I have used OneNote before during my undergraduate studies but found the interface difficult to use because of the need for me to insert mathematical symbol and equations meaning that I needed to be able to change from typing to drawing and back again quickly which required a touchscreen device. Instead, I used an online document coding tool called ShareLaTeX to write papers and took notes in class using a pen and paper or a normal word document linked to the cloud for easy access. ShareLaTeX is very easy to use once you get used to the coding language and can create complex documents that would not be possible through an ordinary word processor.
One of the social media sites that I used extensively while I was growing up was Vine. It was a video sharing platform that limited its content to six seconds looping video clips. Launched in 2012 the service had 200,000,000 users by 2015 and was popular amongst young people but was also used by performers to advertise concerts, album releases or just to inform fans of what they were doing. Twitter, the owner of Vine, partially shut down the service in 2016 disabling content and in 2017 archived the site so users can still view and download videos from the service but uploading, sharing and linking within the service is no longer possible. It was announced that the founder of Vine is about to launch V2 a similar platform to the original.
Open Educational Resources
I had some experience with OERs prior to this as we had used them at school, but I was unaware that they had grown to the extent that they have. It is interesting to see that it was, in fact, UNESCO that started the open education revolution, which now sees universities such as The University of Edinburgh, The Open University and MIT making educational resources available online. The resource that I chose to share here was an online course titled Prejudice Reduction Strategies and is available from OpenEd. It investigates the differences between stereotypes and prejudices, an interesting topic in the times of heightened tensions that we are in at this point in time.
The first example I am using is a Video of a Southwest Boeing 737-700 passenger airliner landing at Portland Airport (PDX). In the ‘Show More’ section of the video, it states that the media is posted with a “creative commons attribution licence (reuse allowed)”. By following this link, YouTube outlines that if you mark your work with a creative commons licence you, and others, are allowed to use this content subject to the licence granted to them, however, final copyright is retained by the owner. It is interesting that even if the video or images are reused it still requires an attribution to the original author despite it being posted on the largest video sharing website on the internet.
The second example is a Soundcloud Link for the remix of a DJ Khaled and Niki Manaj song. It is uploaded under a creative commons licence which allows for others to share and remix the original but they have to attribute the author in an appropriate way. The material cannot be used for commercial uses and must be reproduced under the same licence as the original. Soundcloud is quite an interesting platform as it has been criticised in the past for allowing copyright infringement by its users.
The accessibility of websites is something that has interested me for a while. Being Dyslexic, I often struggle with the layout of written work including how the text is coloured. One thing that I find has helped is in the increasing number of websites that allow you to access an accessibility mode, with some offering coloured filters which can help people suffering from visual stress, a condition prevalent in dyslexic individuals.
However, since coming to university I have been able to reduce the number of times that I use coloured filters. Because of this, I thought that it would be interesting to look at how people with visual impairments can struggle with accessibility on their phones. The American Foundation for the Blind has a number of guides for those with visual impairments. The one that I looked at spoke about the use of voiceover technology, magnification, and other accessibility features on the IPhone.
The resource can be found here:
The Bitmoji craze was something that I didn’t really understand, but with younger brothers, I was well aware of how widespread the fad was at a time. The interesting thought I had was that it was great that people were now able to express themselves using an image that looked like themselves. This comes in a culture of exclusivity in media, where the images we see on TV and social media are overwhelmingly populated by white faces, and there is no real attempt to provide a space for others.
Reading about how social media utilised the new access to racially segregated emojis to spread hate, racism, and bigotry didn’t particularly surprise me. This kind of abuse and intolerance was not created by these new emojis, in fact, the meanings of many existing emojis were subverted by racial undertones and used by many on social media in this way.
This exercise was interesting because it was something that I had thought about before and I regularly check my privacy settings on my phone. The interesting thing this time was that I also checked which apps were allowed to access my location and under what circumstances. Apps such as games automatically had access to my location when they had no obvious reason to. Other apps such as the Ski Tracking appl Snoww and travel apps such as Easyjet obviously have a reason to access your location, however, I made sure to alter these settings from ‘Always’ to ‘when using app’.