Author Archives: Nancy Smith

A Day in the Life of Nancy

My typical work day...

6:30 am
Once I wake up, I am now in the habit of NOT going on my phone right away like I used to. Instead, I head downstairs, and make my coffee and settle in to enjoy it on my couch. I do a scan on Twitter to get caught up the news. I have created a Twitter list - this is a really handy feature, you can create your own list that lets you curate the accounts you want to follow. I have several Twitter Lists - one of local media and national media that helps me keep current.

Here is a helpful video if you want to learn how to create a Twitter list of your own if you are interested




8:00 am
My work day is not teaching - as some of you know I am a marketing lead at the City of Calgary. My team is responsible for the social media accounts including: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

I connect with my co-workers using Microsoft Teams, we use the video call feature for meetings throughout the day and the chat to instant message.  This is a new tool since the COVID 19 pandemic, and I am really impressed with how it has reduced the number of emails but increased a sense of connection with my team.  We have had fun incorporating unique backgrounds for video calls, and using GIFS in the chats which help bring some personality to our interactions too.  Twice a week we do a virtual coffee chat, using the video call feature.  I love that we are able to talk about things other than work - like what Netflix series you are bingeing, (for me, it is Schitts Creek)


Throughout my day I am helping to: 

  • Create content for our channels - that could be a Livestream video of our media conferences of our Mayor or Chief Emergency officer
  • Respond to citizens - we get an average of 800+ incoming messages via social media per day
  • Setting the strategy for a campaign or initiative - this is where I actively seek ideas for how to be effective and innovative in how we share content.  I watch Youtube videos, follow other government org and brands on social media and get inspired!
  • Manage my team of 10 people

5 PM

I usually sign off work around 5 pm.  

Music is always playing in our home, and I love our wireless SONOS system to connect to Spotify 

I have a GOOGLE home hub - in my kitchen and will use it to guide me through a new recipe to cook for dinner.  "Ok Google, what can I make with asparagus?" And the screen will show/tell me the steps to take for my recipe.  Or play a Youtube video, or connect to the news.  I love it.



I am an avid podcast listener, so when I take my dog Ivy for a walk in the evening I am usually listening to one, or an audio book I have downloaded from the Calgary Public Library.  My favourites are usually non fiction and based on self development or marketing/business topics for my work.  Of course I wear my FITBIT to track my steps and to encourage me to be more active throughout the day.  

Spending time with my husband and son is really important to me.  Lately we have been watching the series "The Last Dance" about Michael Jordan together since we all love basketball.

Lastly, I might go on Youtube before going to bed to look up "How To Garden" videos.  I have always had a small garden but am trying to expand my growing horizons this year.

In summary, I would say that I am very connected to technology.  Not only do I love gadgets, but I am hyper connected to social media, through work and my own personal use.  I see the benefit to being able to source new ideas/inspiration and learning through audiobooks, podcasts and Youtube videos.

It was an interesting reflection to realize how much I rely on technology, and I'm curious to see how this compares to the rest of ECI830 class.  





Introduction

Hello!

I recognize many faces from previous courses in our grad studies.  It is nice to see you again and I am grateful to have such a great cohort of students to learn with.

If we haven't met, my name is Nancy Smith.  I decided to take my graduate studies after I met Dr. Couros at an event in Edmonton.  We were both speakers at the conference, and I was completely WOWED by his presentation.  I had contemplated going back to school for many years, but had never found a program that really motivated me to go for it.  I didn't just want to check a box and get through a program, I wanted to LEARN and grow from the experience.

So, here I am today.  I have taken 4 courses towards my Education and Curriculum graduate degree and am so grateful that I am.  I am always excited about our classtime, and eagerly share with my family and colleagues about what we are learning about and discussing in class.  Our Zoom calls are always a highlight of my week.

A little about me....

  • Calgary is my home.  I've lived here for 25 years.  
  • My undergraduate is from the University of Alberta
  • My career background is in Marketing.  I have worked for Travel Alberta, and I know work for the City of Calgary.  My area of specialty is social media marketing.  I have also had the pleasure of working on contracts to help brands including the Calgary Stampede, Sport Chek, Samsung and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
  • I have been teaching at Mount Royal University for 10 years - I teach a Marketing and Strategic Communications course and have taught social media classes there too.  I also teach at the University of Calgary - digital marketing and social media courses.
  • I really enjoy public speaking and have had great opportunities to speak at events across North America - and even overseas!
  • I wrote a book in 2018 to help parents navigate this new digital world and social media -
  • I am married (19 years) and we have one teen - a 14 year old son who is in Grade 9

Final Project EC&I 832 – Progress Update April 2020


Final Project EC&I 832 - Progress Update


Excuses, excuses...

I have to start by confessing, I made little progress on my final project.  I made some poor choices for the timing of my course work and as a result, my final project did not get much attention.   

In hindsight, I spent too much time researching and preparing for my content catalyst I really enjoyed working on the project and my video New Challenges of Literacy in a Fake News World.


I was ready to shift gears in early March after completing this to focus my attention on my final project, when life as we know it changed dramatically due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

As I adjusted to new realities that included:
- an increased work week for my role at the City of Calgary managing the digital communications for the Emergency Operations Centre,  I was working over 60+ hours
- teaching two courses online for the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University at the same time as taking EC&I 832
- adjusting to having my teen son at home - moving to online courses and trying to maintain some "normalcy" in his life
- worrying about my mom who lives in a seniors facility - she is now confined to her small apartment and was experiencing loneliness and some depression.
- caring for my neice who lives on her own but suffers from extreme anxiety.  My brother lives in Ontario, and has a chronic lung condition.  Although he wanted her to come home from her studies in Calgary, it wouldn't make sense for her, or for him.  To help out, I check in on her a couple of times a week and bring her food, groceries etc.

Ok, so that was very cathartic writing this down.  But enough of the excuses, here is my progress on my final project.

Digital Citizenship and Senior Citizens 

Here is the blog post outlining my ideas for my final project.

I was excited how this project would help evolve the work I have done on helping parents navigate the digital world for their teens, and instead I could help a new generation.

My initial plan was to:
  • research the current use of social media by seniors in Canada.  
    • I will research Stats Canada, and find other resources to help establish this information
  • conduct basic research of my own through a survey, interviews with seniors and a focus group
  • write a report that outlines my findings focusing on how seniors use social media, or don't use and why they don't
  • Prepare a basic resource to help seniors with navigating their participation in social media with a focus on digital citizenship including:
    • media literacy
    • online identity
    • responsible participation online.

Social Media Usage by Age 

I made progress in researching how different generations use social media and what platforms are most commonly used.  I wrote a blog post  that focused on research from 2019 on Western Canadian usage.  Not only did the research highlight the most commonly used platforms, but it provided context of what people hope to gain from their online experiences.  In general, people use social media to:


  • Staying in touch with friends and family
  • Finding a sense of community
  • Searching for solutions to problems or information
  • Looking for ideas or inspiration
  • Entertainment
  • Promoting professional endeavors
  • Expanding professional network
Additional resources for statistics on social media use by seniors include:

My Own Research

My plan was to conduct some basic research to validate the findings from the Insights West survey of western Canadians.

I created a survey using Google Forms and had arranged with Amica Senior Lifestyles - a private seniors residence facility in Calgary to distribute the survey via their resident enewsletter.  I met with the General Manager, Catherine Russell on March 6th and she agreed to allow me to request residents to participate.  We also discussed the potential of hosting a series of free workshops for her senior residents to participate in that would focus on digital citizenship and safety online.  I would develop these workshops free of charge in exchange for the participation of her community.

Plans changed

On March 12th, I received a call from Catherine Russell advising me that the the Amica Aspen Woods had a new policy that no visitors would be allowed in their building due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  To ensure the safety of their residents, and to limit geographic spread she requested that we postpone the project until the pandemic subsides.  

Of course, this is totally understandable AND considering all that was going on in my life, it was a reality of my availability too.

The good news is that I had previously discussed this project with Dr. Couros, and we had discussed the possibility of doing this as a project towards my grad studies.  So, although I did not make much progress on my project for now, I will continue this at a later date.




 



My Digital Identity



This week in EC&I 832, we were asked to reflect on the idea of digital identity and how our past, present and future practices relate to our own identity online

In our weekly Zoom session, Daina and Allison presented their video in class this week that focused on providing an overview of digital identity.

My key takeaway on digital identity is that it is who and how we are represented online.  We select which apps, how we portray ourselves through our username, bio, profile picture and the content that we share.  This may vary depending on the app/social platform.

As an example, here are my profiles on social media:

Facebook - I use to connect with friends and family - I share moments from my life, things I like, experience and feel.  It is more personal

Twitter - I use to connect with others on thoughts and ideas.  Many of my connections on Twitter are with people I have never met in real life.  I rarely share personal photos or experiences with my family on Twitter.  It is more "surface" level

Instagram - I share posts of my things I enjoy - hiking, gardening, my dog, going to my son's basketball games

Linkedin - I connect with colleagues and network professionally.  I rarely post updates, unless it is an article related to my work that I find interesting.

It is interesting to evaluate how I use the different social media platforms and what I choose to share on them. 

Social media has had a HUGE impact in my life both personally and professionally.

Ever since I was young, I have been fascinated with connecting with people.  When meeting new people, I LOVE to hear their story.  Who are they?  Do we share something in common?

So, when social media launched I was immediately hooked.

My first social network was a Facebook account.  It was amazing to be able to connect online with my large family that are scattered throughout the world.  I recognized quickly that I could connect with people instantly and loved staying current on what they were up to in life.  In 2008 it was my high school reunion, and I planned the entire event using Facebook to connect with former classmates!


I joined Twitter in 2007 - it is one of the only platforms that I was able to secure my username @nsmith - this was a great feat considering how common my last name is!  It took me a long time to figure out what Twitter was or how I would use it personally/professionally.  I focused most of my effort on building my personal brand as a social media professional and connected with many like minded professionals globally.  It was amazing to me that if I tweeted at someone like an author that I liked - sometimes they would reply back!  I was able to have a conversation with people that I would not otherwise have access to in real life.

My career shifted in 2010 from being a marketer responsible for creating marketing campaigns to promote Alberta as a destination to visit with Travel Alberta and I moved to creating social media accounts for the organization.  It was a defining moment in my career and I was fortunate to become one of the first wave of professionals for social media.  Yes, I got paid to be on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all day :)

I was able to experiment with different types of content and loved the opportunity to connect with people around the world on a shared interest - Alberta!  I discovered the power of community and started to share content from real people who would take beautiful photos while experiencing the Province.

Since then I have been fortunate to work in the field of social media and have helped many brands and companies on how to use social media effectively for marketing and communications.  Currently I work with the City of Calgary and we are changing how we connect, inform and engage with citizens using social media.

Today I actively use Facebook for staying in touch with friends and family, Twitter to find out what is happening in the world and about topics I care about, Linkedin to connect with colleagues and network professionally, and Instagram to be inspired with beautiful photos and to share images of things I love like hiking, my dog and my garden.

I love to help people navigate how they can use social media effectively and I currently teach social media courses at Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary.  I also speak at conferences and give workshops on the topic.

So, I guess you can say my relationship with social media is pretty strong.


Digital Citizenship is Universal

Although the digital citizenship project states that,

"Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology. Digital citizenship is the continuously developing norms of appropriate, responsible, and empowered technology use. "

The focus of the digital citizen project is on students and schools.  I think that the need to learn digital citizenship is universal, no matter the age of the person.  

As you may recall, my final project will focus on our senior population (aged 65 years of age and older) and I have tried to apply Mike Ribble’s nine elements with that audience in mind.

The Digital Citizenship definition is not age-specific, so it is applicable for all generations:

Digital citizenship is the continuously developing norms of appropriate, responsible, and empowered technology use.

The goals of Digital Citizenship are also universal:

-To lead and assist others in building positive digital experiences

-To recognize that our actions have consequences to others

-To participate in a manner for the common good


Here is my interpretation of Ribble's Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship to a Senior Citizen demographic:



1.   Digital Access is about the equitable distribution of technology and online resources. 
How can we provide access to those who may or may not have digital devices?  
Many libraries and senior centres provide free access to computers and tablets. For example, the Calgary Public Library provides members use of Chromebooks for up to three hours per visit.  

2. Digital commerce the electronic buying and selling of goods. 
I had assumed that senior citizens may be apprehensive about shopping online however, I found several articles online that proved me wrong.  In an article from 2019 in a magazine for retailers, Ixtenso the results of an online survey of 1,000 senior citizens showed that nearly 40 percent of those aged 65 years and older use the internet to shop.  Seniors need to continue to learn how to be effective consumers online to ensure safety and be aware of the issues associated with it.

3. Digital communication  the electronic exchange of information
The opportunities to communicate and connect online can be valuable for seniors who may not be mobile or may live away from friends and family.  Seniors can connect with friends and family via devices connected online, email, video chat, social media or messaging apps.  They can also find online support groups, play games online with others or participate in online learning.  

4. Digital Literacy the process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology.
Stereotypes depicting seniors as neither able or willing to learn need to be replaced with the idea of "lifelong learners".  New technology that may be unfamiliar from their previous professional careers should be introduced and seniors need to learn how to use the technology appropriately.  


In this Ted talk - Doug Belshaw discusses some of the technological challenges that older adults face including the "swiping" feature and how to access menu options on websites and apps that are often frustrating to many seniors.  It was really interesting to hear his perspective on this difference in ability to comprehend how technology works across different demographics

5. Digital Etiquette code of conduct on digital technologies 

Well-intentioned seniors who are on social media may not realize all of the nuances of the platforms.  It is important to provide acceptable rules of conduct for example, explain which platforms are public vs private messaging.

6. Digital Law electronic responsibility for online actions 
Digital law focuses on the laws of society and how technology is used.  Unethical use can include theft, identity crimes, illegal downloading music/movies etc.  Education on how to protect your identity, creating secure passwords and online safety are important for all generations including seniors.



7. Digital Rights and Responsibilities  freedoms extended to everyone online 
Basic digital rights and how technology should be used appropriately must be taught, discussed and understood by all who choose to participate online. 

8 . Digital Health and Wellness  physical and psychological well being in a digital world
This is an area that is typically concerned about the physical issues such as eye safety or psychological and mental health issues due to quantity of time spent online.  However, it would be interesting to consider how digital health and wellness could improve lives for seniors.  Access to medical assistance, video calls with medical teams, wearables and other options could help motivate and monitor seniors health.  For example, I gave my 83 year old mother a FitBit device for Christmas and she has reported that she has increased her daily activity and steps with the tracking device.  She can also monitor her heart rate which is important since she has a heart condition.

9. Digital Security electronic safety precautions 
Everyone is at risk to scams and other security issues online, and seniors are no exception.  We must teach how to protect ourselves, and our private information when online for seniors. 
Seniors need to practice critical thinking skills to help judge the validity of online offers and requests vs. a scam - these can be very hard to identify no matter what your age.








How different generations use social media


This week we reviewed Generational Frameworks and how we are grouped by generational spans and how this relates to digital literacy

In addition to what we covered in class regarding the generational bands, I wanted to share some research on how Canadians use social media and specifically what apps they use.  The research is from Insights West  a Vancouver based research company.

I thought others might be interested to know what social media platforms are used by what generations most commonly.

Here are some of the findings:



Social media has different degrees of use among different age groups. Facebook and Instagram are growing among all ages and Facebook is at the stage where its use is almost equal among all ages (Instagram still skews younger).

YouTube gains are with those 55+ rather than those that are younger (where there is less room to grow).

Reddit has quite significant penetration among the 18-34 year old age group but not across the other age groups.



Traditionally, social media has been associated only with younger generations.  But today, the use spans across all generations.  Two key reasons could be ease of access to the internet and increase in ownership of connected devices like smartphones and tablets.  

Of course, knowing which social media platforms different generations use is only one part of the equation.  The next question would be, what are the different generations doing on these social media channels?

What people hope to gain from their experience online drives their social media habits, and people use different platforms for various reasons such as:

Staying in touch with friends and family
Finding a sense of community
Searching for solutions to problems or information
Looking for ideas or inspiration
Entertainment
Promoting professional endeavors
Expanding professional network
Ultimately, people’s social media habits are shaped by their individual preferences and interests, which are also influenced by their age and generation but not always.

Another research marketing company, PostBeyond shared a whitepaper called Social Media for every generation.  It is one of the only research papers I could source that provides more specific examples of how generations use the different social media channels. For example, it states that Baby Boomers are likely to share content about their families on Facebook, research information about work on Linkedin and watch video content on Youtube.  It also states that adoption rates for Baby Boomers will continue to increase as their comfort with social media grows.

This defines the generational divide when it comes to technology.  I would like to find more research on digital literacy and comfort with older generations.  It is the opposite of what we discussed in class about digital natives.  I really liked a quote from Alec when he stated:

"through context, immersion and practice (they) learn"
This is universally true across all generations.  And this is why I think a focus on digital citizenship for all generations is equally important, not just for our youth.  Stay tuned for more on this as I work on my final project :)

Key Learnings about our Guest Speaker – Mary Beth Hertz


This week we were fortunate to have Mary Beth Hertz  as a guest speaker in our class.


She is the author of Digital and Media Literacy in the Age of the Internet  and is a high school teacher, advocate for technology and a mom from Philadelphia PA.

I always appreciate the opportunity to hear from others who are working with teens everyday.  Here are some of the key takeaways I gained from her presentation:

One of their core values at school is collaboration.  They are also inquiry-based - projects are based around questions.  They dive deeper into the course material vs. a traditional school that may only skim the surface to prepare students to pass a test.  (I love the practicality of this.)

She decided to write this book because she teaches an "Intro to Tech" course at her school, to prepare the students because they each have a laptop for their own use throughout high school.  It was intended to provide them with a hands-on session for all Grade 9 students including aspects of digital literacy, digital citizenship and media literacy.

She straddles the complex world of understanding how tech and computers work but also we use the internet everyday.

She teaches her students how to understand how the device they use connects them with a larger web - including privacy and safety concerns,  wifi access, internet of things, and the complexity of using devices whether they are smart speakers, webcams or their smartphones.  She admitted that doing the research for this book made her a little paranoid about all that can go wrong.

On a personal note, I am always interested to hear that people are concerned about the devices they use such as an Alexa or Google Smart speaker.  My home is a Google Hub and I love the ability to play music, podcasts, research recipes and so much more.  Clearly, I need to do more research on the risks, because right now, the only thing that happens is I will get served an advertisement for something I have already searched using my Smart Home.  I question what nefarious activities can happen with this data knowing that I like to cook plant powered recipes?   Although I did appreciate Alec's comments about reports of devices being hacked and homes being infiltrated, and the vulnerabilities, but  I wonder how common that is? I have ensured my privacy settings and passwords are unique and as secure as I can.

I liked her point that in order to be digitally literate, we need to try to understand some of the concerns about the privacy and access of their information when they are online.  I also agree that many companies blame the user, rather than informing the public on how to properly secure their devices and provide education on tech literacy.

This infographic is from her blog post where she discusses how in her class she teaches kids how the internet works.  I completely agree with Mary Beth that everyone should have a basic understanding of how the internet works.  And that this infographic summarizes her key reasons why. The themes are critical to digital literacy and include Privacy, Security and Troubleshooting.

There was some discussion about the pros and cons about cookies.  I liked the balanced perspective she raised, and that we should be aware of the commercialization of our data.

I shared an example of a podcast that I just listened to that discussed this very concept - IRL  - and what we need to know about our data and our privacy.  So when Mary Beth had a fan girl moment about Manoush Zomorodi - I had yet another reason why I liked her.  We share a mutual respect for the body of work (Note to Self, IRL and her book "The Bored and Brilliant")

Here is a link to Manoush's TedTalk:



The conversation between Alec and Mary Beth about Dana Boyd's work really resonated with me.  They talked about the WHY people do what they do when they use technology and how her book "Its complicated" focuses on that it isn't the tools or technology.  It is the idea that it is what the tools offer us that keeps us using social media.  The need to be noticed, to feel connected, the feeling that you are visible to many others.... EXACTLY!

"Understand the world we live in.  There is value to technology and social media in our lives.  Don't judge it."  Mary Beth Hertz

So many great ideas shared in our class tonight from our guest speaker, our instructor and within our chat!














Final Project Idea – EC& I 832 Digital Citizenship


My plan for the final project is to focus on creating a resource for digital citizenship for a group of people who are often not considered when we focus on digital & social media -


Senior Citizens 


This project hits close to home for me.  My mom is 83 years old and moved into a seniors residence this past year.  My mom is a very tech-savvy octagenarian, for example, she uses her iPhone and iPad to connect with friends and family on Facebook, uses Twitter to get up-to-date with news and current affairs, and reads at least 2 books a week using an online reading app where she downloads books from the library.

Many of her friends in her new residence are open to wanting to learn how to use social media, like Facebook.  However, there is some hesitation in getting started because they are fearful of how to do it, or how to use it properly.  I think there is a great opportunity to help seniors learn more about digital citizenship, how to use social media safely and responsibly.

I personally love the extension this project would take from my previous work in helping parents navigate the digital world for their teens, and instead could help my generation help navigate this space for their parents!

For this project, I would need to:

  • research the current use of social media by seniors in Canada.  
    • I will research Stats Canada, and find other resources to help establish this information
  • conduct basic research of my own through a survey, interviews with seniors and a focus group
  • write a report that outlines my findings focusing on how seniors use social media, or don't use and why they don't
  • Prepare a basic resource to help seniors with navigating their participation in social media with a focus on digital citizenship including:
    • media literacy
    • online identity
    • responsible participation online.
I would really appreciate your feedback on this idea.  Do you have any suggestions or ideas on how I can improve this project?  Do you agree/disagree that this would be helpful for this group of people?

Introduction


Hello!

I am really pleased to be a part of this course with you.  This will be my third course towards my M. Ed and this is a topic I am really interested in.

I am keen to explore and learn more about how people express themselves, create identities and connect with others online.  I want to hear about your experiences and understand how others are using digital/online/social media for connection.

When I think of digital citizenship - I think there is so much opportunity for people to connect and learn from others by observing, participating and collaborating online.  Citizenship involves activation participation rather than passive consumption.

For those of you who I haven't had a class with yet, here is a little about me:

- I live in Calgary - and am a born and raised Alberta girl
- I turn 50 this year!
- I am married to a great guy who I met 24 years ago at the Canmore Highland Games.  We have been married for 19 years
- I have a son who is 14.  It is amazing to watch him grow both literally and figuratively.  He is 6 ft 4 and is still growing :)  But he is becoming an awesome young adult that I am immensely proud of.
- I have a beagle - she is loud, but super cute.
- I teach adults how to use social media - I am an instructor at the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University
- I really enjoy speaking at events, and I speak at conferences on marketing and social media
- I wrote a book for parents on how to navigate social media and technology with a positive perspective for their tweens/teens
- My favourite things to do are: spend time with my family and our friends, hike in the mountains, cook, garden, and read.




Nancy Smith Grad Studies 2019-12-11 04:57:00


Summary of Major Digital Project

For my major digital project for EC&I 831, I completed Option A: to undertake a major digital project that involves the integration/development of open educational resources related to my practice.

Specifically, I worked on creating a parent education initiative on social media.  

In March of 2018, I self-published a book, Social Citizens: A Positive Approach to Social Media & Parenting in a Digital World.  I wrote the book in response to a negative experience I had attending a parent session on social media safety at my son's school.  The session focused on all of the dangers of social media rather than explore how parents can help guide their kids in responsible use.  I found the session to be very extreme and the audience was left with many frightening examples of cyber-bullying, sexting and child pornography.  The advice was to discourage kids from using it as long as possible.


That advice did not resonate for me, so I shared a post on Facebook about my frustration



The response was overwhelmingly supportive (63 post reactions, and 48 comments).  My friends and family encouraged me to share the knowledge that I have as a practitioner and social media educator and apply it to help parents.

My focus was on speaking at schools, education conferences and for parent groups.  I had a business coach who was encouraging me to find ways to "monetize my knowledge" and that there were great opportunities to reach a large audience and profit from this.  This advice never resonated with me.  It wasn't the reason I was motivated to do this project, nor did the advice align with my values.

So, when our professor Dr. Alec Couros challenged us with creating a major digital project, I thought it was a good opportunity to leverage the work I had done and build out more resources that would be free/open to all.
I used the materials I wrote and researched for my book as the core content for my project.   
The digital project would build my website www.socialcitizens.ca and my Facebook page 

I shared my project idea with our class in this blogpost on September 24:   https://nancysmithgrad.blogspot.com/2019/09/for-my-final-project-eci831.html


It was validating to get feedback from other students that my idea would be valuable as a resource:


Little did I know at the time that this would be the easiest part of the project - coming up with the idea.  The hard part would become a reality over the month of October.

A few weeks later, I wrote this blog as an update on my progress:
https://nancysmithgrad.blogspot.com/2019/10/update-on-my-final-project-october-2019.html

I realized I had no idea where to start. So, I created a list and determined the priorities I would need to learn to complete.

1. I would need to learn how to use the website platform Squarespace so I could add pages to my website and build out the content

2. Determine content plan for my website, which I divided into two phases:

Phase 1: build out content for my existing book.  I spent over 10 months writing and researching the material, so it is important to leverage this.  Specifically, I will:

- record audio version to be uploaded as either an audiobook or podcast (still in research mode to determine which I will do)

I was eager to learn about podcasting, and it was beneficial that this timing coincided with the week in our course where we were reviewing tools & technology that could help build open education content.  Several students, including myself, wrote blogs about the app Anchor.fm

I had tried recording using Audacity and Garageband, but found the process to be confusing and overwhelming.  I had previously I reached out to a friend who is a podcaster Ernest Barbaric , and who runs an annual Podcasting Conference called Podsummit.  He helped me get a professional recording microphone and gave me some great advice on the audio recording process.  However, I found being the perfectionist that I am prone to, I was overwhelmed.  Instead, I committed to trying the app I had reviewed, Anchor.fm

The actual research and recording process from start to finish took me approximately 20hours.  I rehearsed, recorded, re-recorded and finally published the series of podcasts that would act as an audiobook

Here is the audiobook/podcast series https://anchor.fm/socialcitizens

I was surprised when I looked at the analytics that I have had over 150 plays of my podcast episodes.  I was happy to see that they were all on the Planet Earth (I love that the app is FUN and easy to use) but was really interested to see that 60% of my listeners were in the United States!






Here is the blog post update after I completed my podcast series:

My November update https://nancysmithgrad.blogspot.com/2019/11/final-project-update-november-4-2019.html

Realizing my goal of learning how to add to my website proved to be more challenging than I anticipated.  I found some resources online that I used including on Lynda.com, Youtube and Udemy.  And I was successful in building out the framework and content of the site.

I have added new pages, and have continued to work on content but must admit this did not get close to my goal for completion.

I guess the good news is, now I know how to do it, and I can continue to make progress and add to it every month.

I am pleased with the efforts I made on my Facebook page - during the timeline of this project I shared 27 facebook posts - and my Facebook analytics show that my content reached over 1,400 people across North America.  I am always amazed at how social media can help share your message!

In summary, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to share my ideas/opinions/knowledge with these resources that are open for anyone to access.