Tool #1: Google Docs:
I have been using Google Docs since I was in school, so it’s a tool tools I am familiar with. I learned a new feature of this tool through this class, and it’s that there is a commenting feature. At the beginning of the semester when we were annotating the syllabus, we were asked to comment on it, and I learned then that I can comment, and reply to my classmate’s comments. I hadn’t really used Google Docs before with multiple people, I always used it to write my papers and know it’ll save automatically. I see this tool suitable for group assignments, because we can comment right away what we think rather than call or text each other, makes the process of competition quicker. But I don’t think this tool would be suitable for large groups of people, in this course we once viewed Google Docs with hundreds of comments on it. I found it to be hectic and confusing. I didn’t develop a new skill from using this tool, because I had already used it before a lot. What I like about this tool is that it saves automatically, and what I don’t like about it is that its copy and paste is different the regular laptops copy and paste, so that sometimes bothers me. I learned about myself that I am unaware of so many features of Google Slides although I have been using for years. Which shows that I am a person who doesn’t explore technology and I just use it to the most basic of its capabilities. I didn’t really use Google Docs often in this course because I did all my reflections directly on the blog, but I enjoy using this tool. I plan on using it in the future because it is convenient, and it saves automatically. so I will continue using it in the future like how I used it in the past, while writing papers I write over a few days. But I will start using it in group projects as well.
Tool #2: Google Slides:
Similar to Google Docs, Google Slides saves automatically too which is very convenient. I learned that it has a linking feature that allowed me to use it for my game. I learned this feature in class, the link feature allows me to link slides to words or phrases, and this feature made it very suitable for me to use it for my game. It’s also suitable for group projects, and I already use it with my classmates in other courses when doing a project. Just like with Google Docs, I learned that I am not a technology curious person, and there are definitely more cool hacks like the links that I just haven’t discovered yet. I like about this tool that it saves by itself, because that is very comforting to me to not stress that what I write will get deleted. Through this tool, I developed my digital skills in “create and innovate”, I created the game using this tool, so I was able to learn a new skill to create a new resource. I will definitely use this tool in the future, and I will try to incorporate the links in my presentations, like maybe at the end having two options “did you enjoy my presentation?” and then “yes” or “no,” and depending on which one my audience press they get a sad face or a happy face. It a cool trick to use.
Google Slides and Google Docs are almost identical besides the obvious difference that one is a word document, and one is slides. They both share most of their features, and I plan on using both in the future.
Tool #3: Slack:
I learned to use Slack through this course, it was our means of communication with the Dr and as a class. It substituted emails and it was very similar to WhatsApp or iMessage’s, but its more appropriate for school, as it doesn’t share personal information, or online offline features like WhatsApp does. By using this tool, I learned that we could react with agree/disagree and happy face/sad face on it, besides texting. I also learned that we can create groups, like I did when I created one with my partner and I and the Dr when asking about the project. I think Slack is suitable for messaging professors or talking as a class, because it’s like texting, easy to access and see the messages and reply, but more professional. I learned about myself that sometimes I don’t hold a strong opinion, and Slack allowed me to be neutral in class discussions, because in class we were sometimes asked to share on Slack rather than speak in real life. I found that to be great, because some days I wasn’t in the mood to put myself out there and talk to people and sharing my thoughts behind a screen felt more comfortable. But typing my opinions behind a screen allowed me to learn how to formulate my opinion quickly and type it on the spot and in a few short sentences. I liked about this tool that it allowed me to get quick answers from my professor, because sometimes emails take too long to be replied too. Another thing I really liked about Slack is that it broke the tension between us as students and the professor, it allowed us to be kind of “friends” with her and talk casually, which I found was really nice and even beneficial in class discussions, because I didn’t feel intimidated by the Dr. But something I didn’t like about this tool is that sometimes I would not see messages for days because not all the notifications were delivered on my phone. But I enjoyed using this tool and i hope I could use it again in coming classes. I find it only suitable for classes not my personal life, for me it’s only beneficial as professional messaging tool.
Tool #4: Google Forms:
I didn’t use this tool in this course, but I used it in a few of my other courses. I think this tool is very cool because I can choose the exact settings I want while creating my survey, and that is what I learned by using it. My first time to use it was last semester, and I learned that I can choose who takes my survey, if only AUCians, or anyone with Gmail, or just people I allow access to, etc. I think this tool is very suitable for conducting primary research for certain projects and papers. I learned about myself that I like organization and this tool doesn’t always give me organized results and that sometimes irritates me. A skill I developed by using this tool is how to filter who takes my survey, and how to have more people take my survey the key is sending it in big groups. Something I don’t like about it is the way it presents the tables of results. If I had an option as other it just puts all the other in one segment, I would’ve rather it put each given answer in the pie chart/ bar graph, rather than all of them under other, just for accuracy purposes. By using this tool I developed my digital literacies skill to create a survey and conduct research. I will use this tool again whenever I have to conduct primary research, because it is more efficient that manually asking one person at a time, and then documenting the data. It just makes the whole process very easy and quick. But if I find another tool that does the same job but deliver more organized results ill switch to it.
Tool #5: Soliya’s Platform:
I learned how to write an introduction about myself to strangers. Often in classes at the beginning of the year when were asked to talk about ourselves I get confused what should I share that would be interesting but not personal. I learned to so, from the Soliya introduction post. I think the platform was suitable for the Soliya sessions, because when I opened the website and and pressed on my group number, I was immediately redirected to our zoom session. I learned about myself that I was curious to know more about the participants in the meeting with me, so I went and read their introductions. I liked about this tool that it allowed me to read their introductions before joining the first session. But I didn’t like that the website looked messy and confusing Using this tool, I developed the skill of talking in front of people and not panicking. I also developed the attitude to be proud that I’m of a culture they don’t know, and I have the chance to tell them about it. Lastly, I developed my digital literacies through the Soliya sessions, because I got to practice my second language, and have meetings with people of different cultures. I was using a new form of technology to learn. Lastly, I don’t plan on using this tool again because I don’t plan on joining any Soliya sessions again. I didn’t enjoy the experience and I don’t think I benefited much from it.
I chose to talk about the tools that I found to be important, or ones I learned something new in. Each of the tools I analyzed serve a different purpose and need, one for easy communication, one for writing, one for working in groups etc. In my opinion, Google Docs and Slides are the most convenient tools to use when writing papers that you leave and come back to and don’t want to worry that they’ll be deleted. They’re also super suitable for group projects as all users can use it and are up to date. As for Slack, it is like the university appropriate version of WhatsApp, it allows for quick replies, and the comfort of messaging and it takes away from the formality of sending an email, while maintain privacy. I would definitely use these three tools again, because I think they are very suitable, and I like them. As for Google Forms, if I find a better alternative ill switch to it, but if I don’t, I am okay with using this tool, it still does the job and makes it much easier than doing it manually. As for Soliya’s platform I don’t want to or plan on using it again, the whole experience with it wasn’t good.