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Maariya’s LOA/A whole new view of this class

by on April 27, 2011

Yesterday I was just thinking about this entire class; thinking about our project, thinking about the different types of social media used, just thinking. And I came to the realization that this class (for me) is solely about the project being created, but about HOW the project was created. For our project we were told to use social media and create a prototype based around an issue that is important to you. We did that. We created a project based around “Half the Sky” a book that deals with issues of female sexuality, health, and education for women around the world; Topics that are very important to me and the other members of my group.

But what did I learn? I will be honest, when I came to this class I had already read “Half the Sky”, I had already taken courses related to women’s health, I knew how to use wordpress and twitter. So what changed? How I USED these tools. What I learned from this course, what I feel is the true outcome of our project, is re-learning how to work in groups using social media.

How do three busy women’s studies majors create a project on issues that are important to them? The first thing to look at is forms of communication. Twitter, Facebook, and email. While I had always thought Twitter was for individual use, I loved the way our group utilized it. For our group project, we created a Twitter account and gave the username and password to all group members. By doing this every group member could post any ideas they had about the project, and by including our initials at the end, we knew which group members said what. So what is the big picture? How does this apply outside of this project? What if we could utilize this feature for classes? How many times do multiple students send professors the exact same email, asking about an assignment. What if we could change this? What if students were able to post their questions on a twitter account, or link their twitter account to a general class account. That way if a student posted a question for their professor everyone could see the question and the answer that their professor posted. Thereby simplifying the process of sending and receiving emails from professors; something all students (and professors) get frustrated with. Another form of social media communication that we relied heavily on was Facebook. Anytime I needed to speak to one of my group members about a small issue I would first check to see if they were on Facebook. If they were I was able to find a quick and easy way to speak to them. The only problem I will say about Facebook is that it does not record these chat conversations, so I cannot look back and see what I may or may not have discussed with group members in the future.

The other major social media tool involved in re-learning how to complete group work is Google Docs. Prior to this class I had never used Google Docs before, and now I cannot praise it enough. Whenever I have completed group work in the past, especially if I was completing a Powerpoint presentation, the work was usually divided up evenly, until it came to the point where all of the individual powerpoint slides had to be combined into one complete powerpoint. Then the responsibility fell on one person. But this isn’t fair. As students, as professionals, we need to develop a system so that one person does not have to bear a heavier burden then another. Enter Google Docs. With Google Docs each group member was able to post the slides for their section of the project into a complete powerpoint. This not only enabled us to be able to combine our slides easier, but it also enabled group members to read each others sections and edit them.

Therefore, what I gained from this class, what I learned, and what has made me a better student, is re-learning how to work in groups. By re-learning tools for communication and by re-learning tools for completing group work, I feel as though the PROCESS of completing this project has taught me so much more than is represented in our prototype.

This blog, is also an important part of our project PROCESS because the ability to write this post and put it on this blog, enables me to explain what I have learned in this course in a way that no prototype would have been able to. Another way to think of this would be to say that the PROTOTYPE for our project, for this class, is this post. This post represents what this class means to me and is my own personal project prototype.

Maariya Bassa

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