – Including graphics with audio minus the text so that the user is not overwhelmed.
Personalization and Voice Principle – By using audio in the author’s voice, it becomes more of a conversation style than formal.
Multimedia principle – Including words with pictures to illustrate a point, then only words.
Segmenting Principle – The presentation will allow the learner to explore at their own pace while giving them a defined path of learning.

If you can not view the office mix above or would like to view the Powerpoint offline, click here

Digital Overload Infographic

The infographic shows an image of a person’s room and the devices they may have in their home.  Using different parts of the image, I show how technology plays a role in a person’s life through 60 Seconds of Internet.  This shows what can happen in just 60 Seconds on the Internet and how various devices or digital content consume our time and cause overload.

 

Multimedia Design Principles

Signaling Principle – Content in the image will be organized and connect to the different parts of the image to signal remembering the concepts.

Pre-Training – This infographic will help pre-train a user to explore other content later on.

Multimedia principle – Including words with pictures to illustrate a point, then only words.

 

Download this Infographic here

 

Project Proposal

Here is the project proposal for my class project.  It can be downloaded here

speed

 

Topic for Instruction – Digital Overload

Technology can be overwhelming to a digital immigrant.  A digital immigrant is someone who grew up before common use of technology.  Digital clutter slows down your computer and fills up your smartphone over time and leaves you with little space to store your files and personal data.  Technology can either be distracting and weakens your productivity or it can make things smoother.  Learners will learn how to streamline digital devices so that they work for us rather than against us.

Target Learners

Attributes:

The typical learner is a 40-50-year-old person.  She has her bachelor’s degree and uses computers in her daily work.  She works in the educational field. Sally had computers towards the end of her college career, but mainly used them in college computer labs.

Values:

Because they are in the educational field, they value lifelong learning.   She wants to stay connected to her students through technology, but often feels as if she can’t keep caught up with all the latest and is overwhelmed.

Goals:

Wants to learn how to use technology to make her life easier.  Learner feels as if there is so many digital tools that it is hard to keep up with.  Between their phone, email, computer, and online resources they are overwhelmed.

Technical:

Learner bought into the latest iPhone, and contact with her kids and students.  She realizes she does not know all its features and wishes that her local Verizon store provided more training.   She has a laptop she brings home from work, but she does not use it much at home.   Her kids got her an iPad for Christmas, so she explores new apps, social media, and websites on that.

Learning Objectives

  1. Provide unbiased educational-based approach to learning about new technology.
  2. Help digital immigrants understand the latest technology.
  3. Show visitors what apps, technology, or products will help them save time, money, or automate a function in their daily routine.
  4. Be able to ask better questions when shopping for technology
  5. Put into practice what they learn on the site and teach others.
  • Infographic/illustration
    • Demonstrate how different parts of our lives are consumed by technology
  • Interactive learning object with video/audio
    • Explain ways to reduce and prevent digital clutter on your phone.
  • Interactive learning object with quizzing
    • Learn ways to focus uses of technology
    • Take an interactive quiz that helps learner determine how technology plays a positive or negative role.

Proposed Products

Infographic/illustration 

The infographic would show an image of a person and/or house.  Using different parts of the image, show how technology plays a role in a person’s life through statistics and examples.

Interactive learning object with video/audio 

A narrated interactive video or animation that shows how a learner how to reduce digital clutter on their phone.   Educator will share tips and tricks to reducing the clutter.

Interactive learning object with quizzing 

An interactive object that shows how technology plays a role in our daily lives.  Learners can take a quiz to see what type of digital user they are and what areas in their lives they could improve with technology.  Similar to a Myers Briggs Test.

Justification

Usually, with digital immigrants, they do not know where to start with technology.   These multimedia object will allow the learner to get a basic starting place and start exploring their current use and familiarity with technology.   The infographic will show the learner areas of their life they did not consider technology could play a role.  The interactive video will give practical examples and demonstrations about how to reduce digital overload.  Finally, the interactive quiz will show the learner how they approach technology.  This will help the user know what their weakness might be and further tools to strengthen it.

Multimedia Design Principles

Infographic/illustration 

Signaling Principle – Content in the image will be organized and connect to the different parts of the image to signal remembering the concepts.

Pre-Training – This infographic will help pre-train a user to explore other content later on.

Interactive learning object with video/audio with quizing

Redundancy principle – Including graphics with audio minus the text so that the user is not overwhelmed.

Personalization and Voice Principle – By using audio in the author’s voice, it becomes more of a conversation style than formal.

Multimedia principle – Including words with pictures to illustrate a point, then only words.

Segmenting Principle – The quiz will allow the learner to explore at their own pace, while giving them a direction to approach technology by breaking it into four types.

 

 

 

Teens and Tech

Remember the days of Legos and other toys that did not plug in? For those of you who have teenagers or if you are related to one, In this section, I share the ways that I balance parenting with technology. If you plan on handing a tech device over to your kids, these posts will help you be one step ahead of your teens.

Remember when you first got a phone that could also get on the web. I remember thinking that this phone has more memory than my (30 MB!) computer had in college.   While this was exciting at first, little did I realize as a parent how hard it is to keep up with technology in today’s fast pace world. Every time Facebook rearranges things or I get a new phone, I feel like I am starting back at square one.   It seems like technology changes at the speed of light.

Image of old Blackberry smart phone

My First Smartphone

As parents, we are also trying to keep up with our kids and the technology that they use. My hope is that by visiting my site, I can share with you what I have learned from researching current technology.   I also conduct field research with my own teens Justin (17) and Megan (14), as well as my teen leaders I work with in Hardin Couty 4- H Youth Development.

Image of pile of Legos

Don’t we wish technology was like Legos?

Social Scene

Just when you think you have mastered Facebook, there are all these other social media sites to join. I will help you navigate which ones are worth signing up for and for what purposes.

Image of colorful lights in a swirl pattern

Keeping track of all the social media choices can be overwhelming

Digital Clutter

We know what clutter is around the house or office, but what does it look like in the digital world?   Just like in real life, if we do not have a place for everything, digital clutter can creep up on us and make it difficult to get things done. Explore how to cut through all the digital clutter in our lives and get to the stuff that is meaningful and matters to us.  SIMPLIFY

 

Image of desktop clutter on a iMac

Even digitally our content can get overwhelming if it is not organized well.

Cleaning up your Facebook feed

So do you every wonder if you really need 1,500 Facebook “friends”?  Are they really your friend or did you just meet them somewhere and add them?  If you delete someone, then they might appear later on as a “suggested” friend and then you are busted.   Instead, you can hide that annoying coworker from your Facebook feed and customize it so that only your close family and friends show up.

 

Remove screen shot

To do this, hover over the right corner of the post.  An arrow is displayed.  By clicking on this it gives you options to hide this post, or unfollow that person.  This means they are still on your friend list and you can visit their page anytime you want.  But you don’t have too.   So sorry Rick, I really don’t care what you ate for dinner.

 

Gas Buddy

One of the key things I look for when I find an app is, “How will this save me money?”  This helps me justify the cost of my data plan and monthly cell phone bill.  Gas buddy is one of my go-to apps.

Image of gas buddy app icon

Image from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gbis.gbandroid

Gas buddy helps me plan out when I am going to get gas and where.   It works via crowd sourcing, so everyone who has the app can update the prices while they are at the gas station.  You can sort by price or distance.   My wife was at an away swim meet with my daughter.  She called her gas buddy (me) to find out where the gas was cheapest.  (Despite having the app on her phone she calls me).  I found it was $2.60 near her and $2.39 at a station on her way home.   $0.21/gallon x 20 gallons = $4.20 saved in one setting!

stock-photo-high-speed-internet-connection-concept-264792422

It also will alert me when gas will be going up, so that I can go on my lunch hour to fill up.  This app alone saves me over $500 a year and it is free to download on Android and Apple.

(speedometer image from shutterstock.com)

The Red Zone

Image of notification number on app icon

Eliminating the “red zone”

We see the number in red next to the app.   It overwhelms us because we can’t keep up, or we consistently check the app to eliminate that number.  Most of us do not have such pressing business that we need to know every time we get a message, new facebook post, or email.  The good news is that we can turn that feature off.   The messages still arrive, but we don’t feel the need to constantly click.  Learn more below.

Apple products

Screen Shot of shutting off notifications in app settings

Click on Settings > Notifications, and choose the specific app.  In Apple (iOS) the red number is called a badge, so to get rid of it, you slide that button to the left.  You can also disable any sounds for that app.  You can eliminate all notifications by shutting off the “Allow Notifications Button”.  For some apps like Gas Buddy, I still allow for notifications, because I want to know when gas is going up in my area, but I do not have to see the annoying red number beside the app.

Read more about notifications: http://www.tomsguide.com/us/turn-off-notifications-iphone,news-21195.html

Follow us: @tomsguide on Twitter

Android Products

Android makes it easier to get rid of.  When a notification comes up you can long press on the notification and it will take you to that app’s notification.  You can also adjust the notification by going to Settings > Apps > select the specific app.   Toggle off or uncheck “notifications”.

Read more about specific Android phones: http://www.digitaltrends.com/android/how-to-deal-with-android-notification-spam/#ixzz4BYsoH8pL
Follow us: @digitaltrends on Twitter