Comment on Personal Learning Network by Page

Hi Brooke,
Interesting observation on the difference between having your personal identity online and having a presence online. I hadn’t given much thought to them as separate things before, but you are totally right that one can have a major presence online without anybody knowing his/her real-life identity.

Comment on A Quiet Place by Page

Hi Alison,

I agree! I’ve been to the center and I hadn’t thought of it in relation to this class, but it’s actually a perfect place to do the mindfulness and breathing exercises we did at the beginning of the quarter. I love the center. It even has pillows (and maybe blankets, but I can’t remember) for you to take and set up a spot to just relax and meditate. I think at this point it’s still a hidden treasure of campus.

Also, if you haven’t been to the new “meyer” (Lathrop Library), I highly recommend it. It’s very different from the contemplation center, but if you are there when it isn’t very busy you can take an entire cubicle/couch for yourself and just face out the window. I like it at night.

Thank you co-learners

Hi Everyone!

This will be my last post officially for this class, and I just want do thank you all so much for your enthusiasm and for sharing a bit of your knowledge with me. Throughout the quarter I learned so much from your learner lectures, and it is such a privilege to get to know you.

I think we definitely got into a groove towards the latter half of the quarter when we started going a little out there with our learner lectures, and I loved it. My favorite moments from the course were learning from your tips about social and knowledge capital, discussing music services, and getting to hear about your experiences when we broke out into whiteboard groups. Also, the tumblr and vine lectures will forever be some of my favorite moments from fall quarter as a whole.

Co-lecturing has really made it clear that we all have so much to offer already, and for me it was an especially important reminder to always be asking questions to learn from my peers. One part of this class that stood apart from others was the overlap between our own experiences and the opportunities to use what we are particularly fluent in to teach one another and to learn more, as well. Betty’s lecture on Youtube monetization pulled in aspects of culture that I’d known about and taught me things I hadn’t known before. It’s a refreshing and fascinating way to learn.

I hope to take more courses with you this year. Please add me on Facebook—I really hope to build on what we’ve started. If anyone is interested in another dinner, I’d love to help coordinate it. I hope to see you in Professor Rheingold’s winer course!

Favorite Tools from Class

Professor Rheingold put together a fantastic list of interactive media for presentations at

Over the quarter I’ve experimented with about half of them, and I wanted to share my favorites.

Storify (obviously).

Wix (!) This is such a great tool! I highly recommend it. I wish I’d known about this site two years ago when I was first trying to figure out how to make a website. I like Wix because I can easily get a feel for what makes a design pop out and stand apart for being especially easy to use or nice to look at and interact with. Does anybody else have experience using Wix, or anything that you’d recommend that is similar? I think Squarespace is likely similar, so I’m going to try Squarespace next.

Next up for my to try are, visme, and projeqt. Does anybody have any experience with those?

Thinking Inception

Simply put, metacognition is thinking about thinking.  In her overview of metacognition, Jennifer Livingston explains, though what exactly that means.  Livingston, mirroring expert John Flavell’s approach, splits metacognition into two categories: knowledge and experiences/regulation.  Metacognitive knowledge is knowing how people learn information. It encompasses both general knowledge (such as: people retain information more if they write it down) and also personal knowledge (such as: I am a kinesthetic learner and like to learn by doing rather than being talked at).  Metacognitive experiences are processes people use to control cognitive activities.  Quizzing oneself after learning material is metacognitive because it is testing cognitive retention.

The overview was super informative, especially given I had never heard of metacognition.  However, I was wondering about her paragraph about intelligence.  Is she saying that intelligent people have a natural aptitude for metacognition or that by improving ones metacognitive abilities, then one can be smarter?


Mind Your Mindfulness

This week’s assignment was interesting and something I had never thought to do.  I did my daily word mindmap on productivity, so I kept thinking about whether or not I was being productive when I noticed the post it on my computer.  More often than not, I was on Facebook or searching for music online– opposite of my goals for productivity.  I did not notice, too much, any change in my breathing.  I was surprised when we discussed how people get stressed out reading emails, literally holding their breathes.  When I wake up early enough to enjoy time just reading my morning emails, I always find it enjoyable not stressful.

I also noticed the post it less when I was really into whatever work I was doing.  While writing, I normally take forever to get an outline and figure out what I want to say, but in fact write very quickly and intensely.  In those moments of intensity and concentration, I rarely paid attention to the post it.  But while less engaged I almost found the post it itself a distraction.  Overall this exercise made me realize that I do need to develop better focusing/mindfulness skills.  It would be interesting to do this exercise periodically as a way to gauge how I am improving those skills.




A Quiet Place

For this week’s assignment I decided to capitalize on my dorm’s proximity to Stanford’s new Contemplation Center.  Honestly, it is amazing.  If you have not visited, you definitely should.  It is truly relaxing, and utilizes nature in the architecture which is awesome.  Even though it is right next to busy Santa Teresa, inside you feel very relaxed. The pond and open air room contribute to the natural and peaceful feeling.

At first, I found meditation to be difficult and almost stressful.  I am naturally figety and kept wanting to move and reposition myself.  However, through focusing on my breathing, I was actual able to reach a higher state of relaxation.  It really surprised me, but was also extremely rewarding.  I certainly want to continue to visit the Contemplation Center and meditate throughout this quarter.

I also found a useful resource in Spotify’s Guided Meditation playlist.  I went to sleep a couple times listening to this, but it certainly helped with relaxation.


WikiTalk: Obama

I decided to look at Barack Obama’s Talk Page. As a current and prominent public figure, I guessed his page would elicit a lot of controversial talk. Also I was curious about how contributors planned to remain unbiased and objective in their analysis of Obama. Many news stations present seemingly objective information about politics, and Obama’s policies specifically, yet somehow manage to depict contradictory views of the President.

The talk page begins with a discussion about whether Obama is in fact the nation’s first Black president. I was surprised about how conversational and opinionated the talk page was, given the goal of objectivity for Wikipedia pages. This segment was entitled, “Obama….the first African-American President … really?” The sarcastic title intrigued me. The contributor went on to express her anger at people constantly calling Obama the first Black president when in fact he is only half Black. Overall I found the conversation to be pretty ignorant. Another person responded that he probably identifies as Black because he is in the minority. The contributor said. “In the United States, there are less African Americans than whites. I’m sure he’d be the first “white” president if all the U.S. presidents and the founders had been from Africa.” What? Mixed people in the U.S. don’t identify as Black because they’re a minority… they do so because historically they had no choice in the matter. Legally, the “one drop rule” defined race for Black people of mixed backgrounds. Someone else said that Obama is a mullato, citing Yahoo’s definition of mullato.

Herein lies my issue with crowdsourced knowledge. People act as if collective intelligence is intrinsically unbiased because so many more people have a say. However, it also means that the knowledge will reflect the biases of the day. For example, many people (clearly) are ignorant of many theories about Black racial identity. So, a collective conversation about Obama’s race would reflect that ignorance. Perhaps there are times when expert opinion can actually lead to more objective results.

That being said, it is cool to see Wikipedia’s efforts to keep their pages objective and accurate. The Talk page is a great forum for people to work out controversial aspects, while working towards accuracy.



I was apprehensive to use Netvibes. It seemed like a lot of extra work and I was not sure if it would pay off. I had never minded before having different tabs for different purposes. Also, although sometimes I check specific blogs or websites, I mostly get my Internet news and entertainment from my Friends on Facebook. I just click on whatever they Share and then maybe explore other articles/posts afterward. Using Netvibes presupposed that I knew which sources I wanted to focus on following and organizing. During the week I used my Netvibes dashboard, I found myself forgetting or not wanting to use it. It seem much more natural just to type in the exact site I wanted to go to. Also, often times I did not want to just see a feed of NYT or HuffPost articles, but specifically wanted to search for articles on a specific subject. Instead of checking the feed I would Google “New York Times Ferguson,” or whichever topic was of interest.

Netvibes was most helpful for more general things like my email and the weather. It was pretty nice to only go to one place to see stuff I look at on a daily basis. I agree with Caroline as to whether Netvibes in fact helped with infotention. When I wanted to do actual work I was still switching between Coursework, Google, and course websites.

Overall, I think Netvibes could be a useful resource but it would take me some time to break the habits I have already formed.

Fanfic Writer- Reader Relationship

So, a couple of weeks ago I interviewed a fan-fiction writer who gave me some insight into the fanfic community, specifically on the website

She said most writers are women,  and much of the work on fanfiction is geared to a teen audience. I asked her about the writer’s relationship to their fans, and she said Fanfiction reader-writer relationships exist around editing the story.

Different roles are played in the community:

Reviewers read things after it has been publication, and usually give only their reactions– mostly compliments

The Haters are “absolute trolls who post irrelevant things” (she notes that guest readers can be deleted, members’ comments cannot be deleted)

Critiquers are “heaven-sent”– they give you relevant feedback, which then brings life to stories.

And there are of course the writers, who choose to write things that generally fall under these two categories: Target writing and Idea writing.

In target writing, you pick a big fandom to write for in order to gain recognition.  Once you have chosen your fanbase you can narrow your target audience. Then there’s idea writing, where you write for a fandom because you were inspired, not just for recognition.