Before the reflection starts I would like to say "thank you" to Mr. O'Brien and other faculties who have been in with us temporarily and shared their experiences and knowledge.
What we have learnt from this class:
1. Introduction to some major social networks that are currently popular right now as well as some rare but useful ones.
- most interesting one to me is Twitter. I opened a Twitter account a year ago but never use it until KOB convinced me (or, us) to start tweeting.
- many social media tools have their functions overlapping each other's. for example, Facebook allows you to post pictures of you and your friends and Instagram is designed for picture sharing while in the meantime Twitter is used mostly for sharing pictures like where people have been to, what kind of funny things they have seen and what they just bought from a store, etc. In another word, you don't have to use all of them. Maybe only one or two can keep you connected with the world.
- one thing interesting is that there is always a trend which the majority of people will switch from one social network to another when that "another" becomes popular. for instance, two years ago most of us are using Facebook as the major social media tool to keep connected with each other; later most of my friends made a switch to Twitter because Twitter is a much faster way to get news for you and keep you updated; now most of them are on Instagram
2. How people use social media and what are the appropriate ways of using them in our life.
- The initial purpose of social media is to keep people connected; however, most of people use social media more in a way of expressing themselves and building new relations.
- Make good choices of what to post and what to not post.
3. How social media impacts one's life.
- One could make more friends from social networks; however, in the same way, one can lose friends.
- One can keep getting the freshest news from social media as well as the trend of what is becoming popular.
- You can find useful information as well as useless information from social networks--it all depends on whom you follow on Twitter, what pages you like on Facebook, what types of people you are interacting with, etc.
- One can even commit to suicide due to the pressure he or she received from people online--the video which the girl committed to suicide after people from the internet cyber-bullied her. Again: make good choice of whom you are connecting with online.
- Do NOT post anything that could make people concern about your character and personality. It is important to remember that you can never completely remove what you have posted online. Especially for high school students: college admission officers are likely going to look at your social network pages during the admission process as part of their evaluation on you.
4. About filming short videos: Even I did not fully enjoy such a project, still I think it is fun to do because:
- It is cool to do something new--something you never have done in your previous life
- A good learning of new skills such as thinking creatively, acting like a real actor, presenting the idea clearly during every single part the project and editing the footages into a completed video.
- A good practice of working as a team: you have to deal with different voices and try to get everybody agreed with one same idea; you have to make a plan and arrange times that are suitable to everyone's schedule--it is very challenging to consist everything; also you have to dedicate yourself into the team even something does not go as the way you personally expected.
It is the first year Western Reserve Academy conducting Echo Module Programs instead of following the old school schedule and giving regular classes on Saturday. Although not much people were looking forward to such a program, it seems to be great so far as it goes. Like the other modules, TSM gives students a vast of knowledge about how social media are changing the society both positively and negatively as well as the unique experience of filming and editing videos. While the regular academic courses are giving us normal college preparatory classes, Echo Module gives us useful additional knowledge in different fields. It is worth to explore something we might have ignored but have been impacted in our lives. It is a great experience and I hope there will be more interesting modules next year.
Again, muchas gracias to KOB and other faculties who have been sharing their knowledge and experience with us. It was great to learn unique things that are close to our everyday life.